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Judge weighs Iraq contractor’s bid to stop lawsuit

A Texas-based military contractor is appealing a judge’s decision to try a lawsuit filed by Oregon veterans who claim they were exposed to a toxic chemical in Iraq.

Attorneys for Kellogg, Brown and Root claim that suing a military contractor raises “unprecedented” legal questions that first should be decided by a higher court.

Other federal judges have ruled in KBR’s favor in lawsuits in Indiana and West Virginia, saying their courts lack jurisdiction.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Papak in Portland told attorneys Wednesday to prepare for trial while he considers the KBR request to hold off until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reviews his rulings.

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