An Inconvenient Truth

Posted on June 23, 2012. Filed under: KBR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

6th in the series The Great Cluster Fu…   A treatise on questionable journalism and pre-litigation practices

Your word for the day:

  • inconvenient = not suited to one’s comfort, purpose, or needs

Danny Boy’s (presumed) eventual client had gotten that plum assignment of away-from-the-action civilian escort.  Much less chance of becoming a combat casualty, said client being a member of a National Guard unit.  As regular army types refer to them, week-end warriors:  got the uniform, got the extra income of attending meetings (sort of a night out with the boys) and an annual summer camp outing,  while still enjoying the perks of civilian life and a job.  Bummer:  Got called up to active status.  Terrible inconvenience having to perform his part of the military reserve contract.  Worse, the only time reserves get called up is in a crises.  He got sent to a war.  Like a shooting war.  Now, that’s a bucket of ice water dumped on your week-end-warrior sense of fairness.  A guy could get hurt playing real soldier.

About the plum-ness of that assignment.  Still had the risk of hostile targeting, and, Saddam had left his house in a pretty mess.  Some nasty chemicals lying around the plant grounds.  No HAZMAT (hazardous materials) notices.  No carefully maintained MSDS (material safety data sheets).  Sort of a pot-luck mine field.  No chance for interlopers to know this right up front, whether giant, global contractor or combat grunt.  You had to tramp around a bit and look under rocks, so to speak, to identify and isolate problems.  Complicated job if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for — while looking over your shoulder for persons of ill-intent.  Did I mention that this was in a shooting-war zone where — armed or not everyone like it or notis a combatant?

And, some ugly stuff was found lurking on the plant grounds, thereby raising the possibility that personal contamination with the stuff had taken place.  It made the news.  Everything from over there made the news.  Embedded journalists, you know.  Looking for Pulitzers and career enhancements at the expense of the soldiers protecting them.  But, I digress.  Apparently, Danny Boy’s future client became ill, the cause (maybe) attributable to the ugly lurking on the grounds at Qarmat Ali. 

A gray area of knowledge here — some might call it a smoke screen.  Did the ill soldier contact Danny Boy, or did Danny Boy check the internet for casualty lists (virtual ambulance-chasing and drumming up business) and run across the ill combatant and noted the connection to the cleanup at Saddam’s toxic dump?  If so, did he leap up from his milking stool executive chair and shout, “Eureka!!!!” and rush to the unfortunate soldier and excitedly announce, “YOU MAY  BE ENTITLED TO MONEY!  Don’t know HOW yet, but, sign here, and we’ll figure it all out.”  Those smoke screens are hard to see through.

“An inconvenient truth” (sorry, Al) for Danny Boy.  He now has a client, but, he also has a problem.  The client is (or was at the time of the alleged indignity to his person), an employee of the US of A Army, which will provide medical care for his injuries.  Can’t sue the government for pain and suffering (that’s where the serious   M-O-N-E-Y  is) just because the client suffers the effects of hazardous duty while fulfilling a hazardous duty contract that he voluntarily signed.  What to do?  What to do?  Hmmmm.  How about…   oh, yea, that old qualifier:  Just find someone within 500 feet of where the soldier had been, and SUE THE BASTARDS.  Details unimportant; any litigator worth his salt can work those out later

And Danny Boy seems to be one salty litigator.

Next up:  The taming of the truth

Series references:  KBR, Mary L. Wade, Qarmat Ali, Doyle Raiznor, Ms. Sparky, litigator, sued, cluster, deposition, hexavalent chromium

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