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KBR lawsuits (re alleged rapes in Iraq)

In May 2007 Jamie Leigh Jones sued her former employer, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), and several KBR employees in US federal court.  Jones alleges she was drugged, raped and seriously injured by several co-workers while working for KBR at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq.  She further alleges that after reporting the rape, she was confined to a shipping container and told she would no longer have a job if she sought medical treatment outside Iraq.  Jones’ lawsuit alleges KBR was vicariously responsible for the sexual assault and was negligent in the hiring and supervision of its personnel.  At the time of the incident, KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton.  KBR is now a separate company.

Jones’ employment contract with KBR contained a clause requiring her to agree to take any personnel disputes to private arbitration rather than to court.  In November 2007, KBR moved to compel Jones to arbitrate her claims rather than to proceed in court, arguing that Jones could not bring the lawsuit because of the arbitration clause.  Jones countered that this clause could not apply to sexual assault because the assault was not “work related”.  The judge allowed the claims related to the assault to proceed in court.  KBR appealed this ruling, but the court of appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling.

Jones’ case went to trial on 14 June 2011.  On 8 July 2011 the jury announced its verdict -- it found in favour of KBR on all counts.

After Jones reported her alleged sexual assault, a number of other women came forward alleging that they too were raped while working for KBR in Iraq.  Several other women have filed lawsuits against KBR alleging sexual assaults and injuries similar to Jones’ case.

- "Texas jury rejects ex-KBR employee Iraq rape claim", Anna Driver & Braden Reddall, Reuters, 8 Jul 2011
- “Ex-KBR worker presses claim of rape in Iraq”, Carol Christian, Houston Chronicle, 14 Jun 2011
- “Arbitration Not Mandatory for Ex-KBR Employee Allegedly Raped in Iraq”, Miriam Rozen, Texas Lawyer, 30 Sep 2009
- “Federal Judge Rules Iraq KBR 'Rape Victim' Can Seek Trial In US”, Sonia Verma, Times [UK] 12 May 2008
- “Another KBR Rape Case”, Karen Houppert, Nation, 21 Apr 2008
- “Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR”, Brian Ross, ABC News, 10 Dec 2007

- KBR: “Discrepancies Regarding the Jones Allegations
- Kelly Law Firm [counsel to plaintiff]: “Rape and Assault Cases Against Halliburton/KBR

- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit: [PDF] Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al., 15 Sep 2009
- US District Court for the Southern District of Texas: 
  - [PDF] Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al. - Memorandum and Order, 9 May 2008
  - [PDF] Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al. - KBR Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration and to Stay Proceedings, 1 Nov 2007
  - [PDF] Jamie Leigh Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al. - Second Amended Complaint, 30 May 2007

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Article
29 April 2014

[PDF] Private Military & Security Companies and their impacts on human rights: Recent developments

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In relation to reported negative human rights impacts by PMSCs, some continue to occur in areas of conflict or weak governance such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, but we have seen a rising of reports alleging abuses in other regions, especially in South America...[I]n Brazil the security firm Gaspem was allegedly involved in violence against indigenous people, and in Honduras security firms were reportedly involved in the alleged killing, kidnapping and forced evictions of farmers. It is concerning to see various reports of abuses by PSMCs that provide detention centres services, mainly catering to immigrants or asylum seekers: In Papua New Guinea, G4S allegedly used excessive force in suppressing a riot at an immigration detention centre; in the UK, Serco guards were investigated after allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour at an immigration removal centre. Recent reports restate concerns about the UN use of PMSCs’ allegedly involved in abuses...Developments on PMSCs’ legal accountability happened not just through lawsuits, but also via non-judicial mechanisms, such as the OECD complaints system...[A]complaint was submitted to the OECD National Contact Point in Spain to investigate alleged abuses of freedom of association by Prosegur in South America. [refers to Orion, InfraVest, Hi Tan Security, Askar Security, Delta Protection, UPS, KBR, Aircelle, Olive Group]

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Lawsuit
18 February 2014

KBR lawsuits (re alleged rapes in Iraq)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In May 2007 Jamie Leigh Jones sued her former employer, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), and several KBR employees in US federal court.  Jones alleges she was drugged, raped and seriously injured by several co-workers while working for KBR at Camp Hope, Baghdad, Iraq.  She further alleges that after reporting the rape, she was confined to a shipping container and told she would no longer have a job if she sought medical treatment outside Iraq.  Jones’ lawsuit alleges KBR was vicariously responsible for the sexual assault and was negligent in the hiring and supervision of its personnel.  At the time of the incident, KBR was a subsidiary of Halliburton.  KBR is now a separate company.

Jones’ employment contract with KBR contained a clause requiring her to agree to take any personnel disputes to private arbitration rather than to court.  In November 2007, KBR moved to compel Jones to arbitrate her claims rather than to proceed in court, arguing that Jones could not bring the lawsuit because of the arbitration clause.  Jones countered that this clause could not apply to sexual assault because the assault was not “work related”.  The judge allowed the claims related to the assault to proceed in court.  KBR appealed this ruling, but the court of appeals affirmed the lower court’s ruling.

Jones’ case went to trial on 14 June 2011.  On 8 July 2011 the jury announced its verdict -- it found in favour of KBR on all counts.

After Jones reported her alleged sexual assault, a number of other women came forward alleging that they too were raped while working for KBR in Iraq.  Several other women have filed lawsuits against KBR alleging sexual assaults and injuries similar to Jones’ case.

- "Texas jury rejects ex-KBR employee Iraq rape claim", Anna Driver & Braden Reddall, Reuters, 8 Jul 2011
- “Ex-KBR worker presses claim of rape in Iraq”, Carol Christian, Houston Chronicle, 14 Jun 2011
- “Arbitration Not Mandatory for Ex-KBR Employee Allegedly Raped in Iraq”, Miriam Rozen, Texas Lawyer, 30 Sep 2009
- “Federal Judge Rules Iraq KBR 'Rape Victim' Can Seek Trial In US”, Sonia Verma, Times [UK] 12 May 2008
- “Another KBR Rape Case”, Karen Houppert, Nation, 21 Apr 2008
- “Victim: Gang-Rape Cover-Up by U.S., Halliburton/KBR”, Brian Ross, ABC News, 10 Dec 2007

- KBR: “Discrepancies Regarding the Jones Allegations
- Kelly Law Firm [counsel to plaintiff]: “Rape and Assault Cases Against Halliburton/KBR

- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit: [PDF] Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al., 15 Sep 2009
- US District Court for the Southern District of Texas:
  - [PDF] Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al. - Memorandum and Order, 9 May 2008
  - [PDF] Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al. - KBR Defendants' Motion to Compel Arbitration and to Stay Proceedings, 1 Nov 2007
  - [PDF] Jamie Leigh Jones, et al. v. Halliburton, et al. - Second Amended Complaint, 30 May 2007

Article
8 July 2011

Texas jury rejects ex-KBR employee Iraq rape claim [USA]

Author: Reuters

A Texas jury rejected claims brought by a woman who said she was raped by fellow employees while working for KBR...in Iraq six years ago, according to a KBR spokeswoman. In a case that received attention across the United States, Jamie Leigh Jones alleged she was drugged and raped by KBR employees working as firefighters in Baghdad and accused the company of tolerating abusive behavior and sexual harassment...

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Article
15 June 2011

KBR Alleged Rape Trial Begins [USA]

Author: Daniel Gilbert, The Wall Street Journal

Lawyers for a former…employee of…KBR…argued in…court…that the company had turned a blind eye to sexual harassment, fueling an environment that…led to a rape by a colleague…in Iraq. The attorneys for the plaintiff,… [Ms.] Jones…argued that the company defrauded her by including a mandatory arbitration clause in her employment contract to resolve "employment-related" complaints…[A]ttorneys for the defendants…countered that Ms. Jones…lied about the rape and her medical history…The jury…will not only determine if Ms. Jones was…sexually assaulted; it will also decide whether KBR…defrauded her…by failing to disclose that other women had been sexually assaulted by its employees in Iraq…, and also with the requirement that disputes be resolved through private arbitration….KBR denied the allegations regarding its knowledge of other women who had been sexually…[refers to Halliburton]

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Article
14 June 2011

Ex-KBR worker presses claim of rape in Iraq - Attorneys for each side offer differing versions of incident in 2007

Author: Carol Christian, Houston Chronicle [USA]

On the morning after Jamie Leigh Jones says she was raped by several Kellogg Brown and Root co-workers in Iraq six years ago, she woke up naked and groggy with a man in her bunk, her lawyer said Tuesday. Jones' lawyer, Todd Kelly, delivered opening arguments in the federal lawsuit she filed in May 2007 against her former employer and others. According to court documents, Jones claims she was drugged and raped by several KBR firefighters after drinking with them. But Andrew McKinney, representing Charles Boartz, the only one of Jones' alleged attackers who is named in the suit, said her story has changed over time. Attorney Joanne Vorpahl said in her opening arguments that, while the suit has been an "incredibly unfortunate" experience for KBR, the company welcomes the opportunity to clear its name. "We are not who she says we are, and she's not who she claims," Vorpahl said. [also refers to Halliburton]

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Article
4 June 2010

Lawyer: As many as 20 women claim sex assault at KBR

Author: Daniel Tencer, The Raw Story [USA]

The lawyer for a woman claiming she was raped by a KBR worker says that as many as 20 of the company's female employees allege they were sexually assaulted while working for the company…Anna Mayo...filed a lawsuit against KBR this week claiming the company's negligence allowed her to be raped by an intruder in her quarters in Iraq last year…The lawsuit states: “the Rapist placed a rope around Anna’s neck and tightened it until she lost consciousness. She thought she was dying. When Anna awoke, she realized that she was face down in her bed being raped…“ KBR denies that the alleged rapist was a company employee…

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Article
27 March 2010

KBR on Trial--At Last

Author: Karen Houppert, The Investigative Fund

Five years after alerting authorities that she was gang-raped in Iraq, KBR/Halliburton employee Jamie Leigh Jones will finally get her day in court…KBR announced that it was dropping its Supreme Court appeal in the case...Jones…had been barred from pursuing her…case in the courts by a provision in her employee contract: all such issues must be resolved via the company's own binding arbitration process…US Senator Al Franken...was able to get a provision included in the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that banned government contracts from going to companies that used this "binding arbitration" clause...KBR's spokesperson Heather Browne told me that KBR's decision to withdraw its petition from the Supreme Court was directly related to passage of the Franken amendment..."KBR did not want to risk being in violation of the amendment..."

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Article
22 December 2009

Obama Signs Into Law Restriction on Arbitration Clauses

Author: David Ingram, National Law Journal

Most military contractors will no longer be able to enforce mandatory arbitration clauses in their employment contracts under a provision signed into law over the weekend. The provision is included in the 2009-2010 spending bill for the U.S. Department of Defense…[Trial lawyers and consumers groups] say that clauses mandating the use of arbitration deny employees an impartial hearing in open court, while supporters of arbitration have defended the process as both fair and efficient. [refers to KBR]

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Article
9 December 2009

KBR worker reportedly raped at base in Iraq

Author: James Pinkerton, Houston Chronicle [USA]

An American woman working for Houston-based KBR at a U.S. military base in Iraq was reportedly raped and beaten… U.S. military officials in Iraq confirmed the Nov. 30 attack …The report of the incident at the base north of Baghdad is the latest in a series of complaints of sexual harassment and assault by women working for the international construction and services contractor…“Army CID is the lead investigating agency for this alleged incident and as such KBR cannot comment. Any further query should be directed to Army CID. KBR is cooperating with the investigation,” said Heather Browne, KBR's director of corporate communications.

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Article
15 October 2009

Rape case to force US defence firms into the open

Author: Chris McGreal, Guardian [UK]

US defence firms are to be barred from lucrative government contracts if they refuse to allow employees access to the courts, after a woman working for a Halliburton subsidiary in Iraq was prevented from taking legal action over an alleged gang rape by fellow workers. Al Franken, the Senate's newest member, has won an amendment to the defence appropriations bill prompted by the case of Jamie Leigh Jones. She alleges that she was drugged and raped by seven American contractors in Baghdad in 2005. Jones...was employed by KBR...

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