Sex Assault Suit Vs. Halliburton Goes To Arbitration

A woman who says she was sexually assaulted by co-workers while working for a contracting company in Iraq, KBR, affiliated with Halliburton, lost her chance to get her case heard in a real court of law. A judge ruled yesterday that the mandatory binding arbitration clause in her contract holds firm and so its off to kangaroo court she goes. The unfortunate court decisions is a rape of justice, this is an instance where the arbitration clause should have been ruled unconscionable.

Sex Assault Suit Vs. Halliburton Killed [ABC] (Thanks to Philip!)
RELATED: Mandatory Binding Arbitration Means Alleged Halliburton Rapists Could Go Free

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  1. intelligentselection says:

    how can a criminal act fall under this???

  2. hubris says:

    @intelligentselection: Exactly. Maybe a civil charge could be covered under MBA, but a felony count? Or is the fact that they were in Iraq what makes this null and void?

    Fuck mandatory binding arbitration. It’s going to be the downfall of the US legal system. Who needs laws or courts when you can just throw a clause in that screws people over and over and over.

  3. esqdork says:

    It’s times like these that vigilante justice might not be that bad of an idea. Seriously, what the hell was the judge thinking? The judge and the clerks clearly lacks any legal ability since one can always and in this case should figure out how an arbitration clause does not apply in a case of sexual assault, false imprisonment and attempted murder.

  4. phelander says:

    Welcome To Bush and Cheney’s America. Where have you been the last 6 years?

  5. Daniel-Bham says:

    I imagine because it is a civil suit she is filing. No criminal charges have been filed – though I’m sure if they are the U.S. Government will not be bound by arbitration. That being said – this is Halliburton. Look at the government.

  6. persch5 says:

    “Barker’s case had also involved a claim of sexual assault against a State Department employee. Those claims have been severed from her case against Halliburton/KBR and transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia.”

    The arbitration is the portion of sexually harrasment against the company. It is not a criminal proceeding. Not that I agree, but just wanted to point it out.

  7. flamincheney says:

    What gets me most is a US Judge, who is payed for with public tax dollars, had this to say about the case:
    “Sadly, sexual harassment, up to and including sexual assault, is a reality in today’s world.”

    Isn’t every other crime, those that have the right to go to trial that is, a reality in today’s world? How is this any sort of justification for judicial ignorance? Under this set of rules wasn’t 9/11 just an incident grounded in the reality of today’s world?

    Everyday I lose more and more faith in this country and world.

  8. nequam says:

    @intelligentselection: Because she is asserting civil claims based on criminal acts. This in an entirely different issue from criminal liability. Most crimes have civil equivalents. A good is example is the Simpson/Goldman suit against OJ for wrongful death.

    Criminal liabilty in this case is a separate issue.

  9. nequam says:

    @flamincheney: The judge had a narrow issue before him, and that’s all he could decide. Courts do nto have unlimited jurisdiction to fix all of society’s ills in one fell swoop.

    Again, while a crime may have been comitted, what we are talking about here is a civil suit.

  10. savvy999 says:

    There’s a bit of case confusion here… this case is about Tracy Barker not about Jamie Leigh Jones. Nothing in either link says anything about the JLJ rape case.

    Either way, H/KBR is still a bunch of scumbags hiding behind BS legalese.

  11. nequam says:

    @savvy999: Let’s please all be clear — as persch5 pointed out — the sexual assualt claim was ONLY against the state department employee and is not part of the arbitration. The arbitration involves the sexual harrassment claim only.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Discusting

  13. ZekeSulastin says:

    The details of the separation of the civil and criminal segments of the case are things that really should be included in the post – for the sake of completeness, at least.

    I can’t believe something like this is covered in any contract, however. It would be nice if we could see a copy of it.

  14. IrisMR says:

    @HykCraft: The hell are you talking about? She’s not the one that plastered walls with hos and dogs having sex.

    From what she said, that place was a nightmare for any woman. It’s disgusting that she was denied the right to bring their asses to court.

  15. Szin says:

    “Sadly,” wrote Judge Miller, “sexual harassment, up to and including sexual assault, is a reality in today’s workplace.”

    What the fuck does that mean? That women should just start accepting this kind of sick and shameful behavior? And that they can no longer get justice for it? This is just really disgusting.

  16. BP2012 says:

    Remember, asking for a criminal court or a civil court is two different thing. It baffles me on why is she taking the civil court route?

    Any lawyer would tell you, going the criminal court first is the best option because it would null and void any obligation you have to the suspect. Then the weight of the reasonable doubt is much greater for the victim in civil court.

    Can anyone explain to me why she decided to take the civil route? money? etc?

  17. rhombopteryx says:

    @nequam:

    True enough – and totally irrelevant. Let’s also please all be clear – Halliburton is requesting, and the judge is allowing – sexual harrasment claims against an employer to go to arbitration. Who cares that the harrasser co-worker still faces the criminal justice system? That doesn’t make it somehow less disgusting that sexual harrassment claims against the employer are being forced into arbitration. This case is pretty extreme, but why should any harrassment claims be sent to arbitration?

    Federal law prohibits sexual harrassment. Think about this for a second – federal law also prohibits child labor. Does anyone for a second think that the employer of a hypothetical sweatshop 11-year old in LA would argue before a judge that the kid signed an employment agreement with mandatory binding arbitration, so the court shouldn’t hear the kid’s case?

  18. IrisMR says:

    @Szin: No, you’re reading it wrong. It means that he knows it happens often. He acknowledges it and he finds that reality regrettable.

  19. rhombopteryx says:

    @BP2012:
    There may be some misunderstanding here. Victims don’t get to “choose” courts. Only a prosecutor can choose to file a case against someone in criminal court. A victim may influence the decision of whether or not to bring a case (by agreeing to testify or not, by asking persistently or not, etc.) but the decision is ultimately only the prosecutor’s.
    The victim’s only “choice” is whether or not to bring a civil case, and that choice isn’t “either-or.” A victim can sue even though there’s also, like here, a potential criminal case too.

    Unless there is an arbitration agreement, apparently…

  20. ldavis480 says:

    Judge Miller sounds like a dispicable scumbag to me. Piece of shit should be disbarred.

  21. cde says:

    @rhombopteryx: No. As a victim bringing criminal charges against someone else, the public prosecutor doesn’t have to do a damn thing. I signed the complaint, I (or my lawyer) acts as a private prosecutor.

  22. noquarter says:

    @ldavis480: Why? He doesn’t make the laws, he just interprets them. If you want the laws changed, contact your local lawmakers.

    When he said this: “sexual harassment, up to and including sexual assault, is a reality in today’s workplace,” it was in response to her claim that her case was so unusual that an arbitrator couldn’t handle it. As much as I think arbitration is complete BS, I also agree with what he said.

  23. emax4 says:

    Just shoot the m.f.’ers. Problem solved, and they can’t sue either!

  24. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I disagree with his interpretation. How often are people raped by their co-workers in the workplace?

  25. ancientsociety says:

    USA! USA!

    Seriously though, WTF!? Binding arbitration far a RAPE case? And I’m glad Judge Miller seems to be “taking the issue seriously”

  26. noquarter says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Apparently, once less than you think, because this lady has filed sexual assault, not rape, charges.

    I got caught by this at first, too, but this is not the same lady as reported here previously, and found in the Related: link, who was raped while working for Halliburton.

  27. nequam says:

    @rhombopteryx: Child labor laws are enforced by the government, not private citizens. So your example is off.

    That said, I think I understand your larger point — harassment is so bad that it should not be arbitrated. But it relies on a basic misconception of the law. The law makes no distinction among civil causes of action, in the sense that any one is worse than another (like a felony can be called “worse” than a misdemeanor). The severity of an offense is expressed in the damages awarded. At the same time, the law allows, as a matter of freedon of contract, a person to agree to forgo his or her rights of action. So, it is completely legit for a person to agree to arbitrate all civil claims — whether they be for breach of contract, negligence, or harassment.

    You may not like it, but this is the state of the world in which the judge had to make his decision.

  28. nequam says:

    @ancientsociety: The sexual assault was NOT referred to arbitration. RTFA.

  29. ninjatales says:

    Talk about conscience. The judge and the people out in Halliburton must sleep soundly at night.

  30. Consumer007 says:

    Dick Cheney and all other current and former executives should be charged criminally with rape and federal obstruction of justice charges. Of course the bastards will have ultra-high priced lawyers that would shred her even more. This kind of thing is why I feel Republicans really are evil. They enjoy the fact this woman was raped and now want to see her raped even more legally. They will just pull an Ann Coulter and call her names or something saying she deserved and enjoyed it because she was a woman. Well, this is what we get when we vote Repulbican!

    If Cheney’s hands are clean why the hell hasn’t he apologized for what she went through and offered to help her get justice? Because he’s involved…

  31. clevershark says:

    This case is beyond revolting. I am left speechless by it, which is rare.

  32. PlanetExpressdelivery says:

    MBA should be voided in the case of criminal actions.

  33. shan6 says:

    I don’t have anything to add, other than I hope Halliburton fucking burns for this!

  34. RvLeshrac says:

    Last I remember, arbitration clauses DO NOT apply in cases of criminal activity.

  35. goodkitty says:

    @rhombopteryx: The example is irrelevant because the contract is void as it was signed by a minor (which is why it’s ridiculously hard to get services or employment until you’re an adult). However, the point that I think all of you guys are missing is that this isn’t a legal matter, it’s a money one. Halliburton has money, thus they make the rules. When did anyone or any entity that was rich ever get held to the same accountability as someone without money?

  36. deVious says:

    @esqdork: Civil suit maybe?

  37. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    @nequam: Can she still bring charges against them in criminal court? I thought the courts ruled that because they are in Iraq or Afghanistan and are not part of the military it is out of US jurisdiction and therefore no charges can be brought.

  38. lawstudt says:

    Plaintiffs LOSE 98% of all cases that go to arbitration. She is screwed, again. Its not cheaper anyways, its only a way to screw plaintiffs over!!!!!

    Consumers in CA lose 94% of all arbitration claims!!!!!

    Unconscionable? Maybe if it was boilerplate. I see more and more firms make you initial next a line next to it and write arbitration in bold sometimes in order to help avoid that.

    ARBITRATION IS FARCE AND A CRIME, IT STEALS FROM EVERYONE

  39. rhombopteryx says:

    @cde:
    Maybe I’m mising something, but are you sure any joe blow can just up and bring criminal charges against another person?

    Where is this place? I totally can think of 11 people I want to bring up on trespassing, DUI, bestiality, and perjury charges. Not that they did it or anything… You see the problem with this yet?