EVANSVILLE, Ind. (CN) - KBR poisoned National Guardsmen say in Iraq and defrauded taxpayers by contaminating a water plant with hexavalent chromium, 16 soldiers say. KBR lied and covered up the carcinogenic poisoning even as the soldiers suffered repeated nosebleeds and spit blood, according to the federal complaint. Several guardsmen say they have developed lung tumors.
The 16 Indiana National Guardsmen from the Tell City post say KBR repeatedly lied to them and to investigators, claiming the soldiers must be "allergic to sand" though KBR "knew that the blood testing of American civilians exposed onsite confirmed elevated chromium levels."
The allegations concern the Qarmat Ali water plant, one of the many projects KBR was awarded in its multibillion-dollar contracts in Iraq.
The soldiers claim that congressional hearings in June this year revealed KBR's cover-up.
"Several of the Indiana National Guardsmen have already manifested respiratory system tumors characteristically associated with hexavalent chromium exposure," the complaint states.
They are represented by David Cutshaw with Cohen & Malad.
This is the second such class action filed against KBR within a week. Courthouse News reported this class action on Tuesday:
KBR Accused Of Endangering Troops
HOUSTON (CN) - A federal class action claims KBR and Halliburton exposed thousands of U.S. soldiers to contaminated water, rotten food, and medical waste in Iraq, in violation of its multibillion-dollar defense contracts. The plaintiff-soldiers say KBR gave troops ice shipped in trucks contaminated by corpses' body fluids, "prevented their employees from speaking with government auditors and hid employees from auditors by moving them from bases when an audit was scheduled," and adds, "Any employees that spoke with auditors were sent to more dangerous locations in Iraq as punishment."
The plaintiffs say KBR provided the troops with water in containers, served them "rotten food," including "eggs that were unsafe to eat ... [which] caused salmonella poisoning," and ice contaminated by body fluids from corpses.
They also claim "KBR charged the U.S. government for many more meals than were actually served and charged the U.S. government for food served to defendant KBR's own employees."
The plaintiffs are represented by Philip Werner with Werner Ayers.
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