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Soldiers’ suit against KBR refiled in Texas court

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In yet more military news, a lawsuit filed by soldiers deployed from the Tell City armory to Iraq was denied by the Evansville court where it had been filed, and refiled in a Houston, Texas court in 2010.

When they originally filed their lawsuit in December 2008, 16 soldiers who’d been assigned to provide security for KBR workers at the Qarmat Ali water-treatment plant in Iraq, known collectively as the Tell City Guardsmen, alleged they’d been exposed to sodium dichromate, used as an anti-corrosive. Containing the carcinogen hexavalent chromium, it was said to have been dispersed throughout the plant and kicked up during wind storms.

The chief judge for United States District Court in the Southern District of Indiana ruled his court didn’t have jurisdiction in the case because the soldiers’ exposure to the substance didn’t occur in Indiana and KBR doesn’t have sufficient presence in this state.

The case, whose list of complainants had grown to more than 50, two of whom have died, is scheduled to be heard in Texas in April.