Our firm is handling a very interesting case arising out of the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan. We represent the widow and mother of a young soldier from Florida who was stationed in Afghanistan and who was killed during a live-fire training exercise in the Afghan mountains. The young soldier was receiving instruction and training on the use of an AT4 anti-tank weapon when it malfunctioned. The AT4 is a shoulder-fired rocket that comes pre-installed in a fiberglass launch tube. Manufactured for the U.S. military in Sweden by Saab Bofors Dynamics, the AT4 launch tube is built to only be used one time and then discarded. In our case the tube exploded upon launch of a rocket during a training exercise and killed our clients’ husband and son.
This case will be particularly complex, not only because of the explosive design of this weapon, but because of the logistics of obtaining evidence and because the manufacturer will surely seek protection from liability under what is referred to as the “government contractors defense.” Manufacturers claiming protection under this defense typically must show that a product was manufactured strictly according to government specifications and that the government was aware of all the potential hazards and failure modes. Mike Andrews, a lawyer in our Personal Injury/Products Liability Section, is the lead lawyer in this case. We will keep you updated as this case progresses through the judicial system.
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