Family wins death award from Kuwait firm

Nov. 27, 2007 at 3:45 PM
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ATLANTA, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Atlanta said a Kuwait-based contractor must pay nearly $5 million to the family of a U.S. military officer accidentally killed in Iraq.

U.S. District Judge William Duffey also ruled that his court had jurisdiction in a wrongful death suit filed against a foreign company but CNN said it is difficult to collect money from a company based overseas.

At the time of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dominic "Rocky" Baragona's death in May 2003, he was the highest-ranking U.S. soldier killed in Iraq.

Baragona, 43, was in Iraq just an hour away from a U.S. base in Kuwait, a way station on his way home to the United States, when a tractor-trailer truck operated by Kuwait and Gulf Link Transport hit his Humvee, CNN said.

His family filed a wrongful death suit and earlier this month the U.S. District Court sided with the family.

The federal ruling comes at a time when Congress has been looking for ways to hold contractors accountable for their actions in war zones, CNN said.

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