Archive for the ‘OALJ’ Category
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 2, 2012
How do AIG and CNA get away with telling so many lies and paying for so little ?
They get help from those put in place to “ensure that workers’ compensation benefits are provided promptly and properly”
The Department of Labor’s Jacksonville Florida District Office Director Charles D Lee, formerly of Liberty Mutual, gave his seal of approval to CNA’s lies by refusing to find them in default of an order that he signed himself. It took seven years to get this order.
If Mr. Lee does not remember signing this order over two years ago he should. While he signed the order for medical and indemnity probably without reading it, slapped a form cover letter to it, he did not bother to determine the amount of back indemnity and interest owed which allowed CNA to not pay on time and escape the 20% per day penalty. So few penalties apply and so little enforcement of those that do.
It took many telephone calls and finally assistance from Michael Niss, the Director, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs at the time, to encourage him to do his job. He was not going to do it just because an injured contractor had not received his check and was trying to find out why.
The failure on the District Director’s part to find CNA in 18 a Default occurred despite having in his possession legitimate proof, letters from Doctors stating that they had never been approved and had in fact been denied payment.
Proof of CNA lies to the new Claims Examiner, who comes to us from KBR with a KBR attitude, are ignored by everyone in the DoL from herself, Charles D Lee, Kristina Hall, to Eric Richardson, Miranda Chui, to the DOL IG.
CNA never produced a receipt for paying back years of Medical Care that they were responsible for and refused to provide but Charles D Lee determined that they did so based on their attorney saying that they did.
CNA paid for a small fraction of the past medical care, finally, 16 months after the order was signed. While this is clearly a 16 month default during which time the claimant has this debt hanging over his head despite having an Order in place, CNA is not held responsible. A receipt has never been produced. Charles D Lee takes them at their word while their lies are in his hands.
No dollar value is applied to the damages caused by a refusal to provide medical care for years on end and so there is no penalty or recovery.
We talk with contractors everyday who have orders in place for medical that never receive it.
The lengthy efforts your attorney must go through to try, not necessarily succeed, to secure the medical care is considered to be “Janitorial” work by CNA that they should not have to pay for.
Why not continue with the Deadly Paper Games when it saves you so much money and the very people that are supposed to be looking out for the claimant condone these criminal actions?
No dollar value is applied to the temporary injuries which become permanent at the hands of CNA.
The hands of CNA, their claims examiners, and their attorneys are so gently stroked by the Departments of Labor’s Jacksonville District Office.
The Blood is on all of their hands.
Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Liberty Mutual, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Veterans, War Hazards Act | Tagged: CNA, CNA Insurance Company, CNA lies, DBA Claimants, Deadly Paper Games, Deny Medical Care, Department of Labor, Department of Labor Jacksonville District Office, DoL, KBR, LHWCA, Liberty Mutual, Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act, Medical Care, Request for Default | 2 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 6, 2012
July 7, 2003
Nine years ago you get that phone call you hoped you’d never get
But hey they say, not to worry, the insurance company will take care of everything
Heart is breaking but not to worry
Everything, they say, will be OK
Good thing we’ve been paying for good medical insurance
No way of knowing that the “insurance” was Defense Base Act through CNA, a policy we had never heard of, looked at, or signed for
Or that Administrative Law Judge Paul C Johnson would deem his injuries to be alleged when denying him his rights under the DBA
One day we’ll look back at this and be so grateful for our blessings, for what we’ve overcome………
But one day never comes
What’s that in the way?
CNA with the assistance of the Department of Labor District Office in Jacksonville
From failing to provide a medical evacuation and abandoning him to the military medical system to defaulting on the order to provide his medical care for nearly two years now after denying for six years.
CNA, their Claims Adjusters, their overly zealous legal representation, and the biased Department of Labor District Office have caused much more physical, mental, and financial damage than there ever had to be.
What should have been temporary disabilities have become permanent.
CNA has denied the looking back one day, the moving forward, the healing
If CNA had simply lived up to their responsibilities rather than playing paper games this family would have long moved on
And the US Taxpayers would not be paying ever more to the War Profiteers CNA and their “representation”
Documents showed that CNA reported the highest profits margins, taking in nearly 50 percent more in premiums than it paid out in benefits.
Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, DBA Attorneys Fees, 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, Exclusive Remedy, Hope that I die, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, Iraq, Leishmaniasis, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Veterans | Tagged: ALJ Paul C Johnson, bad faith insurance, Civilian Contractor, Civilian Contractors, CNA, CNA DBA Casualty, CNA Insurance Company, CNA's Claims Adjusters, Contractor Casualty, DBA, DBA Casualty, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys Fees, Defense Base Act Insurance, Delay Deny Hope that I die, Department of Labor, DoL, Injured War Zone Contractor, injured war zone contractors, Medical Evacuation, Overly Zealous Defense, Overly Zealous representation | 1 Comment »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 4, 2012
Administrative Law Judge Richard D. Mills passed away on December 10, 2011 in Diamondhead, Mississippi at the age of 79.
Judge Mills had a long and distinguished career at the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). He served as the District Chief Judge at OALJ’s Metairie, Louisiana district office, and continued work as a highly respected and popular settlement judge and mediator even after ending actively hearing cases before the Department.
Judge Mills was born in St. Louis, Missouri, served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and attended Washington University. He practiced Labor Law in St. Louis until 1983, at which time he became an Administrative Law Judge.
A full obituary and funeral service information is found on the website of the Gulfport Sun-Herald.
Judge Mills set an example for us all to follow, and he will be greatly missed
Taken from the DoL OALJ Website and we concur with the sentiment
Interview with ALJ Mills from 2008
Posted in Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, OALJ | Tagged: Administrative Law Judge Richard D Mills, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, OALJ Richard D Mills | 1 Comment »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on December 22, 2011
As referenced in the previous post Department of Labor District Offices Dead in the Water Scott Bloch filed a request to find CNA in 18(a) Default of an Order on behalf of Merlin Clark on September 16, 2011.
Merlin Clark has been denied medical by CNA since 2005 after being blown up in 2003. An order signed by an ALJ and issued by the Jacksonville District Director in October of 2010 has not been complied with.
After giving CNA nearly a year to comply this request was filed just prior to the one year deadline for doing so. It’s not that they did not have the opportunity for nearly year to comply, if not five prior years to live up to their contractual obligations to the taxpayer.
Yet this 18 (a) Request for a Default has been denied due process. Three additional months of non compliance on top of nearly a year. No attempts by CNA to bs their way out until this issue was posted here on the blog. They know there is no consequence to them when they do not comply with orders.
Instead of issuing a supplemental order and allowing Mr. Clark to exercise his rights outside of this broken Administrative Law System the District Director has taken it upon himself to attempt to mediate this already decided claim yet again.
Where does this Not Very Merry Go Round stop, if ever?
Why does the Department of Labor repeatedly side with the insurance company with no regard to the health and well being of injured war zone contractors and their families?
Who is benefiting from this?
Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: 18(a) default, Civilian Contractor, CNA, Contractor Casualty, DBA, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, District Director, injured contractor, Injured War Zone Contractor | 12 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 23, 2011
U.S. insurer faces criminal probe over Iraqis’ unpaid death benefits
By T Christian Miller at ProPublica May 23, 2011 and The LA Times
An administrative law judge has referred a U.S. insurance company for criminal investigation after the firm failed to pay benefits owed to survivors of Iraqi translators killed while working for the American government.
Under a federally funded program, Chicago-based CNA Financial Corp. provides insurance coverage to contractors killed or injured while working overseas for the United States. The slain translators were helping to train Iraqi police recruits.
Instead of paying out benefits, however, CNA withheld information from the federal government and avoided making payments to nine families who lost relatives in a 2006 attack, according to court files and interviews. One widow lost her home, unable to keep up payments after her son and other translators were ambushed by insurgents in the southern city of Basrah, one of her attorneys said.
In a ruling this week, administrative law Judge Daniel Solomon ordered CNA to begin making payments to the families. In an unusual move highlighting the government’s concern over potential fraud, the judge also told the Labor Department, which oversees the program, to investigate whether the insurance carrier should face criminal charges. A Labor spokesman said the agency would “fully investigate” the allegations to determine whether to ask the Justice Department to prosecute the case.
CNA said it was also looking into the case.
“We are investigating the matter and will take all appropriate actions,” said Katrina Parker, a company spokeswoman.
Attorneys for the families said they believe CNA withheld documents to avoid making payments.
“These were people who helped the U.S. in Iraq,” said Agnieszka Fryszman, an attorney for the families. “Their families were kicked to the curb when they were most in need of help.”
CNA’s failure to pay out benefits underscores the continuing problems with the Defense Base Act, essentially the workers compensation system for overseas federal contractors.
The system was little-used until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent hundreds of thousands of private contractors onto the battlefield. All told, the government has paid out nearly $1.5 billion in premiums since 2001.
Reporting in 2009 by ProPublica, the Los Angeles Times and ABC’s 20/20  revealed deep flaws in the program. Workers fought long battles for medical care, including such things as prosthetic devices and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Foreign workers, including Iraqi and Afghan translators, often did not receive payments or treatment. The Labor Department seldom took action to enforce the law. One official called the system a “fiasco.”
Congress subsequently held hearings  that showed that American insurers were reaping large profits from the program. Documents showed that CNA reported the highest profits margins, taking in nearly 50 percent more in premiums than it paid out in benefits.
The case decided this week began on Oct. 29, 2006, when insurgents boarded a bus and killed 17 Iraqi-born translators working in Basrah for Sallyport Global Services, a logistics and security contractor. The insurgents later scattered their bodies around the city.
Under the law, CNA was responsible for paying death benefits to the translators’ dependents. CNA paid when translators had children and spouses, according to interviews and court records, but not to other survivors. Several translators had no children, but supported parents or other family members.
In such cases, the Labor Department demands proof that survivors relied on contractors’ earnings. CNA hired investigators who interviewed nine families, confirmed their eligibility, and even set up bank accounts. But CNA withheld portions of the investigators’ findings when it submitted the claims to the Labor Department, court records show.
One CNA file shows that the slain translator had supported his mother, a widow, since his father was killed in the Iraq-Iran war. The town council even issued a statement of support, confirming the translator was his mother’s “sole provider.” Another CNA file shows that another translator killed in the ambush was sole support for his family, which “could be described as very poor.”
But those pages were missing from the information CNA submitted to the Labor Department. As a result, Labor officials accepted CNA’s declaration that there were no dependents to pay in any of the nine cases.
The translators’ attorneys at Cohen Milstein, a well-known Washington firm doing pro bono work on the case, estimated that CNA owed a total of about $500,000 to the nine families. Instead, CNA paid about $45,000 into a special federal fund set up to help support the workers compensation system.
The company subsequently recovered some of that money plus additional fees under an obscure law—the War Hazards Compensation Act—that allows insurance carriers to recoup costs for contractors killed in hostile acts, court documents show.
In one case, CNA paid $5,000 into the special fund and $518 to a translator’s family for burial expenses, but was reimbursed $9,289 by the federal government for investigating and handling the claims.
A Sallyport official said the company believed that CNA had made payments to all of the translators’ families except one, which declined to accept money because of security concerns.
In an emailed statement, the company declined further comment due to the litigation. It said it would “continue to monitor the situation and support the families within our remit.”
Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, OALJ, T Christian Miller | Tagged: ALJ Daniel Solomon, CNA, CNA Insurance Company, Criminal Investigation, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, Iraqi Translators, T Christian Miller | 20 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 27, 2011
AWOL DBA Attorneys
This is a complaint we hear everyday from Injured Contractors.
There are different reasons why this may be happening to you but trust that none of them are good.
Do not wait to hear from an ALJ or the DoL that your claim has been lost or severely damaged due to missing a deadline or not having been filed properly.
If your DBA lawyer is not responsive to your questions and not keeping you updated on the status of your claim you need to contact the Department of Labor yourself to check up on the status of your claim.
Always be certain that the DoL has a current, accurate, address for you so that you will receive copies of all actions being taken on your claim by both sides. If you do not understand what the paperwork you receive means you need to find out right away. Often there are 10 day deadlines for responding that must be met.
Always stay on top of your DBA Claim yourself, always.
Posted in Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, OALJ | Tagged: ALJ's, DBA Attorneys, DBA Claims, DBA Lawyers, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor | 10 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 22, 2011
April 23, 2004
We lost Tim Eysslinck to PTSD seven years ago today.
May Ronco and their lies, CNA, Roger Levy, Gary Pitts, Judge Kennington and all who followed
carry the weight of having his family denied DBA benefits to their graves.
These are lives you so callously stomp on, neglect, abuse.
We’ve got your back Tim
Posted in AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Melt Down, Misjudgements, OALJ, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, State Department, Whistleblower | Tagged: CNA, Contractor Casualty, Covington Cabal, Defense Base Act, Judge Kennington, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, ptsd, Roger Levy, Ronco Consulting, Tim Eysselinck | 2 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 4, 2011
Reckless endangerment of lives by CNA and AIG refusing to provide court ordered necessary medical and psychological care.
Contact us if you fall into this category firstname.lastname@example.org for an upcoming news story
Posted in AIG and CNA, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, OALJ, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering | Tagged: ALJ, CNA, Department of Labor, District Directors, Medical | 1 Comment »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 7, 2011
Dill vs. SEII and AIG
The Department of Labor Office of Administrative Judges has issued a 44 page
Decision and Order
declaring that an injured contractor suffered a psychological injury
as a result of his employment and that the injury led to suicide.
Survivor benefits were awarded to Dill’s widow and daughter.
Dill was hired by SEII, a defense contractor insured by AIG,
as a pest control specialist.
His job was to kill insects and trap rodents and certain feral animals.
He took the job to improve the family finances, pay down debt and
provide for his daughter’s education.
Dill was given psychological testing before being assigned to Iraq.
He was declared fit for service.
The ALJ determined that Dill’s work required his long term
physical separation from his family and exposure to a war zone environment,
“replete with both generally stressful conditions and specifically stressful incidents.
In the Judge’s opinion the changes in Dill’s behavior,
circumstances at home and the taking of his own life
were enough to connect his work to his death.
The employer was unable to overcome
the requisite legal burden to defeat the claim.
The Judge also declared that the suicide was the result
of an irresistible impulse that followed
a series of powerful countervailing impulses experienced
over a period of time.
Attorney Bruce Nicholson commented on the decision:
“The decision represents a sound road map for work related contractor suicide claims and is unlikely to be overturned when followed.”
Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Iraq, KBR, OALJ, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: Barbara Dill, DBA, Defense Base Act, PTSD Suicide, Suicide, Wade Dill | 5 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 30, 2011
It is difficult to consider this Justice after what KBR and here,
AIG and their attorneys and the Department of Labor
have put her and her daughter through these many years
Just it is
On January 21st a decision by ALJ Steven B Berlin
Dill vs. KBR SEII and AIG
Defense Base Act Benefits for the PTSD Suicide Death of her husband
upon his return from Iraq more than four years ago.
We have the decision and will update with more details, surely there is more to come
as well as thanks to the many people who helped shed light on the truth, but for now
Barbara and Sara may you rest a bit easier knowing that
a belated Justice has been bestowed upon
yours and your husbands good names
Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Iraq, OALJ, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: AIG, ALJ Steven B Berlin, Barbara Dill, DBA, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, KBR's AWOL Medical Records, Michael Thompson, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, ptsd, PTSD Suicide, PTSD Suicide Awarded, Wade Dill | 6 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 27, 2011
On January 16, 2011, Stephen L. Purcell was appointed Chief Administrative Law Judge.
Judge Purcell served as the Department’s Acting Chief Judge beginning March 4, 2010, and was the Associate Chief Judge for DOL’s Longshore and Traditional programs from 2007 to 2010.
Congratulations ALJ Purcell and Thank you for taking the job on permanently
Posted in Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, OALJ | Tagged: ALJ, ALJ Stephen L Purcell, Chief Administrative Law Judge, Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge, OALJ | Leave a Comment »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 10, 2011
Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, OALJ, Political Watch, War Hazards Act | Tagged: DBA, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, DoL, LHWCA, Longshore Conference, Longshore Conference 2011, Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act | 3 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 27, 2010
“Rather, the administrative law judge was to assess the weight to be accorded to the medical evidence of record, without substituting his judgment for that of the physicians”
Congratulations to Claimants Attorney
Ralph R. Lorberbaum
Zipperer, Lorberbaum & Beauvais
on a job well done.
TW v SEI
BRB Decision 09-0573
The Benefit Review Board has overturned the ALJ’s denial of benefits in a noteworthy decision that mirrored many of the arguments made in an earlier analysis on the DBA X-files. The decision also reflects a deeper understanding of war-related trauma absent in the Board’s earlier decisions. Better late than never, although this is of little consolation to those who had to pave the way.
1. In this regard, it is undisputed that all of the physicians of record diagnosed claimant with some sort of psychological disorder. Specifically, Drs. van Holla, Reppuhn, Oram and Marshall all diagnosed claimant with PTSD. In addition, Drs. Marshall, Oram, and Reppuhn diagnosed claimant with depression. These are clinical, Axis I, disorders that may respond to medication.
Dr. Griffith, employer’s expert, diagnosed claimant with “personality disorder, not otherwise stated,” which is an Axis II disorder, and malingering. Thus, while Dr. Griffith sctated claimant does not have PTSD or depression, his diagnosis of a personality disorder may support a finding that claimant established a harm for purposes of Section 20(a), 33 U.S.C. §920(a). See generally Wheatley v. Adler, 407 F.2d 307, 313 (D.C. Cir. 1968) (en banc) (a harm occurs when “something unexpectedly goes wrong within the human frame”).
[Goes without saying that Dr Griffith also "diagnosed" TW with malingering (Ed)]
2. The Board’s decision in S.K. [Kamal] v. ITT Industries, Inc., 43 BRBS 78 (2009), is instructive in this regard. In Kamal, the employer contended that, as no doctor had diagnosed the claimant with PTSD or other psychological condition in a manner consistent with the criteria set forth in the DSM-IV, the claimant did not suffer a psychological harm sufficient to invoke the Section 20(a) presumption. The Board rejected the employer’s contention, stating first that the Act does not require use of the DSM-IV in assessing whether a claimant has suffered a psychological harm. Id. at 79-80.
Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Medical Examinations, Department of Labor, Misjudgements, OALJ, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering | Tagged: ALJ Paul C Johnson, American Contractors in Iraq, American Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, Benefits Review Board, DBA, DBA X Files, Defense Base Act PTSD, DoL, Dr. John Dorland Griffith, DSM IV, Malingering, OALJ, ptsd | 8 Comments »
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 13, 2010
The Department of Labor OALJ claim look up is a valuable resource for researching Defense Base Act Claims status and outcomes at the ALJ level.
For DBA Claims enter LDA in the drop down under Option 2
Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, OALJ | Tagged: DBA Case Look Up, DBA Claim Look Up, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, OALJ | Leave a Comment »