Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

KBR’s motion denied in electrocution death lawsuit

“From the Court’s view, KBR ‘protests too much,’ ” Judge Fischer wrote
By Rich Lord, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  Saturday, September 24, 2011

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.

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com 412-263-1542

September 24, 2011 - Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, KBR, Legal Jurisdictions, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , ,

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