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Seven U.S. Marines were killed in an explosion during a training exercise. Seven others were hurt.
The explosion happened at the Hawthorne Army Depot in western Nevada, reports Reuters. The cause of the explosion, which occurred about 10 p.m. Monday, remains unclear.
Investigators are still reviewing whether the proper safety protocols were followed. Regardless, the military could potentially be liable for these death and injuries.
The Hawthorne Army Depot is an enormous 147,000-acre site that is primarily used to store and destroy ammunition. As a result, it should be expected that the military follow certain safety protocols and measures to protect personnel involved in training programs on the premises.
In a civilian setting, employers can be held liable for the injuries of their workers. Generally speaking, employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace. And even for inherently dangerous jobs, employers have to take certain steps to mitigate the risk of harm. Failure to take these steps can result in liability.
However, the military is not your normal private employer. Instead, to be able to sue the military (i.e., the federal government), a plaintiff would have to follow federal rules for bringing a claim. The laws that cover these claims can include:
But bringing a claim against a government entity like the military can be complicated, and there are time constraints to consider as well. As a result, you will want to consult an attorney experienced in dealing with this unique area of law.
As for the deadly explosion at the Nevada depot site, investigators are currently notifying victims' relatives before releasing their names to the public, NBC News reports.