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SSG Ryan Maseth was electrocuted and died in his shower in Baghdad, Iraq on January 2, 2008. R.I.P. Ryan. ~Ms Sparky
Is KBR getting away with murder in the electrocution death of SSG Ryan Maseth (updated with opinion)
Wrongful-death lawsuit in Shaler soldier’s electrocution dismissed
By Adam Brandolph
Published: Monday, July 16, 2012, 10:16 a.m.
The mother of a Shaler soldier electrocuted in Iraq said Monday she was “completely disappointed” and will appeal a federal judge’s decision to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit against the company she claims is responsible.
Cheryl Harris of Cranberry said the case involving her son, Ryan Maseth, didn’t end when U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer on Friday dismissed the lawsuit against KBR Inc., a Houston-based engineering and construction company that contracted to maintain Army barracks in Iraq.
“We won’t quit until there is nothing left to appeal,” Harris said. “I was told that if I wanted justice, it would have to be in a courtroom. We expected that justice would prevail, but (the judge’s dismissal) left me surprised and disappointed.”
KBR spokesman John Elolf did not respond to requests for comment.
Harris and Douglas Maseth of Allison Park claim in the civil lawsuit that KBR’s negligence led to the death of their son, Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, on Jan. 2, 2008, while he was showering at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex, one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces that was serving as a base for U.S. forces in Iraq. Read the remainder of this entry »
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 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 »
The war in Iraq is all but over and our troops have pulled out. It’s been four years today since 24 year old SSG Ryan Maseth was electrocuted and died while showering in his living quarters at Radwaniyah Palace Complex in Baghdad. Ryan’s courageous mother, Cheryl Harris continues to fight, not only for the rights of her son, but for the safety of soldiers everywhere.
Cheryl filed suit against KBR for the death of her son. Although this suit drags on in the US courts at an agonizingly slow pace. KBR has pulled out all the stops in attempts to have this case dismissed in US courts, but much to KBR’s dismay, it hasn’t.
I will write every year I’m able to remind people of Ryan’s death, the product of corporate greed and corruption, and heroes like Cheryl Harris. We need more heroes like Cheryl!
You can read more on Cheryl’s case against KBR at Cheryl Harris vs KBR.
Below are links to past posts I’ve written and published on the anniversary of Ryan’s death.
Cheryl, I pray the next post I publish about Ryan is how you succeeded in holding KBR accountable for his senseless death!
Company’s motion denied in electrocution death lawsuit
Saturday, September 24, 2011
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For the second time, U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer has denied a motion by Houston-based defense contractor Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. to have the civil case stemming from a sergeant’s death decided under Iraqi law.
“From the Court’s view, KBR ‘protests too much,’ ” Judge Fischer wrote in an order denying the firm’s motion for reconsideration of her June order that laws of the U.S. apply in the death of Staff Sgt. Ryan Douglas Maseth, 24. “Iraq’s negligible interests in this case are far outweighed by those of the United States and the controlling law of the United States will be applied.”
Mr. Maseth’s parents, who live in the North Hills, sued KBR over his death by electrocution on Jan. 2, 2008, while showering on the U.S. base at Radwaniyah Palace complex in Baghdad. They blame a short circuit in an electrical water pump, and say KBR was responsible for fixing electrical problems at the complex.
Neither KBR’s attorneys, nor those representing the parents, could be reached for comment. Had KBR prevailed, Judge Fischer would have tried the case locally, but under Iraqi law that does not allow for punitive damages. (click HERE for original article)