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Memorial company accused of poisoning soldiers with open burn pits

by: Glenna Herald

A private company with an office in Memorial is being sued over claims it is poisoning soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq by disposing of human corpses, spent munitions, chemicals and more, in gigantic, open burn pits.

Matthew Guthery filed a lawsuit on Aug. 4 in the Harris County District Court against KBR, Inc., with an office in Memorial, Brown & Root Services, and KBR Technical Services, citing negligence, gross negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, nuisance and battery.

Guthery says that KBR, a private company receiving no-bid contracts from the United States government to dispose of waste in Iraq and Afghanistan, failed to take necessary safety precautions when disposing of human corpses, medical supplies, spent munitions, chemicals, vehicles and more.

According to the brief, instead of removing the refuse safely, KBR chose to burn the unsorted waste in gigantic, open burn pits that produced flames hundreds of feet into the sky, injuring Guthery, and others, by exposing them to highly toxic smoke, ash and fumes emanating from the pits,.

The suit alleges that KBR’s managers downplayed the danger of these highly noxious emissions wafting from the burn pits in order to increase company profits.

Guthery is seeking actual, exemplary and punitive damages, as well as court costs. He is being represented in the case by Houston attorney Michael Doyle.

Harris County District Court Case No. 2011-46292.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Harris County Courthouse. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

Short URL: http://kbrlitigation.com/?p=2362

Posted by admin on Aug 8 2011. Filed under Ultimate Memorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Memorial company accused of poisoning soldiers with open burn pits”

  1. We are kindly asking you to be the voice for troops; we need your support to have our voice’s be heard on the matter of troops, who were exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are now returning home with lung illnesses including asthma, chronic bronchitis and sleep apnea.

    I wish to share our concerns regarding the safety of our troops and believe that it is our government’s responsibility to treat servicememebers whose ailments are directly linked to exposure to dangerous toxins. As early as 2002, U.S. military installations in Afghanistan and Iraq began to rely on open-air burn pits to dispose of waste materials despite concerns about air pollution.

    Emissions from burning waste contain fine particulate matter, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and various irritant gases such as nitrogen oxides that can scar the lungs. Emissions also contain super-toxic chemicals such as Dioxin that are known or suspected to be carcinogens.

    An Open Air Burn Pit an area devoted to open-air combustion of trash. Modern waste contains significant amounts of plastic and other material which may emit toxic aerial compounds and particulates when burned. In Iraq and Afghanistan the U.S. military or its contractors such as KBR operated large burn pits for long periods of time burning many tons of assorted waste.

    Active duty personnel reported respiratory difficulties and headaches in some cases and some veterans have made disability claims based on respiratory system symptoms to more life threating diseases.

    According to a brief, instead of removing the refuse safely, KBR chose to burn the unsorted waste in gigantic, open burn pits that produced flames hundreds of feet into the sky, injuring many, by exposing them to highly toxic smoke, ash and fumes emanating from the pits.

    Can you imagine inhaling these toxic fumes 24/7 for up to 18 month deployments?

    Currently a Burn Pit Registry Act of 2011 has been introduced Senate bill # S. 1798, and the House bill H.R. 3337 to create a registry, similar to the Agent Orange Registry and the Gulf War Registry, that will help collect the facts needed to find the connections between burn pit exposure and health problems affecting our servicemen and women. The legislation will also serve as a vehicle for improved communication and information dissemination for affected veterans.

    Although these bills mentioned are a good thing, it will take many years as have Agent Orange Registry and the Gulf War Registry to get the help our troops need. Many troops exposed to Agent Orange and Gulf War have died waiting for help that never came.

    We need and ask for your voice to get the help our injured troops need now.

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