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20 Jan 2014

Bonnie Barron, Courthouse News Service (USA)

Slain Laborers' Families Barred From Suing KBR

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A federal judge has changed his mind about letting the families of Nepali laborers executed in Iraq pursue trafficking claims against KBR. The family members of 12 laborers sued KBR, a former Halliburton subsidiary previously known as Kellogg Brown & Root, and other defense contractors for their alleged involvement in a scheme to obtain cheap labor…This past August, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison had nixed all but one of the remaining claims against KBR. Ellison had preserved a claim under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) but decided…"...that this holding was in error." The new 14-page order finds that the TVPRA does not extend to extraterritorial events that occurred before 2008 when Congress granted application of the law outside of U.S. borders. The legislative change cannot be applied retroactively…