Burn Pit Lawsuit Updates
On Feb. 27, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed the burn pit lawsuits that were consolidated in In re KBR Inc. Burn Pit Litigation.
On Jan. 10, 2013, President Obama signed into law a bill that will create a registry of U.S. soldiers that have become sick after working around burn pits on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On Feb. 8, 2012, Judge Titus issued a scheduling order setting deadlines to hear the defendants' renewed motion to dismiss.
On April 4, 2011, Judge Titus heard the Motion for Clarification in the Burn Pit MDL. Judge Titus ordered the parties to meet and prepare a joint discovery plan by April 18, 2011. The parties submitted competing discovery plans to the Court.
According to a joint statement made in March 2011 before the House Armed Services Committee and Military Personnel Subcommittee, programs were put into place to replace as many burn pits as possible in Afghanistan, and all burn pits serving more than 100 people were closed in Iraq.
On Feb. 25, 2011, the defendants submitted a letter to the plaintiffs' counsel and the Court about the sufficiency of the declarations and sought to have the Court order the plaintiffs to produce additional information. The plaintiffs disagreed with the defendants' reading and filed a Motion for Clarification that the declarations they filed comply with the Court's order.
On Dec. 10, 2010, Judge Titus issued a Memorandum Opinion to stay any discovery on the case until the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals made decisions on three related cases. In the order, he stated, "the Court is even more convinced that the disposition of these cases will be of significant assistance in determining the appropriate duration and scope of jurisdictional discovery, if any, in these cases."
On Oct. 15, 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released the Afghanistan and Iraq Report in response to a request by Congress. It stated that standards outlined in 2009 for burn pit operations had not been met in regards to four burn pits surveyed in Iraq. Three of these four burn pits were operated by the defense contractors in question.
On Sept. 8, 2010, Judge Titus ruled that the lawsuits in In re KBR Inc. Burn Pit Litigation could proceed after denying the defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
On Nov. 6, 2009, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) held a hearing on contracting abuses and corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan and discussed the health risks associated with the continued use of open-air burn pits. View the Nov. 6, 2009, DPC hearing entitled, "Are Burn Pits in Iraq and Afghanistan Making Our Soldiers Sick?"
President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law on Oct. 28, 2009. The Act contains an amendment which bans the improper use of burn pits. The Act also requires the Department of Defense to thoroughly investigate burn pit effects on troops and explore alternative means of waste disposal.
We welcome you to contact us if you have a question about the burn pit litigation. Contact Motley Rice attorney Joe Rice by email or call 1.800.768.4026.