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Cameron Langford – (Courthouse News) – March 1, 2012 – A defense contractor may be liable under Iraqi law for the electrocution death of a National Guardsman, the 5th Circuit ruled.
Sgt. Christopher Everett of the Texas Army National Guard was electrocuted at Camp Taqaddum in Iraq on Sept. 7, 2005, while using a power washer to clean a Humvee.
The Army attributed the 23-year-old’s fatal accident to an improperly grounded wire on the generator that supplied the power washer with electricity. It relayed these conclusions to Everett’s parents, Larraine McGee and Patrick Everett, in December.
Everett’s parents filed suit in Texas state court against contractors Arkel International, KBR Technical Services and Kellogg, Brown & Root Services in August 2008. They claimed to have only learned four months earlier about the alleged involvement of Arkel, a Baton Rouge-based company that maintained the generator at Everett’s base.
By September 2008, the couple filed identical claims in Louisiana state court.
Both cases were removed to federal courts, but the Louisiana case was stayed pending a ruling in the Texas proceedings.
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I have been listening to and reading the news about this hearing. I know the news media can only print so much, but they are leaving out many important details. So I am posting the testimony of each person that testified. I want to make sure you know the truth about what was said before the rumors start. If you have any questions feel free to email me. When and if a final transcript is available, I will post that as well.
All witnesses were asked to be at the Dirksen Senate Office Building at 9am on Friday. When I got there the hearing room was relatively empty and non threatening, similar to an empty court room. At 9am the witnesses were ushered into a conference room and briefed by DPC staff members.
The witnesses for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) Hearing “Contractor Misconduct and the Electrocution Deaths of American Soldiers in Iraq” are: Read the remainder of this entry »
Larraine McGee is a beautiful tall woman with a quiet grace that subtly disguises her immense strength. When I first met her I was impressed with her genuine kindness and appreciation. Her pain barely concealed behind her huge smile.
Larraine was the second witness to testify. Her testimony was articulate, honest and emotional. As she struggled to control the tears she bravely pressed on. As a mother, my heart was breaking for her and my tears were dangerously close to the surface. Larraine’s Testimony is below. Read the remainder of this entry »