Remember the Contractor raped and locked in a container in Iraq? Jury says no.

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Trajan, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    Apparently there are or that is were a LOT of holes on her story the jury came back after a day and half with a thumbs down. I looked for a sympathetic source, hence my use of Mother Jones to provide the background.


    Why Jamie Leigh Jones Lost Her KBR Rape Case

    Thu Jul. 7, 2011 4:30 AM PDT

    UPDATE July 8, 2011 5 p.m.:

    After fighting for four years to reach the inside of a courtroom, Jamie Leigh Jones has lost her rape and sexual harassment lawsuit against military contractor KBR. After a day and a half of deliberations, a federal jury in Houston answered "no" to the question of whether Jones was raped by former firefighter Charles Bortz while working in Iraq in 2005. It also found that KBR did not engage in fraud in inducing Jones to sign her employment contract to go overseas.


    The allegations were explosive when they first hit in 2007: A 20-year-old woman named Jamie Leigh Jones alleged that four days after going to work in Iraq for contracting giant KBR in July 2005, she was drugged and gang-raped by fellow contractors. She accused the company, then a subsidiary of Halliburton, of imprisoning her in a shipping container after she reported the rape, and suggested KBR had tampered with some of the medical evidence that had been collected at an Army hospital. The harrowing story has made international headlines. It's been the subject of congressional hearings and has inspired legislation. Jones even plays a starring role in the new documentary Hot Coffee, about efforts to limit access to the justice system.

    Jones' charges fell on fertile ground, compounding KBR's reputation as a corporate scofflaw—all the more so when it came out that the firm's contract had included a mandatory arbitration clause intended to block employees from suing it. Jones spent years fighting for a jury trial, and now, six years after the alleged attack, she is finally getting her day in court in a civil suit that accuses KBR of knowingly sending her into a hostile workplace. The verdict could come as early as Thursday. And—in a twist that's likely to shock her numerous supporters—there's a good chance she will lose.

    ( see above update July 8, she did lose, period.)

    Jones' trial, which started on June 13, is highlighting significant holes and discrepancies in her story. Not only has the federal trial judge already thrown out large portions of her case, evidence introduced in the trial raises the question of whether Jones has exaggerated and embellished key aspects of her story.

    None of this means that Jones was not raped in Iraq. But the evidence does undermine her credibility and could create serious doubts in jurors' minds.

    "Oftentimes the truth is in between," says Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. "The truth may be that this wasn't rape as we come to understand it in the law, but it wasn't something that was appropriate. It doesn't mean that something didn't happen." However, if Jones hasn't been entirely truthful and the jury rules against her, it could be a major setback for sexual assault victims, particularly women serving in war zones. "The problem with cases like this is, if it turns out that she's making it up, it really does a disservice to the many women who really are raped who have trouble coming forward," Levenson says.

    more at free article-
    Why Jamie Leigh Jones Lost Her KBR Rape Case | Mother Jones
     
  2. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    Just more of the same- guilt first, over reaction and now? Where are the rape baiters and publicity whores who smeared folks for not wanting to jump the shark on this before events, as a trail had concluded?
    ... just another special interest emotionally charged issue that didn’t stand up under scrutiny…someone ought to tell ole Al Franken, that is if he really gives a crap.


    * ULY 22, 2011

    The Senate's Lawsuit Factory

    Trial lawyers use a controversial case to undermine the arbitration system.

    Somewhere, in some secret drawer at Tort Bar Headquarters, is an instruction manual labeled "How To Wring Legal Jackpots Out of Congress." It reads something like this:

    1) Identify a law or regulation that prevents trial lawyers from cashing in. 2) Identify a "victim" of this law or regulation. 3) Get congressional allies to turn said victim into a cause célèbre. 4) Use ensuing moral outrage to get the law or regulation changed. 5) Buy a yacht.

    It is to the trial bar's credit that it manages to pull this formula off again and again, even in today's more tort-reform environment. Consider Jamie Leigh Jones. ( see post no.1)

    snip-


    The Jones case played out in Washington in textbook trial-lawyer style. In recent years, one of the tort bar's top priorities has been getting rid of mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts. Those clauses require employees to settle disputes with employers in front of a neutral arbiter. Plaintiffs' attorneys hate the efficiency and fairness of this system, since it denies them a chance to clog up courts and win giant punitive damages.

    Ms. Jones, meanwhile, was as perfect a "victim" as a lawyer could wish. In 2005 she went to Iraq, working for KBR, a government contractor and former subsidiary of Halliburton. She claimed that within a few days of arrival she was drugged, raped by colleagues, and imprisoned in a shipping container. Her attack had been so violent, she alleged, as to require reconstructive surgery to her chest and intense psychiatric treatment. The kicker: Ms. Jones had a contract clause that appeared to require her to seek redress through arbitration, rather than the courts.

    Minnesota Sen. Al Franken—who in 2008 received some $900,000 in campaign contributions from lawyers, more than any other category of donors—turned the case into a centerpiece of his first months in office. Joined by Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy, Mr. Franken highlighted Ms. Jones in hearings and press conferences, bemoaning that a company was "robbing" her of her "day in court."

    News organizations sensationalized the case, presenting Ms. Jones's allegations as fact. National Public Radio declared "Jones had been vaginally and anally raped, repeatedly. By how many men, she's not sure." ABC's 20/20 did an exposé, playing up Halliburton and its Dick Cheney ties. Public Citizen ginned up a letter-writing campaign to protest "Halliburton's arbitration trap," while the American Association of Justice—the trial lawyer lobby—highlighted Ms. Jones's case as an example of "how powerful corporations use forced arbitrations to evade accountability."

    Here's the thing: Ms. Jones was getting her day in court. In 2008, before Mr. Franken had even won election, a federal judge ruled that sexual assault fell outside the scope of standard workplace complaints and therefore was not subject to arbitration. In October 2009, an appeals court agreed. These rulings were in fact the basis of the civil case Ms. Jones lost this month, in which she was claiming $145 million in damages.

    None of that stopped Mr. Franken from spinning her case to get sweeping legal changes in aid of his trial lawyer benefactors. He began pushing a Senate measure prohibiting defense contractors from requiring employees to use arbitration to resolve a range of complaints. The Jones story cowed a number of Republicans into voting for the amendment, which passed 68-30 in late October 2009.

    The 30 Republicans who voted against it were targeted as rape apologists, the subject of a murky website that appeared under the name "Republicans for Rape." Local newspapers denounced their "no"-vote senators. The Franken crowd, happy to press this advantage, began pushing for the Arbitration Fairness Act, a bill that would ban arbitration clauses in all employment cases—not just those of defense contractors. This was the trial bar's real aim all along, and only a hot 2010 election year denied them a victory.

    more at-

    Strassel: The Senate's Lawsuit Factory - WSJ.com
     

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