Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Independent Medical Examinations under the Defense Base Act

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 13, 2009

There is a provision under the Defense Base Act  for Independent Medical Examinations as well as procedure to be followed.  

907  Medical Services and Supplies  scroll down to  907 e

http://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/dlhwc/lspm/lspm5-400.htm

In the event that medical questions are raised in any case, the Secretary shall have the power to cause the employee to be examined by a physician employed or selected by the Secretary and to obtain from such physician a report containing his estimate of the employee’s physical impairment and such other information as may be appropriate. Any party who is dissatisfied with such report may request a review or reexamination of the employee by one or more different physicians employed or selected by the Secretary. The Secretary shall order such review or reexamination unless he finds that it is clearly unwarranted. Such review or reexamination shall be completed within two weeks from the date ordered unless the Secretary finds that because of extraordinary circumstances a longer period is required. The Secretary shall have the power in his discretion to charge the cost of examination or review under this subsection to the employer, if he is a self-insurer, or to the insurance company which is carrying the risk, in appropriate cases, or to the special fund in section 944 of this title. These  may be ordered by the Administrative Law Judge or the Secretary of the Department of Labor if they determine that one is needed to clarify an injured workers medical status.

When and if this situation arises it the ALJ or DoL (DD District Director) who chooses the doctor for the IME, not the defense lawyer or the insurance company.

When the defense lawyer and the insurance company bully you into seeing a doctor of their choice it is called aDME,  Defense Medical Examination.  

 How many injured war zone contractors were bullied into seeing these insurance companies hired guns?

How many of you lost your case due to testimony by one of them ?

How much money has the taxpayer paid to reimburse these high dollar whores?

Why are the claimants lawyers going along with this?

Most of all, why has the Department of Labor bore witness to this in silence?

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8 Responses to “Independent Medical Examinations under the Defense Base Act”

  1. […] For clarification of when an IME is called for  :  Independent Medical Evaluations under the Defense Base Act […]

  2. daffodils said

    In the Gerald Talbot case, Judge Kennington credited the employer doctor who had never examined the claimant and denied the claim. Seems whatever one does they will find a way to rule against you.
    Excerpts from the decision:

    4 Employer’s counsel requested two weeks before trial for an IME by Dr. Griffith. Claimant refused to participate. (Tr. 103)

    Employer called one live witness, Dr. John Dorland Griffith, psychiatrist.

    Following the hearing the parties were given additional time to conduct appropriate testing. However, the evaluators chosen by Claimant declined to accept the assignment.
    Claimant rejected the evaluators chosen by Employer. The result is that Claimant’s alleged mental condition remains untested and unconfirmed.

  3. I was just reading through the Gerald Talbot case and came across this
    “Dr. Griffith, a board psychiatrist with an extensive record of treatment of patients with
    PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression, (Tr. 90-93)”
    http://www.dol.gov/esa/owcp/dlhwc/lhwca.htm#907

    It seems that I’ve read contradictory statements in other cases regarding the extent of his experience in actually treating PTSD.

    In fact in one of Judge Romero’s cases he’s quoted as saying
    “The diagnoses of PTSD is much in doubt. It’s never been validated scientifically, and there are numerous papers criticizing it. It might just be another Gulf War Sydrome.”

  4. queenbee said

    An IME is consider a DME in most cases, but the Longshore stipulates exactly how these are to be done and by who. I beleive it’s intention was so the selection of doctor by the DOL was so it would be from an unbais party. In many workers comp cases I beleive the insurance can choose a IME/DME, but this isn’t workers comp and the law specificly it out. If you read the DOL policy and proceedures on the Defense Base Act and Longshore Harbors Workmans Comp it should be the exact same if it is spell out different, then we can better understand what might be wrong the DBA for contractors working in War Zones.

  5. Widow in California said

    My husband of 17 years went to work for KBR in Dec. 2004. He worked on various bases in the war zone. The last six months that he was there he changed dramatically. He would call every night and talk to me but during the last six months he was in Iraq he became hostile towards me. He was different than the man that I knew. He was distant, detached from his family. Before he came home in June 2006 I was afraid of him because of his threats. When he arrived one of the first things he asked for was his gun. He would talk in a strained manner like he was ready to explode. I felt this fear that I had never felt before with him. Being with him all these years I always felt protected and safe with him. However the man that came home frightened me. He had dark circles under his eyes and he had lost weight since I had seen him 6 months before. When he held me his whole body shook. I tried to sleep that first night but was afraid to close my eyes. He kept getting up and walking through the house. The next day I packed a few things and left to stay at a friends house. The next 4 days he took his time and dismanteled everything in our home and destroyed the insides and then put it all back together. If anyone was to walk in everything looked normal except the couch cushions were missing. They were outside under our matress where he took all the sheets and blankets and made it up like a bed. Then he doused it with lighter fluid, spread a blue plastic tarp over it and tucked it in neatly. This was 3 feet away from the large propane tank. Then he tried to lure me back to our house one Saturday night. I did not go because something in his voice was like a warning to me to stay away. The very next morning he had a single plane ticket to Puerto Rico. He was there one week and then came back home. He stayed in a local hotel because he couldn’t stay at our home because nothing worked. One week later he shot himself. I did not cause this madness, he came home with it. He was obviously not right even before he left Iraq. One of his co workers told me how lucky I was to be alive. He also told me that he had filed a report on my husband for loosing it mentally. The company chose to promote him and move him to another base. He was not offered any help or evaluated. Now three years later I am still fighting for my widows benefits. The trauma of loosing your spouse to suicide is crippling to ones own psyche. Then to have to fight just to survive seems like a crime in itself. The torment that we have gone through while fighting for the benefits that should be paid to my daughter and myself is almost laughable. It’s like a sick comedy, a twisted, distorted tale of how a big company can treat individuals and get by with it. I have tried to get my husbands medical records from over there and I have been told their are not any. This is a lie. I know for a fact that he was seen on several different occasions. AIG says that with the “proper medical documentation” they have no problem paying claims. How can anyone get that documentation if they won’t give it to you? I wonder who keeps the medical records? SEII, KBR, maybe another sister company in Dubai? Our Government needs to step up and protect us from this company. We are the people that have built this country with our blood sweat and tears. The Government has contracted these companies and they should be policing them to treat the citizens right. Because if they let these companies get by with what they are doing then it will fall on them. If they keeep turning a blind eye, then they should be held accountable. They hired them, isn’t every employer responsible for it’s employee’s actions?
    There isn’t anything that can heal our pain. We can’t bring him back. However there are others out there that can be saved. Don’t let another child hear that Daddy won’t be coming home because he killed himself.

  6. daffodils said

    You and your family were in mortal danger (see stories below), why are those who knowingly placed you in that position not charged with reckless endangerment, and negligent homicide for you husband’s death?
    The prosecutors in this country are AWOL, there are thousands of untreated civilian contractors out there because the labor department is denying and/or delaying half of the PTSD claims, an impossibly low number of 303 at last count. Who wants to go through their degrading, abusive legal process for years only to be accused of “faking/ malingering” in the end? Or have the legacy of their husbands besmirched with outright lies and get the blame?
    What an obsence state of affairs where the government decides that its own people are disposable collateral damage.

    A must read for PTSD sceptics at http://www.truthout.org

    When PTSD Comes Marching Home

    by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Columnist

    and

    Unfit for Combat

    by: Dahr Jamail, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

  7. Widow in California said

    So the military has not been billing the contracted companies that employ civilians on bases in a war zone. Hence there is no paper trail to prove a contractors been seen by a doctor for an injury that occured while “in theatre”. Every medical claim that would be submitted would have to have a name that went with it. AIG smugely stated that they pay claims with the proper medical documentation. No wonder they feel confident with this comment, the documentation is forever lost between here and Iraq. Who is behind this? The Government needs to step up and take control of the medical for the contractors since the people that they have hired are not acting in an ethical way. This is a direct reflection on our Government as turning their head away while a crime is being committed. These companies are a good example of organized crime, with no honor. Everytime I see a young person in uniform my heart swells with pride. They go to war and fight for what they are told is a good cause. They go with blind faith, and hope in their hearts to stop the inhumane treatment of others. Bless them. My husband was in the marines in the late 70’s. When he was on the Falijah base he was so proud of the Marines there and their bravery. I could hear it in his voice during our nightly calls. He was there when Falujah was the main topic in the news. The contractors are the infrastucture of these military bases. They help take care of our soldiers while they are on base by cooking for them doing laundry and keeping them safe from certain infections. My husband was in Vector control to help prevent a disease from being spread by the bite of the sandflies. When a base is under attack it is not only the military that gets targeted. It is everyone that is on that base and they all seek cover. The contractors are right in there with our military, side by side. PTSD not only effects the one individual, it is a domino effect. The families are effected, broken homes because of lack of treatment, children that are effected by the seperation of their mother and father. It destroys many dreams and creates nightmares, living hells. Will it stop there? I don’t think so. A generation will be effected and be left to fix the pain they were left with as children. Has anyone thought that far into our future? Who is going to step up and protect our future generation? Am I thinking too far ahead? I don’t think so. We need to stop the pain that these people are effected with and get them proper treatment now. We must hault the domino effect, stop it in it’s tracks. Starting with, PTSD is not a bad word or anything to be shamed about. It is an illness, and there are treatments that are very effective.

  8. There actually is a provision in the LHWCA that allows for Defense Medical Examinations. But that is exactly what they are,for the Defense, they are not independent.
    You do not have to to travel from Michigan, or North Carolina, or Arkansas, to Houston see Dr Griffith or any of the other hired guns.

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