KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A defense contractor accused of sending mercenaries to loot equipment for Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan owes $2.9 million, a jury ruled.
MAKS General Trading & Contracting Co., a Kuwait company, won the verdict after a three-week trial against Tenessee-based EODT Technology.
The federal complaint alleged that EODT hired MAKS as a subcontractor in 2009 to provide security and build temporary homes for U.S. troops in a construction compound in Kabul.
MAKS said it was halfway through its job when EODT "deployed a team of paramilitaries equipped with assault weapons" to steal 90 homes in a "military-styled invasion."
After loading the homes onto flatbed trucks, EODT took them to Bagram Air Field, "where they are now being used by U.S. service personnel," according to the complaint.
MAKS said its employees were held at gunpoint and in some cases locked in rooms while the facility was attacked.
The complaint also sought damages from EODT president Matt Kaye and project manager Mark Anderson, the latter of whom MAKS accused of supervising the attack.
MAKS was joined as plaintiff by two Indian employees who said EODT employees threatened to shoot them.
Another three employees sued as John Does, noting that they are natives of Afghanistan and could face retaliation by the Taliban or Al-Qaida. They said EODT locked in a room for six hours while gunmen guarded the doors.
MAKS also included a demand for $2 million under the contract.
The jury ultimately found that EODT breached two module contracts and a security. It awarded the contractor $1.968 million on those contracts, plus a dollar for trespass and $1 million for conversion.
EODT failed to prove its breach of contract counter-claim against MAKS regarding the module contract, according to the verdict form.
The jury also dismissed the assault claims advanced by the two Indian employees of MAKS. The John Doe assault claims did not make it to trial, and MAKS also agreed to dismiss Kaye as a defendant.
Kuwait-based MAKS had been represented by Joseph Hennessey with Beins, Goldberg & Hennessey of Chevy Chase, Md.
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