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North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Blackwater USA Is Dismissed

Posted on Feb 26, 2011
A North Carolina judge has dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit regarding security firm Blackwater USA and the four contractors who died while working for the company in Iraq in 2004. The wrongful death case was dismissed because neither side was paying for the cost of the court-ordered arbitration, though the plaintiffs plan to appeal the court decision and ask for a traditional trial in North Carolina.

The cost of arbitration would be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

During the incident, four men were providing security for a convoy of food catering trucks in downtown Fallujah when they were ambushed by insurgents. The four men, Scott Helvenston, Jerko Zovko, Wesley Batalona and Mike Teague, were killed, burned, dragged through the streets, and then hung from a bridge.

The wrongful death lawsuit states that not enough men were in the convoy, that they were not equipped with proper weapons, armored cars, or even a map of the area, and that Blackwater had begun to cut corners in order to save money.

North Carolina-based Blackwater USA, which has changed its name to Xe Services due to the publicity of the wrongful death lawsuit, has sued the families of the murdered men for filing a lawsuit against them, which explicitly disallowed in the contractors’ contracts.

The families of the men are holding out hope that they will still see their day in court and that Blackwater will finally be held responsible for the deaths of their loved ones.