Military contractors can be sued by soldiers and others who allege they were harmed by improper waste disposal while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled in Maryland last week that Houston-based military contractors Halliburton Co. and KBR are subject to lawsuits alleging the contractors exposed soldiers to toxic emissions and contaminated water when they burned waste in open pits without proper safety controls.