Death of Sgt. Maseth in KBR Shower Incident Re-Classified From “Accidental” to “Negligent Homicide”

maseth_ryan_d_lgThe U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division (CID) has finally changed the status of the investigation of Sgt. Ryan Maseth, a highly decorated, 24-year-old Green Beret, from “accidental” to “negligent homicide.” Maseth was killed in an act of unbelievable negligence and carelessness by KBR in a shower where he was electrocuted. After months of controversy and criticism, the Army finally acknowledges that the company “failed to ensure that work was being done by qualified electricians and plumbers, and to inspect the work that was being conducted.”

KBR spokeswoman Heather Browne is astonished by the allegations since, after all, KBR investigated itself and “KBR’s investigation has produced no evidence that KBR was responsible for Sgt. Maseth’s death.” It appears that Army investigators were able to find a bit more evidence than KBR.

For the full story, click here and here.

26 thoughts on “Death of Sgt. Maseth in KBR Shower Incident Re-Classified From “Accidental” to “Negligent Homicide””

  1. Vice president cheney gave k b r permission to murder our soldiers so I can understand them being incredulous of having to answer for the murder of u s soldiers. Not to worry though, the law firm of Roberts Alito Thomas Kennedy and Scalia will defend and protect them.

  2. This is one lawsuit I am for. Of course, we taxpayers will pay the price on top on the multi-millions already squandered by KBR.

    Thanks for the update Jill.

  3. An Update via jeremy scahill:

    No criminal charges in electrocution death

    By KIMBERLY HEFLING (AP) – 3 days ago

    WASHINGTON — No criminal charges will be filed against military contractor KBR Inc. in connection with the electrocution of a Green Beret soldier who died while showering in his barracks in Iraq, the Defense Department said Friday.

    Investigators said there was “insufficient evidence to prove or disprove” that anyone was criminally culpable in the January 2008 death of 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth of Pittsburgh. The uproar over his death triggered a review of 17 other electrocution deaths in Iraq and widespread inspections.

    Maseth’s death at first was ruled an accident. But later, an Army investigator called Maseth’s death a “negligent homicide,” caused by Houston-based KBR and two of its supervisors, and said it had failed to ensure that “qualified electricians and plumbers” worked on the building where Maseth died, according to an internal document obtained by The Association Press.

    On Friday, the Defense Department said that while both contractors and government employees “breached their respective duties of care” the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command determined that none of the breaches alone were “the proximate cause of his death.” Army criminal investigators also concurred that the manner of death was accidental.

    Maseth’s mother, Cheryl Harris, said the findings were heartbreaking and disappointing.

    “According to the CID there were so many failures on KBR’s part that they couldn’t assign all of the blame to any one person and therefore told us they were not going to file charges, which tells me that the CID doesn’t know or is ignorant to the evidence I do know exists,” said Harris, who met with Army criminal investigators on Friday afternoon.

    Last week, the Defense Department’s inspector general said that Maseth died when he came in contact with an energized metal shower and hose caused by the failure of an ungrounded water pump located on the roof of the building installed by KBR. The IG said KBR did not ground equipment during installation or report improperly grounded equipment during routine maintenance, nor did it have standard operating procedures for inspections.

    But the inspector general also said that military commanders and key decision makers failed to ensure that renovations and maintenance were properly performed.

    KBR, based in Houston, has said it informed the military of the absence of grounding and bonding in the structure where Maseth died nine months before his death.

    Heather Browne, a KBR spokeswoman, said Friday in an e-mail that the company was pleased with the findings.

    “While Staff Sergeant Maseth’s death was tragic, KBR maintains that it was not responsible for his death,” Browne said.

    Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said he doesn’t accept the conclusion that insufficient evidence exists.

    “No person, let alone an American serving his country, should step into a shower and die as a consequence,” Casey said.

    Maseth’s family has an ongoing lawsuit against KBR.

    Last fall, Gen. David Petraeus, then the commander in Iraq, ordered an inspection of about 90,000 U.S.-maintained facilities in Iraq by a task force called Task Force SAFE. Of the 67,000 inspected so far, about 18,000 have been found to have major deficiencies. About 11,000 of the major deficiencies have been repaired, according to the task force.

    Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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  4. This speaks for itself.

    “BREAKING: KBR Was Paid $83 Million in Bonuses for Work That Electrocuted US Soldiers

    By Jeremy Scahill

    The Department of Defense paid former Halliburton subsidiary KBR more than $80 million in bonuses for contracts to install electrical wiring in Iraq in 2007-2008. The award payment was for the very work that resulted in the electrocution deaths of US soldiers, according to Department of Defense documents revealed today in a Senate hearing. More than $30 million in bonuses were paid months after the death of Sgt. Ryan Maseth, a highly decorated, 24-year-old Green Beret, whose January 2008 electrocution death has been classified by DoD investigators as a “negligent homicide.” Maseth’s death had originally been labeled an “accident.” All of the bonuses were paid to KBR after DoD investigators had officially expressed concerns about the quality of KBR’s electrical work.”

  5. Halliburton moved it’s H.Q. to Saudi Arabia. Do you think there will ever be an accounting?

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