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A $6.5 Million wrongful death verdict was upheld by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the death of a soldier. The man died during basic training at Fort Benning by accidental electrocution. The lawsuit was filed against a contractor who was responsible for maintence at the base. He died after leaning against a metal latrine.

An investigation later found the latrine, which was insufficiently grounded, had a faulty circuit breaker and a short in the wiring to a fan. When Marcum “sat down and leaned against the building, he completed the circuit and became the ground,” the 11-page U.S. appeals court ruling said.

Marcum’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against The Shaw Group, a private contractor in charge of maintenance and repairs at Fort Benning.

The company appealed the decision and the case was heard by the Circuit Court. The Judges assigned to the case felt the evidence supported the earlier decision and that the jury was properly instructed in the case.

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