Jamie Leigh Jones, former employee of military contractor KBR, recently lost a protracted legal battle against the company. In the suit, she claimed that KBR tried covering up a gang rape of Jones by KBR employees. Jones was ordered to pay $145,000 in court costs for KBR.
Long legal saga comes to an end
The legal battle between Jamie Leigh Jones and KBR, her former employer, seems to be at an end. Jones, according to the Daily Mail, has been ordered by a federal judge to pay $145,000 in court costs incurred by KBR after a federal jury in Houston found against Jones in her suit against KBR.
Jones, according to the Wall Street Journal, sought $145 million in damages from KBR. Jones alleged that she was drugged and gang raped by coworkers in Baghdad in 2005. She sued KBR in 2006, but the case had to be taken before the U.S. Court of Appeals to determine whether she could sue in the first place.
A clause in Jones’ contract stipulated that all complaints be settled by arbitration, which KBR and then-parent company Halliburton insisted upon. The appellate court ruled in Jones’ favor in 2009. This July, a federal jury found in favor of KBR.
Aspects of Jone’s claims didn’t add up. She claimed she had been given a date rape drug. However, according to Slate, no such drugs were found in her system when she was examined the day after she was raped. Jones also claimed that her breast implants had been ruptured in the course of the assault, which also was not substantiated.
A rape kit was administered, according to the Guardian, that indicated a sexual assault had occurred. KBR never asserted that a rape had never taken place. However, according to MotherJones, the evidence was that only a single sexual assault had taken place, allegedly by Charles Boatz. Boatz was lying next to Jones when she awoke the morning after the alleged incident, according to the Daily Mail. He told her they had had consensual sex, which she didn’t remember.
Eyewitnesses said Jones had been seen flirting with Boatz on the night the assault was said to occur, and she had been drinking. During the trial it was also brought out that Jones had made previous rape accusations that were never proven.
New law from case
KBR requested she pay $2 million in damages to the company. Federal judge Keith Ellison felt the nature of the lawsuit wasn’t frivolous and thus did not merit damages. Instead, according to the Wall Street Journal, she will pay KBR,’s court costs, including transcription, printing, jury and expert witness fees.
The Jamie Leigh Jones saga inspired Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) to get an amendment inserted into the 2009 Defense Appropriations bill. The amendment made mandatory arbitration clauses illegal for private military contractors receiving $1 million or more per year from the government to include in employee contracts.
Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2043039/Jamie-Leigh-Jones-Rape-claimant-ordered-pay-KBRs-145k-court-costs.html
Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/09/28/rape-claimant-must-pay-kbrs-court-costs/
Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/kbr-could-win-jamie-leigh-jones-rape-trial?page=1
The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/15/defence-contractors-rape-claim-block
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