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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
Rich Lord – (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) – March 30, 2012 – Staff Sgt. Ryan Douglas Maseth’s death in a shower in Iraq stemmed from U.S. Army decisions that can’t be questioned by courts, lawyers for a top defense contractor argued in court today.
Or maybe they were the result of Mr. Maseth’s own risky decisions, attorneys for Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. told U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer, in oral arguments supporting their motion to dismiss the four-year-old lawsuit pursued by the sergeant’s parents and estate.
The hearing became an hours-long debate that vividly depicted the cold calculus of wartime decision making, showing that Army officials — and maybe KBR — knew troop showers were death traps, but opted for what military planners called “the least-bad option.”
Mr. Maseth, whose parents live in the North Hills, was 24 at the time of his Jan. 2, 2008, electrocution on the U.S. base at Radwaniyah Palace complex in Baghdad. KBR had a contract for maintenance of buildings there.
Mr. Maseth was assigned to a building that initially was not considered fit to house troops, but was later deemed by the Army to be adequate despite an ungrounded electrical system, said attorney Lawrence S. Ebner, representing KBR. The Army knew for four years prior to Mr. Maseth’s death that the building was ungrounded, as were many buildings in Iraq, he said.
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.
Read the remainder of this entry »
The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Kenneth Cochran, of Wilder, died Sunday in Helmand province. He was killed during combat operations along with 22-year-old Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman, of Tulsa, Okla. ~ Idaho Family Mourns Death Of 20-Year-Old Marine
(KARK 4 News) – January 20, 2012 – A Northwest Arkansas family is mourning the loss of a young soldier in Afghanistan.
Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman, 22, of Pahrump, Nevada, served with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment.
He was killed on Sunday, along with another Marine, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province. Citing family members, the Pahrump Valley Times reports that Cpl. Bateman was working alongside a fellow Marine fixing a generator when both were electrocuted. A Department of Defense news release says the incident is under investigation.
On Facebook, Bateman listed his father as Tony Allen, who lives in Huntsville (Madison County).
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!