Cases

Burn Pit Exposure

Dedicating your life to your country doesn’t mean that your life should be put at completely unnecessary risk, but there’s a very real chance that this is what happened to U.S. military service members, veterans and civilian contractors when open-air burn pits were maintained on or near American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

July 26, 2018

Case Update:  APPEALS COURT DECLINES TO HEAR VETS’ CLAIMS

After hearing oral arguments in May, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denied a request to overturn an earlier dismissal of the litigation. Following the order, Motley Rice, with co-counsel, filed a motion for en banc review in July in an attempt to have plaintiffs’ claims heard by the full Court panel. This request, too, was denied. Read the order denying en banc review. A petition for review by the U.S. Supreme Court will be filed.

In 2010, the case Jobes v KBR, Inc. et al alleged that prolonged exposure to burn pits’ smoke, ash and fumes caused injuries such as chronic illnesses, risk of illnesses and wrongful death. The veterans and contract workers bringing the suit claim that the contractors responsible for these open-air burn pits had a duty to warn them of the health and safety issues involved with working near the pits, but failed to do so. These lawsuits have been consolidated in In re KBR Inc. Burn Pit Litigation before the Honorable Judge Roger W. Titus in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Greenbelt Division.

This consolidation of lawsuits alleges that KBR, a government contractor, exposed American servicemembers and civilian contract workers to harmful fumes from its unauthorized use of open-air surface burning as a means to dispose of vast quantities of unsorted waste, including hazardous waste, medical waste, and human waste, at military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Exposure to harmful fumes from these burn pits is alleged to have caused these American servicemembers and civilian contract workers to suffer various serious injuries. The burn pits addressed in the KBR lawsuits varied in size and location.

*Please note that we are no longer accepting burn pit claims.

Alleged burn pit locations

Burn Pit Exposure Symptoms

Exposure to harmful toxins in Iraq and Afghanistan may result in diagnoses and symptoms, including:       

  • Allergy-like symptoms
  • Asthma
  • Breathing restrictions
  • Cancers (including but not limited to lung, brain, bone and skin)
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic coughs
  • Constant infections
  • Cramps and severe abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Nose bleeds
  • Pulmonary injuries
  • Restrictive Airways Disease (Bronchiolitis) 
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Severe headache
  • Skin infection
  • Sleep apnea
  • Throat infections
  • Ulcers
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Weeping lesions on extremities

*Note: this list is not inclusive of all potential symptoms or illnesses

A Brief History of Burn Pit Litigation

July 2018
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denies request for a hearing en banc (full review of the court). Read the order.

June 2018
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit denies request to allow claims to proceed in In re: KBR, Inc. Burn Pit Litigation MDL. Read the order.

May 2018
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard oral arguments on May 9, 2018 to determine whether the In re: KBR, Inc. Burn Pit Litigation MDL may proceed. Listen to the arguments. 

July 2017
U.S. District Court Judge Roger W. Titus for the District of Maryland dismissed the burn pit lawsuits consolidated in In re: KBR, Inc. Burn Pit Litigation MDL.

January 2015
The U.S. Supreme Court turned down an interlocutory request by KBR to review the continuation of plaintiffs’ claims in the In re: KBR, Inc. Burn Pit Litigation MDL  case.   

March 2014
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacates the district court’s decision and remands the In re: KBR, Inc. Burn Pit Litigation back to the district court for further proceedings.

February 2013
The U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland dismisses the burn pit lawsuits consolidated in the In re: KBR, Inc. Burn Pit Litigation MDL.

September 2010
Burn pit lawsuits across the country are consolidated in In re KBR Inc. Burn Pit Litigation MDL, and a motion by the defendants to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is denied by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Burn Pit Resources

The following links may be useful to those interested in learning more about burn pits and the burn pit litigation:

These resources are not meant to serve as legal advice and are not intended to foster an attorney-client relationship. They are strictly for convenience.

See more about Toxic Exposure