Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for November, 2011

Robert Charles McCullough, Civilian Contractor DynCorp, dies in Kandahar Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 30, 2011

Will update with details if we can find them

McCullough, Robert Charles, 55, DynCorp International quality-control supervisor, died Saturday in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Services pending. Freeman Harris.

Tulsa KTUL.com  4:30 pm Nov 30, 2011

Robert McCullough, the co-founder of the Tulsa Hope Academy, died Saturday in Afghanistan from a heart attack, officials with the organization say.

McCullough was in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor. A memorial service was held at Kandahar Airbase Wednesday and a dignified transfer will be held at Dover Air Force Base.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Victory Christian Center.

Tulsa Hope Academy was founded in 2005 as the Hope4Kids pilot program to address the escalating dropout rates in the Tulsa community.

TULSA, Oklahoma -NewsOn6.com

A Tulsa man working in Iraq as an Army contractor died Saturday of an apparent heart attack.

Robert McCullough, 54, was working for DynCorp upgrading systems to military vehicles in Iraq. He had just started with the company four months ago.

McCullough had no previous military experience and was not involved in combat operations.

McCullough was the co-founder of Tulsa Hope Academy, a faith based non-profit that helps urban children reach their educational goals.

Robert McCullough leaves behind a wife, children and grandchildren.

Memorial Services were held at Kandahar Airbase in Afghanistan on Wednesday. A memorial service will be held in Tulsa at Victory Christian Center in the Chapel at 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 3rd

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Dyncorp | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Defense Base Act Insurance Companies: Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 29, 2011

Guest Post by Marcie  Hascall Clark November 29, 2011

Under the Defense Base Act the Employer/Carrier are responsible for the Injured Contractors medical to include all necessary prescriptions and supplies required by their Doctors.

Evidently the Department of Labor deems it proper to first abuse the injured and/or their caretaker when it comes to approving and if ever, providing these necessary prescription drugs and other medical items.  Nothing has been done in an entire decade to assure the injured receive necessary medications and medical supplies.

Since our first experience with this in 2003 with CNA, which continues to this day only they don’t even bother approving prescriptions or anything else, not one entity has done as much as acknowledge the dangerous life threatening practice of running the injured in circles trying to get prescriptions filled.

You may receive a prescription card from a Third Party Administrator that you are required to use when trying to fill your prescription.  Only when you arrive at the pharmacy you are told that your prescription is not approved.  You must then contact the TPA, who claims that is not true and that your prescription has been approved.  Back to the pharmacy who apologizes but does not have approval for your prescription.

Back to the TPA who SAYS they must then contact CNA but it seems the claims adjuster has just gone back to hell for a few weeks and no one else can approve your prescription.  In another scenario they give you Debra Donato’s number to call who is filling in for the Claims Adjuster that is back in hell for a month this time.

Debra Donato’s number is a recording asking you to call another number.  The other number asks you to call the number you first called.

When the injured is unable to have the prescription filled using the “required” card,  under the DBA everything must be approved by the insurer, they are left to fend for themselves.  Most injured cannot afford to purchase these expensive drugs on their own and if they pay for them themselves the chances of being reimbursed are slim.  We’ve turned in receipts starting in 2003 and have never been reimbursed.

This abuse is being played out everyday causing overworked, overtired caregivers to have to run laps to pharmacies for no reason other than harassment.  Often the injured cannot be left unattended making a trip to the pharmacy, or anywhere else, an ordeal.

Often the injured goes without the medically necessary medications for months on end causing further physical and psychological damage.

All because of the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies abusive treatment of injured contractors.

An Award by an Administrative Law Judge and the Department of Labor will do nothing to assure that the Insurer provide these with or without the abuse.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Racketeering, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Testing Program Fails Soldiers, Leaving Brain Injuries Undetected

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 28, 2011

A version [1] of this story was co-produced with NPR and aired on All Things Considered [2]. (Check here for local listings [3].)

by T Christian Miller and Joaquin Sapien at ProPublica and Daniel Zwerdling at NPR

About 40 uniformed soldiers take the ANAM test inside this squat rectangular building on the Fort Lewis-McChord military base near Tacoma, Wash., in early September, weeks before they deploy to Afghanistan. (Joaquin Sapien/ProPublica)

In 2007, with roadside bombs exploding across Iraq, Congress moved to improve care for soldiers who had suffered one of the war’s signature wounds, traumatic brain injury

Lawmakers passed a measure requiring the military to test soldiers’ brain function before they deployed and again when they returned. The test was supposed to ensure that soldiers received proper treatment.

Instead, an investigation by ProPublica and NPR has found, the testing program has failed to deliver on its promise, offering soldiers the appearance of help, but not the reality.

Racing to satisfy Congress’ mandate, the military chose a test that wasn’t actually proven to detect TBI: the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metric, or ANAM.

Four years later, more than a million troops have taken the test at a cost of more than $42 million to taxpayers, yet the military still has no reliable way to catch brain injuries. When such injuries are left undetected, it can delay healing and put soldiers at risk for further mental damage.

Based on corporate and government records, confidential documents, scores of interviews and emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, our investigation found:

  • The people who invented ANAM and stood to make money from it were involved in the military’s decision to use it, prompting questions about the impartiality of the selection process. No other tests received serious consideration. A report [4] by the Army’s top neuropsychologist circulated last year to key members of Congress labeled the selection process “nepotistic.”
  • The Pentagon’s civilian leadership has ignored years of warnings, public and private, that there was insufficient scientific evidence the ANAM can screen for or diagnose traumatic brain injury. The military’s highest-ranking medical official said the test was “fraught with problems.” Another high-ranking officer said it could yield misleading results.
  • Compounding flaws in the ANAM’s design, the military has not administered the test as recommended and has rarely used its results. The Army has so little confidence in the test that its top medical officer issued an explicit order [5] that soldiers whose scores indicated cognitive problems should not be sent for further medical evaluation.
  • Top Pentagon officials have misrepresented the cost of the test, indicating that because the Army invented the ANAM, the military could use it for free. In fact, because the military licensed its invention to outside contractors, it has paid millions of dollars to use its own technology.
  • The military has not conducted a long-promised head-to-head study to make sure the ANAM is the best available test, delaying it for years. Instead, a series of committees have given lukewarm approval to continue using the ANAM, largely to avoid losing the data gathered so far.

Several current and former military medical officials criticized the Defense Department’s embrace of a scientifically unproven tool to use on hundreds of thousands of soldiers with TBIs

Please read this article in it’s entirety at ProPublica

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, Iraq, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Defense Base Act Defense Medical Examinations: Rewriting the Report

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 23, 2011

As a Defense Base Act Claimant you are required to submit to an examination by a physician the insurance company chooses for a second opinion.  These examinations are often improperly (fraudulently ?) referred to as Independent Medical Examinations which are something very different under the LHWCA/DBA.

Doctors who will do this work for insurance companies are generally known to write reports favorable to the insurance company.  Otherwise they would not continue to reap the large fees they receive for a single visit and much larger fees for being deposed under oath or testifying live at an ALJ hearing.

On occasion a DME Doc will actually acknowledge the claimants true diagnoses or simply not deny it vehemently enough to suit the insurance company that hired them.  So the insurance company asks them to rewrite the report, sometimes even telling them exactly how they want the report worded.

When the DME Doctor does not comply some insurance companies will go so far as to have another physician who has never even seen the patient, rewrite the report in their favor, and without your permission to use your private medical records.  This may be referred to as a Peer Review.

We know they do, we have some of the emails and the reports.

Add to your DME preparation list a signed HIPAA form directing the DME Doctor to provide your treating physician with any and all medical reports regarding you.  Your treating physician will have these forms and prepare them for you.

You are entitled to any and all reports, lab results, test results, regarding your medical.  You will probably have to have your attorney subpoena these but never ever allow them to not provide them.

Posted in AWOL Medical Records, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Medical Examinations, Department of Labor, Independent Medical Examinations, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Civilian Contractor Sean Ferguson, Triple Canopy, dies in Iraq

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 14, 2011

VISALIA, Calif. (KMPH) - November 14, 2011

A Visalia family is mourning the loss of their son in Iraq.

29-year-old Sean Ferguson received two Purple Hearts while serving our country. He joined the U.S. Army in August 2001 and retired eight years later as a Staff Sergeant after he was hurt in combat.

He returned to Baghdad to work for Triple Canopy, a private contractor that provides security and mission support services to government agencies and other organizations.

In 2005, he got a visit from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a combat surgical hospital in northern Iraq after he was hit by a sniper the day before.

Sean was born in San Diego on July 7, 1982. He was a 2001 graduate of Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia.

The Ferguson family was notified by the U.S. Consul of Sean’s death. According to a statement obtained by KMPH News, Sean died of natural causes.

A memorial service will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel located at the corner of Caldwell Ave. and Chinowth St. in Visalia on Saturday, November 19, at 10 a.m

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Triple Canopy | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Happy Veterans Day

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 11, 2011

To all our Vets here at Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

And a special Thank you to Michael Leon, Gordon Duff, and the entire Veterans Today Network for their support and their efforts everyday to assist Veterans and Contractors alike.

Thank you also to our friends at Veterans for Common Sense for their tireless efforts to support Veterans

Posted in Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Veterans Day 2011 Poster Available

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 7, 2011

Download this poster here

 

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Defense Base Act Average Weekly Wage and Up Pays-Overseas Employee Remuneration

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 6, 2011

Average Weekly Wage determinations are based on the amount you were making at the time you were injured and

INCLUDE UP PAYS

Still the Department of Labor allows the Insurance Company to use this issue to underpay and deny payment of indemnity to injured contractors and death benefits to the family members of those killed.

One Claims Examiner in particular recommends at every informal conference we have been made aware of that the injured contractors AWW does not include up pays.  This allows the insurance company to either cease payments or underpay the injured for the years it often takes to get the claim before an ALJ where this will be remedied.

Often the Injured Contractor has grown so weary of the fight that they accept this lower AWW and consequently lower indemnity payments.  Worse often the Injured Contractors own Attorney recommends to them that they accept this illegal determination.  It will not effect what they get paid.

An injured contractor may be told that this is inconsequential to their claim because their AWW is so much higher than the DBA limits.  Never accept this determination as it will effect your residual wage earning capacity in the event you are able to return to work albeit in a diminished capacity.

This biased practice on behalf of some Department of Labor employees places an increased burden on the DBA Administrative System which is evidently nearly at a standstill, on the injured contractor and their family, and unfairly allows the insurance company to drag out claims unnecessarily for years on end.  More legal fees to be paid by the taxpayer for both sides and it only cost the insurance company .24 percent to withhold these funds.

DBA Insurance Insurance Premiums are paid based on the following:

The rates are per $100 of contractors’ overseas employee remuneration.

“Overseas employee remuneration” means the salary of an employee eligible for DBA coverage earned overseas and includes
Overseas recruitment incentive,
Post differential, and
Danger pay,

But excludes
     Per diem,
     Housing allowance,
     Travel expenses,
     Temporary quarters allowance,
     Education allowance, and
     Any other miscellaneous post allowances

Any changes in the amount of remuneration paid during the term of the policy will result in corresponding changes to the amount of the premium. This is where CNA screwed over USACE by not refunding premiums where required.

The above DBA premium information was taken from the following though it is also stated in the LHWCA

Acquisition Assistance and Policy Directive Defense Base Act Insurance for 2010-2015 USAID

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

David Quinn Scottish Civilian Contractor Killed in Kabul Suicide Bombing

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 1, 2011

The Herald Scotland   November 1, 2011

THE family of a Scots contractor who was among 13 people who died when a suicide bomber rammed a military convoy in Afghanistan said yesterday they were “heartbroken” after his killing.

Father of one David Quinn, of Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, died in the attack on Saturday along with fellow Briton Stephen Brown, 52.

It was reported Mr Quinn was 34, an electrician, and that he and his wife Jane had a daughter, Sophie.

Friends and family who gathered at Mr Quinn’s home yesterday said they were too upset to talk further of the tragedy.

Please read more here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mathew Lemmon Civilian Contractor killed in Kabul Suicide Bombing

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 1, 2011

WREG Memphis October 31, 2011

Memphis — Family members are struggling to accept the news that their loved one died in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan last week.

Matthew Lemmon, a civillian contractor was onboard a NATO armored bus with military personnel and other contractors. Lemmon was working on air conditionning units in Kabul.

Authorities say a bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into the bus.

Sandy Lemmon, says her only comfort is that her son died quickly, and that he’s with God. She wants her grandchildren, and others to know how giving her son was, and how devoted he was to his church.

Lemmon’s body was brought back to the US, funeral arrangements are not yet complete

Please click here to see original and view video

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Flour | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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