Friday, July 8, 2011

Jamie Leigh Jones Loses Her Lawsuit Against KBR

Nearly 2 years ago I told you about the then 4 year long struggle of Jamie Leigh Jones (pic), a former KBR employee who alleged that she was gang-raped and ultimately held captive in a shipping container while serving KBR in Iraq.  

The point of my post then was to argue that Jones was entitled to be heard on the merits of her claim.  A Texas federal jury has heard Ms. Jones' claim and rejected it.  Prior to receiving the case, the federal trial judge removed various claims from consideration by the jury due to a lack of evidence including some of the more spectacular allegations made by Ms. Jones. 

As you might expect the "tort reform" blawgers were already crowing in advance of this verdict based on reports from the trial raising doubts about the direction of the plaintiff's case including a fairly pessimistic progress report from Stephanie Mencier at Mother Jones.  But don't kid yourself or let yourself be oversold on the lessons to be drawn from the tort "reformer" commentary--KBR and Corporate defendants don't want plaintiffs, right or wrong, to be heard on the merits in the courts.  That is the agenda of this commentary and gloating.  In fact, the ever-brilliant (but fallible) Ted Frank is demanding that Senator Al Franken apologize.  For what?  Apparently, Franken deserves condemnation because Franken advocated the position that citizens should not be required to submit their claims to arbitration and instead should have access to the courts.  That Ms. Jones lost should demonstrate to the federalist society polemicists, et al. that they are overselling the snake oil of tort reform.  Not surprisingly to me, American juries appropriately mete out justice when given the opportunity, as they apparently did in the case of Jamie Leigh Jones. 

Do not draw the wrong lesson from the right verdict.


  1. This is a sad resolution to a disturbing case, the link to the Mother Jones article says that the employers counsel raised issues relating to narcissistic personality disorder, calling her a liar. It's all pretty sickening. It looks like they were able to re-victimize her on the stand.

    I remain to be convinced that she was treated fairly by the process. In fact I am convinced that she was never treated fairly by any process. That doesn't mean that I disagree with your point about mandatory arbitration.


  2. Auydrey, lets ignore the phsical evidence. limit ourselves with what Ms. Jones has said and done.

    She claimed to be so eggregiosuly tramatized by the event that her life became, for lack of a better word, worthless. That is what she was telling psychiatrists.

    But "she has completed three college degrees, including an MBA; gotten married; had two babies; worked as a teacher and now as a part-time college professor; testified repeatedly before Congress; gone on TV; appeared in a documentary; and started a foundation to support women working as contractors overseas."

    That isn't being "re-victimized" (which implies she was a victim to start with, something that is clearly not a certainty) it is showing her for what she is. Ms. Jones is a liar. Read all three pages of the MJ story, they list some of the easier, blatant and onnerous discrepencies between things she says and what actually has occured in what the most of us call reality.

    Her attorney is no better, "The fact that they've brought in everything they can of Jamie's past is frankly disgusting." Really, the bulk of her claims are based on her testimony of what occured, because the evidence doesn't support her claims. Her credibility is the heart of the matter. Brining up significant discrepencies between her stories contemporaniously collected noted would show is what he should have done. Perhaps he should have advised her to not even iamgine taking this to a jury. He knew, or should have known, her conflicting statements and actions would be presented to a jury and given that it would be virtually impossible to secure a judgement favoring his client.


  3. Jake, I tried to send a respnse to your interesting and information laden post but it got lost in the ether. Thank you for your respectful and insight packed post. I plan to read more about this case.


  4. Jake--

    Thanks for the particulars.


  5. Jake, I like the way you decide to base your argument on the basis of ignoring physical evidence. Way to use the facts!


  6. In any case, if enough evidences to support the cause are not presented, the court will have to finally close the ongoing case and the same happened in this case too. Before hiring any threes trikes lawyer or a criminal lawyer everyone must make sure that he/she possesses a license.