(Adds background, KBR statement)
HOUSTON/SAN FRANCISCO, July 8 A Texas jury
rejected claims brought by a woman who said she was raped by
fellow employees while working for KBR Inc (KBR.N) in Iraq six
years ago, according to a KBR spokeswoman.
In a case that received attention across the United States,
Jamie Leigh Jones alleged she was drugged and raped by KBR
employees working as firefighters in Baghdad and accused the
company of tolerating abusive behavior and sexual harassment.
But a company spokeswoman said on Friday the federal jury
in Houston found in favor of KBR and a former KBR firefighter
also named in the lawsuit "on all counts."
Jones had sought compensatory and punitive damages from
KBR, an engineering group that was once the biggest U.S.
military contractor in Iraq, and Halliburton Co (HAL.N), KBR's
parent until its 2007 separation.
The Jones case generated many headlines because of other
KBR controversies in Iraq and the fact that Halliburton and KBR
fought to settle the case through arbitration, as specified in
KBR asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider its case for
arbitration over a court case, before withdrawing that petition
"Since 2005, KBR has been subjected to a continuing series
of lies perpetuated by the plaintiff in front of Congress, in
the media, and to any audience wishing to lend an ear to this
story," KBR said in a statement.
"The outcome of this jury trial as judged by her peers is
the same result that the State Department got in the 2005; that
the Justice Department found in 2008," KBR added.
The case in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
is Jamie Leigh Jones v. Halliburton Company d/b/a KBR Kellogg
Brown & Root et al., 07-2719.
Critics of the company note the Jones case was not an
isolated one. A former contractor working for KBR pleaded
guilty to sexually assaulting a female co-worker in Iraq in
2008, and was sentenced to two years in prison.
(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston and Braden Reddall and
Dan Levine in San Francisco; editing by Andre Grenon, Bernard