ILNews

Indiana soldiers refile suit against contractors

Jennifer Nelson
April 5, 2010
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Members of the Indiana National Guard have refiled a toxic exposure suit against Texas contractors in a Houston federal court. The suit, originally filed in Indiana federal court in 2008, was dismissed in February for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Nearly 50 members of the Indiana National Guard sued Texas contractors for whom the soldiers provided security at a water treatment facility in Iraq in 2003. They claimed the contractors knew the site was heavily contaminated with sodium dichromate, a toxic chemical that may increase the risk of cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.

Chief Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, dismissed the suit in February, finding the soldiers didn't establish that the contractors knew the soldiers intended to return to Indiana after leaving Iraq, and because the injury occurred in Iraq. He also found the contractors' contacts with Indiana weren't sufficient to allow the court to exercise general jurisdiction over them.

The suit was refiled March 31 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas. That case is McManaway, et al. v. KBR Inc., et al., No. 4:10-CV-01044.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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