SSG Ryan Maseth was electrocuted in his shower in Baghdad and died January 2, 2008
What a heartbreaking turn of events. My faith in the justice system has been destroyed. Judge Nora Barry Fischer has given every defense contractor a green light to maim and kill our troops with no repercussions. This just sickens me! Justice has not been served here. ~ Ms Sparky
Judge Nora Barry Fischer Opinion on Harris vs KBR (pdf)
Judge nixes lawsuit against KBR in GI’s death
By Joe Mandak – The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jul 16, 2012 14:52:13 EDT
PITTSBURGH — A military contractor cannot be held liable in the death of a soldier who was electrocuted in his barracks shower at an Army base in Iraq, a federal judge said in dismissing a lawsuit brought by Pittsburgh-area soldier’s mother.
Houston-based military contractor KBR Inc. cannot be held liable in Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth’s death because military commanders — not the contractor — decided where to house soldiers and whether buildings with substandard electrical systems were suitable for troops, U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer said.
“As a contractor, KBR had no authority to order military personnel to do anything, including to direct soldiers where to live or shower,” Fischer said in the 87-page opinion handed down late Friday. In it, she relied on military records and the sworn testimony of commanders taken in pretrial depositions.
William Stickman, an attorney for Cheryl Maseth, said he’ll ask the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Fischer’s opinion, which he said was overly broad.
Stickman said the legal standards Fischer used are meant to immunize the military and its contractors from lawsuits should soldiers be harmed during combat-related duties, when normal levels of civil negligence might be impossible to police, but not from what he called “routine building support services.” Read the remainder of this entry »
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