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 sought 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”). 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 represented persons across the nation who were harmed by the burn pits emissions.
Unfortunately, the federal courts held that the plaintiffs lacked jurisdiction to proceed. The courts reasoned that allowing the plaintiffs’ claims would effectively challenge military decision-making. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, thus ending the decade-long effort to assist wounded veterans.
If you are a victim of the burn pits, please contact your member of Congress, as legislation to rectify the injustices is under consideration.