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KBR lawsuits (re alleged rapes in Iraq)
Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Published on: 18 February 2014
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
- 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