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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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