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Local says burn pits in Iraq damaged him
Part of class action suite filed in state court here
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A Hinesville man is one of the latest to file a lawsuit against the civilian contracting giant, Kellogg, Brown and Root Services, Inc., which until 2007 was owned by Halliburton.
According to a complaint filed on April 28 in the State Court of Liberty County, Michael D. Moore claims to have suffered several ailments and impairments because he was exposed to harmful chemicals in smoke from by burn pits the Houston, Texas-based company used to discard waste in Iraq.
Both companies have denied they endangered any troops in Iraq.
Billy Jones with Jones, Osteen and Jones, said the suit is part of a class action suit filed in representation of people nation-wide.
“There have been approximately 200 deaths and countless injuries in this case,” Jones said during a telephone interview, “and we’re seeking just compensation in the hundreds of millions of dollars for these people.”
Several similar suits have been filed across the nation over the last few years. In November, a suit involving another Georgia man, Joshua Eller, made a similar claim.
He claimed burn pits, created by KBR, caused him to experience vomiting, cramping and diarrhea, conditions he told the Army Times he continued to struggle with.
Moore’s suit claims he and several other “soldiers and employees,” while stationed at Balad Air Force base in 2005 and 2006, were living and working close to the pits and were “exposed to large quantities of thick black smoke and toxic fumes.”
Those fumes, according to court documents, caused Moore to suffer from “a chronic, hacking cough” which later caused him to suffer from sleep apnea and breathing problems.
The Courier tried to contact Moore, but was unable to reach him by phone.
However, court documents filed by Jones say Moore and more than 1,000 unidentified persons are seeking “redress” for being “poisoned” by KBR, which the action claims “callously exposed and continues to expose soldiers and others to toxic smoke, ash and fumes.”
Heather Browne, corporate communications director for KBR, said via e-mail Thursday that the company is reviewing the suit.
“It should be noted though that KBR did not operate the burn pit at Balad in Iraq, as has been previously asserted. It should also be noted that any burn pit operated in Iraq or Afghanistan is done pursuant to Army guidelines and regulations,” Browne said.
She said the safety of troops employees is the priority for the company.
Halliburton representatives dispute having any knowledge or involvement in the case. 
“If they are based on KBR activity in Iraq and Afghanistan then we believe that Halliburton is improperly named and, as such, we would expect Halliburton to be dismissed from the suits as Halliburton would have no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the actions alleged,” spokesperson Diane Gabriel said via e-mail Thursday.
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