In 2008, after initially being retained by a man named Josh Eller, Ms. Burke began to file a series of lawsuits against KBR and Halliburton. These lawsuits seek redress against the companies for burning waste in open air “burn pits” in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2009, Ms. Burke consolidated the numerous lawsuits using the multi-district litigation vehicle (called “MDL”). The federal district court in Maryland (J. Titus) presides over the preliminary discovery stage for all the lawsuits. The lawsuits are commonly referred to as “the KBR Burn Pit MDL.”
In 2010, Ms. Burke brought in as co-counsel Joe Rice and his firm Motley Rice, one of the nation’s premier plaintiffs’ firms. Working together as a team, the virtual team represents persons across the nation who were harmed by the burn pits emissions.
The KBR Burn Pit MDL complaint alleges that soldiers and contractors who served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from serious injuries caused by overexposure to harmful toxins and carcinogenic materials in the smoke and ash generated through the improper disposal of vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous open-air burn pits.
The KBR Burn Pit MDL complaint alleges that KBR and its former parent Halliburton Company failed to fulfill their contractual responsibilities to handle waste disposal in a safe manner, and instead operated enormous open air burn pits as a means to dispose of waste.
To date, Burke and Motley Rice have prevailed against KBR and Halliburton’s efforts to dismiss the lawsuits. Most recently, on March 6, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the lawsuits needed to proceed to discovery, the fact-finding process that KBR had been attempting to avoid.
If you are interested in joining the ongoing burn pit litigation, or if you have information about the burn pits, please email Susan L. Burke at sburke@burkepllc.