After years of delays, today Jamie Leigh Jones is finally getting her day in court against Halliburton and KBR.
Jones -- we've done a number of stories on her -- has become famous through her attempts to hold the company responsible for the gang rape she says she endured in Iraq.
KBR tried to get the case tossed out by saying her claims were an employment issue and her contract called for such disputes to be resolved through mediation, but even the business-friendly 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected that claim.
KBR's legal move led to a classic moment in Minnesota Senator Al Franken's career, as he spoke forcefully on the subject and got an amendment to a defense-spending bill that banned companies from being paid if they barred rape cases from going to court.
In opening statements today, one of Jones's attorneys told jurors in a Houston federal court that KBR had a history of a hostile work environment for women, the Associated Press says.
The trial is expected to last three weeks. A KBR attorney told the AP the defendants "welcome the opportunity to present what really happened in Iraq."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.