2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 29 Jan 2003 19:04:56 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Arkansas: Guard widow's claim
The following was posted by Andy Pearson <apkthv@hotmail.com>


Hello Lenny,

I don't know if you remember, I called you on that story about an
Arkansas National Guard soldier--Michael Gibson--who may have run over a
Chemical Agent Identification Set (CAIS) at annual training in 1998 at
Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas.

The reporter (in the story below) is incorrect in this story in saying
that this was a "poison canister." That has never been confirmed
although, as I told you in November our experts said the his injuries
and death were consistent with exposure to mustard gas and chloropicrin;
both agents used in CAIS. As you might recall, there was never an
autopsy done on 1Sgt. Gibson.

In the words of the attorney for the widow, the Arkansas National Guard
(ARNG) has pulled out all stops to get this thing overruled.

One of the main arguments of the Senator quoted in this article (Dave
Bisbee, a former marine) is of the danger of precedent. He says there
have never been any cases of a soldier winning a claim against the Guard
or any other military department for injury during annual training and
that military personnel give up all rights when they join--whether
they're killed on the battlefield or inhale chemical weapons during
routine training, as this man may have done.

I was wondering if you could post this to your site in the hopes that
anyone out there could either refute the claim and cite examples, or
agree with it. It bears noting that the Guard denied In Line of Duty
benefits to this soldier and his widow and son even though he was on
duty at the time.

Also, if any on your board have heard of any other CAIS exposures, they
can email me at: apkthv@hotmail.com.

As we talked about last year, the DOD confirms there are more than
90-thousand CAIS that are unaccounted for.


Andy Pearson KTHV-TV Little Rock

Widow's Award Struck; To Get Another Look
Wed, Jan 29, 2003

By David Robinson
Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK  A $500,000 award to an Arkansas National Guardsman's widow
will get another hearing by lawmakers who were warned Tuesday that the
award sets a bad precedent.

"If we open the door to the military paying claims for wrongful death or
injury, there's absolutely no end to that," said Sen. David Bisbee,
R-Rogers, co-chairman of the legislative Joint Budget Committee.

At issue, Bisbee and others say, is whether the claim should have ever
been filed before the state Claims Commission and ultimately appealed to
the legislative Claims Review Subcommittee.

It should have been filed before the state Workers' Compensation
Commission, he said.

Bisbee said the jurisdictional issue came up in recent weeks and he
believes the claims subcommittee should give it a thorough hearing.

He said the Arkansas National Guard has never paid such a claim.

Sen. Jerry Bookout, D-Jonesboro, said lawmakers need to be careful on
the issue, especially considering that thousands of Arkansas soldiers
may now be headed to war.


for the entire story, see

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