Halliburton to Wounded Employee: You'll Get a Medal -- If You Don't Sue
By Justin Rood - September 18, 2006, 2:10 PM
Halliburton will help its combat-zone employees get the honors and recognition they deserve -- if they promise not to sue the company. That's according to new documents released today by Senate Democrats.
Ray Stannard was a truck driver in Iraq for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. In 2003, he was part of a fuel convoy that was ambushed by insurgents. Seven Americans died in the attack and 26 were injured, including Stanner. He is suing the company.
His company knew the convoy's route was dangerous and unprotected, he says, but sent the convoy through anyway. "What they did was murder," Stannard told CBS News recently. "And I stick by that."
The circumstances of his injuries qualified Stanner for the U.S. Defense of Freedom medal, the civilian equivalent to a soldier's Purple Heart. In offering to forward Stanner's medical records to the Department of Defense so they could confirm and appove his award, KBR required him to sign a release form. (You can see the document here.)
The document, sent to Stannard in November 2004, appears to be boilerplate -- but for one curious paragraph that appears to indemnify KBR from any wrongdoing that may have led to Stanner's injuries:
. . . I agree that in consideration for the application for a Defense of Freedom Medal on my behalf that. . . I hereby release, aquit and discharge KBR, all KBR employees, the military, and any of their representatives. . . with respect to and from any and all claims and any and all causes of action, of any kind or character, whether now known or unknown, I may have against any of them which exist as of the date of this authorization. . . . This release also applies to any claims brought by any person or agency or class action under which I may have a right or benefit.
Stannard didn't sign the form. He received the medal. And he filed suit against the company the following May.