A federal judge says military contractors can be sued by soldiers and others who allege they were harmed by improper waste disposal while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled last week in Maryland that military contractors including Halliburton Co. must face lawsuits alleging the soldiers were exposed to toxic emissions and contaminated water when they burned waste in open pits.
Titus is overseeing 43 lawsuits filed in 42 states on the issue. The contractors sought to have the lawsuits dismissed.
Titus said the courts must treat lawsuits against such contractors with caution to protect military missions abroad. But he said courts must be prepared to decide such cases if people were harmed.