US judge rules families of Nepali workers cannot sue KBR over alleged human trafficking in Iraq

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20 January 2014

Slain Laborers' Families Barred From Suing KBR

Author: Bonnie Barron, Courthouse News Service (USA)

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…

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16 January 2014

KBR Won’t Face Human Trafficking Trial Over Nepali Workers (1)

Author: Laurel Brubaker Calkins, Bloomberg News (USA)

KBR...won’t face a jury on human trafficking claims brought by families of Nepali workers killed while they were allegedly forced to work against their will at company sites in Iraq in 2004, a federal judge ruled…U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison in Houston reversed his September ruling that the families could proceed to trial…Ellison agreed in his order yesterday with KBR’s lawyers, who argued in court filings that a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidated his initial ruling allowing the lawsuit. In the earlier order, Ellison stated that Houston-based KBR could be tried on the forced-labor allegations because “defendants do not now, nor did they in 2004, have the right to traffic human beings at home or abroad.”...

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15 January 2014

[PDF] Ramchandra Adhikari, et al. v. Daoud & Partners, et al. - Memorandum and Order

Author: US District Court, Southern District of Texas (USA)

[Full text of court order dismissing the claim.]

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25 June 2013

Case profile: KBR lawsuit (re human trafficking in Iraq)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre case profile for lawsuit in US federal court against Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a US military contractor in Iraq, and its Jordanian sub-contractor, Daoud & Partners over allegations of racketeering, trafficking, forced labour, slavery and false imprisonment.]

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