October 9, 2012

Federal judge rejects application of Iraqi law to punitive damages claim

The Oregonian reports that United States Magistrate Judge Paul Papak has denied a defendant's request to apply Iraqi law to a claim for punitive damages based on conduct that occurred in Iraq. 

The plaintiffs are Oregon National Guard soldiers who accuse defense contractor KBR, Inc. of knowingly exposing them to hexavelent chromium (which you may remember from such films as Erin Brockovich).  KPR argued that Iraqi law should apply because the alleged misconduct took place in Iraq, not Oregon where the case is pending. Iraqi law, like the law of most countries in the world, prohibits punitive damages.