Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Congressional Hearings on the Defense Base Act Past and Present

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 15, 2009

In light of the Oversight Committee’s hearing this week on the Defense Base Act insurance companies AIG , CNA, and others failure to provide medical care and disability benefits to Injured War Zone Contractors we thought a review of last years investigation and hearing was in order.

Although injured war zone contractors participated in the investigation last year they were excluded from the hearing.   The hearing itself relied heavily on the very government officials who were supposed to be implementing the Defense Base Act.

Representative Issa tried to talk about how badly the many contractors he had been talking with had been treated but Waxman was in too big of hurry to get out of there to let him talk.    Thank you Mr. Issa for your attempts.

We got a quote out of Waxman “Denials and delays in paying claims are the Rule”  but nothing else.

The insurance companies only grew more ruthless being comfortable with the knowledge that no one was going to interfere.

We’re all looking forward to a more comprehensive evaluation of the problems with implementing the DBA and the behavior of the insurance companies.  The efforts put forth to make this happen are appreciated.

If so many of the injured war zone contractors weren’t  financially broken by AIG, CNA, the lawyers and their claims adjusters,  they would have to be looking them in the eyes on Thursday as they testify.

Don’t think for a minute that we won’t be watching you.

You can view the videos of last years hearings via the links on our left hand column.

Memorandum supplemental information

Trancripts of all testimony

2 Responses to “Congressional Hearings on the Defense Base Act Past and Present”

  1. Steven Humfleet said

    I would like to know how the current fee structure for lawyers representing DBA claimants insures that the DBA claimant is represented to the full capability of their attormey.

    Currently full attorney fees are paid no matter how little the award is. Where is the incentive ???????

  2. Marlo Hone said

    My thoughts are right below this little bit of saying. To those who are from CNA and AIG and the lawyers who love to read what we have to say. Yes I speak from the heart. I speak up for those who won’t. I am not an injured contractor. I have been told to watch my back by others that talk for you. I personaly am not afraid of you. I have nothing left for you to take. I have bills, bill collectors, no home, a car with over 100k miles on it and 3 kids. I am sorry I do have a new pair of shoes if you would like to prey those off my feet. So read this and take it to heart. Maybe think as if it was you and your children that were going threw this and how you would feel. Then go do your job.

    Now here are my thoughts!!!!!

    As the June 18th moves closer I know the stress in all of us is running high. This is the time for everyone to take a deep breath and hold on. We are all hoping that this time is the time that will make a difference in all of our lives. I know I blog all the time I try to give advice and put a lot of my thought down. Sometime my thoughts my sense sometimes I know they don’t but I try.
    This time I thought I would but a little twist to my thoughts. This is blog is going out to the all of those looking for us to say something to help them answer a few questions on what we hope will happen on the 18th. Here are my thoughts. As a wife, a mother of 3 and a former soldier I have seen it all and dealing with the insurance companies and the lawyers this with this matter has to be the worst. These laws were written back in the early 1900’s. These laws need to be overhauled, when they were written they did not have the problems of health insurance and big business as we do now. The adding new things and extra laws or extra thing every year but not taking anything away to make things more complicated is not what these laws were put in place for.
    Keep it simple. If a contractor is hurt while under a contract the bill gets paid. If the company they are working for does not do the legal paperwork they should be fined thousands of dollars. Not only paid to the Department of Labor for their time on the case but to the contractor for the delay of their claim. If the Department of Labor took the time to fine these companies for the injustice they are doing they could pay for their workers.
    The lawyers that the contractors have to hire should not have to jump threw hoops to get paid by the insurance companies. It is in the DBA laws that it is to be paid for the Insurance Company. I feel that the lawyers that the insurance company hires should not be allowed to inflate their cost at the tax payer’s dollar. This should also be in forced by the DOL. The money that the contractors lawyer get is capped so should the insurance companies.
    If the contractor is off work to where the insurance company has to pay him Workmen’s Compensation then 2/3rd his pay should be 2/3rd his pay. When these contractors come home they are losing everything in months because their pay is cut by ¾ of what they were making a month. The only thing the contractor and their family should have to worry about is getting better and healing not how are they going to pay their bills, how are they going to keep their home or how are they going to feed their family.
    This one is very important to me. Since my husband came home my husband, myself or children have not had health our own personal health insurance. They way it works with these insurance companies and the companies they worked for is if they get hurt that is all they insure. So our family is now left making thousands of dollars less a month, an injured family member, an insurance company that will not work with you and your left trying to pick up the pieces for who knows how long.
    I know for us we held on for a year on our own. Many don’t have that. Many families have to use their savings to get their family member back from overseas because they are left in a foreign country hospital. They are told it is up to them to get them back to the United States. These are things that are not shared with everyone. It is not shared that yes they will pay for the first few things when you come home from being injured. Then when they find out you are injured badly that is when the fight start. That is when you start getting those phone calls from the wonderful person we all know who she is. That is when they tell you that the next surgery the doctor says you need they don’t believe you need and they are sending a nurse to sit in on the office visit. They want another option. The best one I think I heard from them is “It won’t get you back to work. So we don’t feel that it is in our best interest to pay for it.” So you watch your husband sit in pain.
    They reject a doctor request that you see a therapist for depression now that you are home not being able to work, provide for your family, hold your daughter, play ball with your sons and hold your wife. They reject the medication claims that keep you from going crazy and yelling and closing off from the rest of your family.
    The worst of all this is this doesn’t even talk about the effects that it takes on the children at home. The wife cleaning up the wounds, helping them get dressed, driving to the doctors, driving to therapy, making sure the meds are taken and watching them as they sleep to make sure they are still breathing. They offer no home health care to us. No help to us.
    These companies have no regards for the damage that they do to anyone. The only concern they have is for the bottom line. My bottom line is for my family. I have no problem telling you what I know, what I have seen and heard. The ruthless and disregard to everyday life they have for people. There is no justice for the families that feel the pain for our spouses. All we can do is put how we feel down on paper. So others know that they are not alone. Like I have told others I am the first that will stand up and tell everyone my thoughts. It is time for someone to make people wake up.
    Plain and simple Department of Labor the DBA Law is a LAW you are the ones who are there to in force the DBA law. So in force those laws. There are fines if those laws are not in forced so be the Sheriff that you should be. Hand over the tickets. Hand out the heavy fines. Give the contractors back their medical insurance they need so that they don’t lose their lives like some have. Give back their paychecks so we don’t lose our homes, cars and sanity.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts

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