PORTLAND, OR (AP) - A lawsuit filed by 12 Oregon National Guardsmen against an Iraq War contractor for exposure to a carcinogenic toxin began with opening arguments in a trial expected to last weeks.
The soldiers are represented by attorney Mike Doyle, who told jurors Wednesday that contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root covered up the National Guardsmen's exposure to the toxin called sodium dichromate.
The soldiers suffer from respiratory issues and fear the toxin will cause cancer.
Defense attorney Geoffrey Harrison says KBR tried to warn the military about the presence of sodium dichromate at an Iraqi oil installation, but didn't go to the soldiers themselves.
Harrison says the soldier's illnesses could have been caused by many factors, and says sodium dichromate is an unlikely possibility.
The Associated Press