KBR sued over soldier's electrocution

March 20, 2008 at 6:55 PM
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PITTSBURGH, March 20 (UPI) -- The parents of a U.S. soldier who was fatally electrocuted in the shower in his Baghdad quarters has sued the contractor KBR Inc.

In court papers filed in Pittsburgh, Cheryl Harris, Sgt. Ryan Maseth's mother, claims KBR knew of problems with the electrical system at the Radwaniyah Palace and failed to repair them. The lawsuit says Maseth received the fatal jolt of electricity because a pump on the roof was not properly grounded.

"Ryan was highly trained," Harris told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "He was a Ranger. He was a Green Beret. He was a weapons master. He was in the military for six years, so I can understand the risks. I can't get my mind around something as senseless as stepping into a shower and being electrocuted."

The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has begun an investigation into the electrocution deaths of 12 soldiers, including Maseth.

Harris, who has two other sons in the Army, including one in Iraq, said she decided to sue after failing to get answers from the military about what caused her son's death.

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