U.S. top court to hear KBR's appeal in Iraq whistleblower case

WASHINGTON, July 1 Tue Jul 1, 2014 11:18am EDT

WASHINGTON, July 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear KBR Inc's appeal of a whistleblower case filed by a former employee who accused the contractor of defrauding the U.S. government over work it carried out in Iraq.

Former employee Benjamin Carter, who worked in Iraq as a water purification operator, first sued in 2006 under the federal False Claims Act. The law allows individuals to sue on behalf of the government and claim a portion of the proceeds if the case is successful.

Carter said that although KBR billed the U.S. government for water purification services at two sites in early 2005, it did not actually start providing the service until May of that year.

Halliburton Co, which spun off KBR in 2007, is also named as a defendant.

KBR appealed to the high court after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Carter in March 2013.

The high court will rule in part on whether Carter waited too long to file his lawsuit.

Oral arguments and a decision are due in the court's next term, which begins in October and ends in June 2015.

The case is KBR v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 12-1497. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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