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Judge throws out lawsuit brought against US in death of Marine recruit from Taylor

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Posted at 4:47 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 17:42:47-05

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought against the United States for the death of a Marine recruit at the Parris Island training center in South Carolina, citing the Feres Doctrine, which bars members of the military from recovering damages from the U.S. for injuries sustained in service. 

The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 13, 2017 by the parents of Pvt. Raheel Siddiqui, 20, who died on April 18, 2016, after falling from a stairwell in his barracks. 

According to the Marine Corps, Siddiqui jumped to his death. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow ruled to throw out the case citing the Feres Doctrine. According to court documents, the widely criticized doctrine is a judicially-engineered exception to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), which is what the lawsuit was brought under. 

Siddiqui, who had been in boot camp for just 11 days before his death, was from Taylor, Michigan.

The lawsuit claimed that Siddiqui was "brutalized by a sadistic drill instructor, who was already under investigation by the Marines for abusing Muslim recruits." 

That drill instructor, Sgt. Joseph Felix, was found guilty of hazing and maltreatment of recruits in November 2017. 

Several Marines have been convicted for their roles in abuse at Parris Island.

Siddiqui's family filed a $100 million lawsuit, saying recruiters never disclosed that instructors had an anti-Muslim bias.

The family received $100,000 from the Marine Corps death benefits program and $400,000 from the Serviceman's Group Life Insurance, according to court documents. 

However, the family says that the lawsuit brought against the U.S. was intended to prove that their son did not commit suicide. It was also used as a means to "persuade the Marine Corps to deter the harassment of Muslim recruits that played a part in their son's death."

Read the complete court documents below: 

Siddiqui Order 11-27-18 (2) by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

The Associated Press contributed to this article.