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3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Reverses Decision in Electrocution Death of SSG Ryan Maseth

Ryan Maseth FHPI just received information this morning the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed Judge Nora Berry Fischer’s decision to dismiss Cheryl Harris’ wrongful death lawsuit against KBR.

Judge Nora Barry Fischer Opinion to Dismiss Harris vs KBR (pdf)

Many of you have been following this case since I started posting about it in 2008. Cheryl’s son, 22 year old SSG Ryan Maseth, was electrocuted and died in a shower in his living quarters on January 2, 2008 in Baghdad, Irag. The electrocution was determined to be caused from a water pump that was improperly installed and not properly grounded by KBR.

KBR has always claimed the Army was responsible and that they (KBR) were protected by the Political Question Doctrine and immune from civil action. Well I guess that may not be the case.

I will update when I get more information! It looks like Cheryl Harris and Ryan Maseth just might get their day in court!!

UPDATED: Other articles are this decision to reverse lower court ruling

Federal lawsuit against contractor is revived in Pa. soldier’s shower electrocution in Iraq

Fed court revives KBR electrocution suit

Suit Over Pa. Soldier’s Death in Iraq Is Revived-AP


Lawyer: Military’s housing choice irrelevant

Brian Bowling – (TribLive News) – May 14, 2013 – A federal jury can determine whether a Defense  contractor is responsible for the electrocution death of a Shaler soldier  without second-guessing the military’s choice of where to house troops in Iraq,  a lawyer for the soldier’s parents argued Tuesday.

The jury doesn’t have to decide whether the Army made  the right choice in housing Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, in a building with a  substandard electrical system to determine whether KBR Inc. of Houston had the  discretion to fix the water pump that electrocuted Maseth while he was taking a  shower, said William Stickman.

If the jury decides the Army tied KBR’s hands, “we  simply lose,” he told a three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of  Appeals, which was hearing oral arguments in the Downtown federal courthouse.

Cheryl Harris of Cranberry and Douglas Maseth of  Allison Park want the appeals court to reinstate their lawsuit against KBR Inc.  for the Jan. 2, 2008, death of their son at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex in  Iraq.

Read the remainder of this entry »

We haven’t forgotten you Ryan!

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)

SSG Ryan Maseth was electrocuted in his shower in Baghdad and died January 2, 2008

Judge Nora Barry Fischer Opinion on Harris vs KBR (pdf)

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 »

No justice in the electrocution death of SSG Ryan Maseth (updated with Opinion)

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 »