Ghane v. Mid-South Institute of Self Defense Shooting, Inc.Annotate this Case
Narjess Ghane, the mother of a deceased member of the Navy’s Sea, Air, and Land Force (SEAL) Team Five, brought a wrongful death action against a private military contractor. Along with other members of SEAL Team Five, SO2 Sharpoor Alexander (Alex) Ghane Jr. was engaged in a live-fire, close-quarters combat training exercise at Mid-South Institute of Self Defense when a bullet allegedly penetrated a ballistic wall, striking SO2 Ghane above his protective vest and killing him. Mid-South successfully moved for summary judgment on the ground that Mrs. Ghane’s claim would require the trial court to question military policy and operational decisions, thus raising a nonjusticiable political question. The defendants had previously unsuccessfully moved for summary judgment on the ground that SO2 Ghane had signed a valid waiver of liability. Upon review of the matter, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment pertaining to the political question doctrine, but affirmed the trial court’s previous denial of summary judgment regarding to the liability waiver. The Court determined defendants failed to demonstrate that adjudication of this claim would require reexamination of matters inextricable from military policy and operational decisions.