BOISE (CN) – KBR and Halliburton poisoned U.S. troops and civilian contractors by burning an immense variety of toxic, unsorted wastes in Iraq and Afghanistan to cut costs and preserve profits, according to a federal class action. The class claims at least 100,000 people were endangered by the contractors’ “utter indifference to and conscious disregard” of troops’ welfare.
The class claims the Pentagon contractors, “motivated by financial gain,” ignored contract requirements minimize risks, environmental effects and human exposure to toxic fumes when disposing of waste. Instead, the contractors cut corners and burned huge amounts of waste in open pits; fire and smoke rose hundreds of feet into the air, emitting toxic gases and carcinogens.
The complaint says KBR and Halliburton burned “every type of waste imaginable,” including trucks, tires, lithium batteries, Styrofoam, rubber, petroleum, lubricants, metals, hydraulic fluids, munitions boxes, medical waste, biohazard materials, human corpses, medical supplies, paints, solvents, asbestos insulation, pesticides, polyvinyl chloride pipes, animal carcasses, dangerous chemicals and hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles.
Lead plaintiff George Lundy of Idaho worked for KBR building burn pits and is undergoing chemotherapy to treat the colon cancer he says is a result of his repeated exposure to the gases and fumes.
The class seeks damages in district court for physical injuries, emotional distress, fear of disease, and need for continued medical care. Lundy is represented by Curtis D. McKenzie.