New trial ordered for Hawaii Army training death

Staff Sgt. Rodriguez killed in 2006 explosion during live-fire training

Published  10:44 AM HST Apr 23, 2013
HONOLULU -

A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for a lawsuit filed by the family of a Texas soldier killed during a live-fire training exercise in Hawaii.
    
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling overturns a jury verdict that found the manufacturer of mortar cartridges not liable for causing the 2006 explosion that killed Staff Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez.
    
The 27-year-old from Beeville, Texas was hit by shrapnel.
    
His family and injured soldiers sued the manufacturer in 2008, claiming the shell was defective. They appealed the verdict.
    
The appeals court last month ruled the trial court was wrong to allow an Army investigator to give testimony as a lay witness that could only be provided by an expert. He claimed the explosion was probably caused by the soldiers.

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