$85 million KBR verdict using Eric Oliver's methods

Trial Guides wants to congratulate Michael Doyle, Jeffrey Raizner, and Patrick Dennis of Doyle Raizner; Gabriel Hawkins of Cohen Malad; and David F. Sugarman for their recent $85 million verdict in Bixby et al. v. KBR. They took the case for injured veterans despite the difficult odds that faced them.

This team represented twelve U.S. and British soldiers whom KBR exposed to sodium dichromate in Iraq in 2003. Sodium dichromate contains hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen banned in the United States.

Evidence included KBR documents noting "serious health problems" at the Qarmat Ali water facility in Iraq where the soldiers worked, and others that noted, "almost 60 percent of the people now exhibit the symptoms" of sodium dichromate exposure. The soldiers testified during trial that they have health problems, including respiratory, skin, gastrointestinal, and lung issues, because of the exposure to the carcinogen.

The jury unanimously found KBR was negligent and showed "reckless and outrageous indifference" to the health, safety, and welfare of the soldiers, each of whom was awarded $850,000 in noneconomic damages (for a total of $10,200,000). A total of $75,000,000 was awarded in punitive damages.

Watch Michael Doyle explain on YouTube

Important to the development of the case was Trial Guides' author Eric Oliver's work as a trial consultant. In this video, trial counsel Michael Doyle discusses how important Eric Oliver was in this victory. Eric Oliver helps lawyers deliver their message in a way that most effectively communicates the information to jurors and the judge.


"This case posed significant challenges, making the persuasive delivery of these plaintiffs' claims to decision-makers a serious uphill climb. When we began preparing, we took full advantage of the techniques Eric advocates for focus group research, as well as the many ways he helps lawyers apply what they learn to their verbal, nonverbal, and visual delivery for decision-makers. We knew that the whole brain of every decision-maker needed to be engaged in order to overcome the challenges we faced in this trial."

Doyle believes this is the first time a government contractor has been held responsible for injuring soldiers in the field. It is just one of several "first of their kind" victories in which Oliver served as a trial consultant. In his new video, The Persuasion Edge, Eric Oliver guides you through the kind of work necessary to win the most difficult cases. As Michael Doyle discusses in the video here, this victory had to do with the sequencing of the case that Oliver covers in The Persuasion Edge, as well as his prior video Delivering the Goods.

Visit Eric Oliver's author page to get the tools you need to persuade adjustors, mediators, judges, and jurors in a way that will help you obtain the best possible outcome, even in the most difficult cases.