Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Dear Rep Kucinich and the Domestic Policy Committee

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 26, 2009

This is a Posting by T Lee Marshall

He’d like you to add your questions to his as comments below

Dear Rep. Dennis Kucinich,

 Has AIG  any credibility left?

Open any newspaper and AIG jumps out at you in big, black letters.   Mention AIG and you get a look of disgust and a full understanding requiring nothing more said.  

Congress convenes a hearing.   Unfortunately, unless the committee has reviewed multiple case files, examined how the insurance company absolved themselves of liability, tracked the effects and examined how the chain of events intertwine and unfold, how can the right questions be asked?  And, if they do, what do they do with the answers? Can they separate the truth from the lies?  Can they ID and challenge bogus, PR, or self-defense testimony?

 

  1. Why does the OALJ overlook criminal violations of the Longshore Act and the United States Code they find in conducting formal hearings? (Iraq and Afghanistan has been sending us back broken bodies for how many years now?) 

 

The insurance company terminates a war-injured’s life (disability compensation and medical treatment) using Federal Forms LS-207 and 208 based on allegations they list in Box 12 of the form. The insurance company’s termination results in medical and financial damage to the injured. They cannot work so they cannot pay their bills. The  family suffers. This suffering is based on allegations the insurance company is not required to substantiate prior to terminating life. The insurance company could charge a quadriplegic with running a marathon on free weekends, terminate his life and not worry about the DOL’s acceptance.

 If the war injured provides the DOL evidence showing the allegations the terminator listed in Box 12 were false, the form is not flagged for further investigation or sent to any other agency or office for action. It is buried in one man’s file amongst thousands of other files. The man-hours required to dig these phony forms out to see if any suspicious pattern emerges would be formidable. DOL’s claim examiners see this every day. Is this not tantamount to stumbling over a rape victim and saying nothing?

 

  1. Suggestion: Randomly select LS-207 & 208 forms from a pile of those used by the insurance companies to terminate their liability to a war-injured. Ask the insurance company representative the Committee has called before them to explain. I would be surprised if the insurance rep was unable to drag up individual cases at will on his laptop. Second, look for patterns and then call the insurance claims adjusters before the Committee for questions.  Use their answers to form additional questions. For instance:

 

  1. Did the termination of this war-injured’s medical treatment for X (months, years), lead to exacerbation of the injury? Did this delay increase the cost charged to the taxpayer?
  2. Let’s examine the billing of Case xx-xxxx. Were the charges in Box 12 proven to be factual, legitimate?  How much money was charged back to the taxpayer for attorney fees and court costs?    How much money did the insurance company profit (or lose) from this case? Compare the cost of the legal action vs. the cost of the medical treatment controverted. Was the insurance company able to charge back more money to the taxpayer by sending the case to legal rather than covering the medical treatment of the injured?    
  3. Let’s examine Case xx-xxxx. Who made the decision and what facts dictated the selected course of action? Was any additional information requested from the injured before the company denied his life?
  4. What was the result of these terminations?  Did the case go all the way to a formal hearing? Was it settled before or after a formal hearing date was scheduled? Has any settlement included a “non-disclosure” stipulation? If yes, why would a case controverting benefits for a war-injured need a non-disclosure clause?

 

  1. Does an increase in cases controverted and turned over to law firms have a corresponding increase in administrative fees billed to and paid by the taxpayer?

 

  1. Examine the cases looking for a pattern of Forced Desperation & Settlement. Were the denied claimant forced into financial desperation by the IC’s termination of benefits? Were the reasons for controversion listed in Box 12 of the LS forms legitimate? Did the claimant agree to the IC’s offered settlement solely out of a driving need to feed his family? Did any representative of the IC, at any time, access the claimant’s credit reports? If yes, work up a timeline.

 

  1. In cases grouped by similarities, were there any common threads? Claim adjuster? Lawyer? Law firm?

 

  1. Case analysis: Are any of the claim’s adjusters assigned and reassigned on cases? (IC: Of course, to redistribute case loads to provide better service to the claimant. Really?) Do these reassignments cause a delay in the resolution of cases; delays in medical treatments or the reinstatement of benefits? Are the claimant’s receiving their benefits when these reassignments take place? Are those benefits controverted? Are the reassignments logistic or strategic?

 

  1. IME analysis: Why send a claimant 102.8 miles from home to attend an Independent Evaluation when 17 qualified doctors are available within 20 miles of the claimant’s home? Why were these particular IMEs selected? Can they be truly considered “Independent” when the sole survival of their practice depends on working for and testifying for insurance company interests? Are these IMEs as up-to-date on procedures and diagnostics as are those 17/20 DOCs who actually cut into the human body?  Why is video-documenting the IME’s evaluation objected to by the IC? Documenting the evaluation would affirm that what the IME finds is what the IME writes in his report.

Want to add your own questions? Use the comment form. Don’t ask me your question(s), aim it for the Committee. I cannot guarantee the Committee will even read them, but I will guarantee they will know they are there. Hint: know the answer before asking the question, if possible.

 

***These pages faxed to Committee and posted here**

 

T. Lee Marshall “Streetgang”

KBR Convoy Bulk Fuel Truck Driver

LSA Anaconda, Balad, Iraq 2004-2005

AIGfelonies@exorealm.org  

13 Responses to “Dear Rep Kucinich and the Domestic Policy Committee”

  1. Barry said

    Hi T,

    Those are great questions !!

    I hope you will read what Federal Court Judges have written about IME’s in the cases I have posted at http://www.judgesquotes.blogspot.com

    Thank you so much for your detail, and thanks to Marcie and everyone else who is working so hard !!

    I think we will continue to have an uphill battle until we get our elected officials to stop favoring insurance companies. It is absurd that the DOL Deputy Secretary said they saw no evidence of intent from the insurance companies.

    My questions for the Committee are :

    (1) How are Injured contractors complaints against insurance companies and employers tracked and documented , and compiled so they can be analyzed as a whole ?

    (2) Why has nothing been done to stop the organized crime that is very evident in the fact that multiple insurance companies are using the exact same and similar dishonest and criminal tactics against injured and dead war zone contractors, and Workers Comp and ERISA disability cases in the U.S.

    (3) Will the DOL or DOJ seek criminal prosecutions for the rampant complex fraud that is occuring ?

    (4) Can the DOL and DOJ explain how their lack of action in the past is not a violation of their own fiduciary duties as government officials.

    (5) Can the DOL and DOJ explain why anyone in their agencies who has done nothing about the criminal destruction of severely injured patienst rights should not be prosecuted for breach of their own fiduciary responsibilities ?

    You have done a lot of work on this T, so I hope you will only present my questions that you think are a good fit with the questions you have already prepared.

    Thanks again to you and Marcie and everyone else who has worked so hard !!!!! God bless you all, and God please be with all the injured war zone contractors and their families !!!!!

  2. Krash said

    Just the humble opinon of an injured contractor: the insurance companies make more money by denying claims and using the taxpayers money for legal services than for paying claims.

  3. daffodils said

    Thanks, T. Lee, for doing such a thorough job on those questions. However, nobody dares to tread where the real problem is: those administrative law judges who denigrated their courtrooms into a lottery and thus perpetuated this suffering of injured people just to sustain their own relevance (at best).
    To add to your questions: Why did the chief judge Vittone assign the majority of PTSD cases to only three Covington (Texas hearings) judges who denied almost all of them? It is unarguable that PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury make up the vast majority of war injuries, yet the DBA X-files uncover how AIG/ CNA and employers literally got away with murder with the full support of these judges.
    Unless the Committee takes a hard look at this, no new law will make any difference because these judges are clearly hellbent on undermining the law in favor of companies.

  4. Widow in California said

    I hope and pray that the “Committee” is really working towards the truth and not a ploy to try and appease us for awhile. These days I am finding it hard to believe in and trust anything anymore. I remember my husband trying to ease my worries about his safety and care. He showed me a plastic card that had a picture of a passenger plane on it and explained that it was an insurance card incase he got injured, they would fly him to the closest American medical facility if his injuries were too great for the base doctors. He also talked about the benefits they would pay incase something did happen to him. He told me that “His Girls” would be taken care of, meaning myself and our daughter. He never had any doubts that what they claimed wasn’t exactly the truth. If he had known of how they actually treated the contractors AND their families, he probably would have had a second thought about even going.
    T, “Streetgang”, Perfectly worded so the point can not be ignored. You are appreciated for all the questions you have set forth.

  5. Barry said

    I would like to ask the Committee if they have considered the extreme stress that is being caused to the injured war zone contractors by the insurance companies blatant violations of law and complete lack of conscience.

    (Since multiple insurance companies are using the same criminal tactics in multiple forms of insurance I would also like them to apply this question to injured workers in the U.S. and disabled employees who have a policy governed by U.S. Title 29 as seen at http://www.judgesquotes.blogspot.com

    I am certain there is a Current Traumatic Stress Syndrome that is caused by the extreme lunacy and greed the insurance companies are practicing as they openly steal benefits from severely injured and sick citizens. The Current Traumatic stress is greatly multiplied by our government leaders grossly slow and inadequate response. Making matters even worse is the extremely close connections our government leaders have with the insurance companies and their lobbysists.

    If a citizen makes multiple requests for years they can only desperately hope to be heard, while the insurance company lobbyists have an open door to the very top officials in the nation.

  6. Thank you T *Streetgang* your words are wonderful and put great. I know how you feel and perfectly about one question the best.
    (Examine the cases looking for a pattern of Forced Desperation & Settlement. Were the denied claimant forced into financial desperation by the IC’s termination of benefits? Were the reasons for controversion listed in Box 12 of the LS forms legitimate? Did the claimant agree to the IC’s offered settlement solely out of a driving need to feed his family? Did any representative of the IC, at any time, access the claimant’s credit reports? If yes, work up a timeline.)
    My husband is a injured contractor and is covered if you can call it that by CNA. He has asked me to keep a low profile. Now if you all know me you know that is not who I am. But all I can say is I know that question all to well.
    He is tired I can not blame him. We are all tired we live in a home that is to small for our family. Our kids have suffered the most. They waited to till they found out I was going to have surgery for A typical lymph nodes in my neck to cut our pay. Yep that is what I said they cut our pay when they found out. We had no writen notice only the check in the mail the day before my surgery.
    The last 4 years of stress on me have been very hard the funny thing is that CNA knows all about it. Because they are so far up our ASS that they seem to know everything. 3 years ago I was in a car accident that was caused by an 18 year old running a stop sign. From that I have a TBI. So I feel for the guys that are denied on here I think that is why I fight so hard for them know. I know the damage it has done to me. And the extra stress CNA has put onto my family has not helped me. It has not helped my family.
    So they have forced my husband into a corner. We fight I think he is giving into them. I think he is selling out. He says he has to just so he can get me in a better home and get me new furniture so my body can heal. Now tell me where that is fair.

    GOD DAMN CNA!!!!! I hope that you all ROT in HELL I hope that you are found guilty of War time profiteering. I hope the Claims Adjuster that has signed the paperwork and has spoken for CNA to all of us is put in JAIL. Where she should be. Oh and she knows who she is we all do. Her name is the only one on every document on all CNA paperwork. You can find it on the internet.

    OPPS I was going to Lay low but again my emotions took over. Guess that is what happens when you have brain damage and an insurance company has messed with your life for 4 years. Offered money that has never showed. Offered false settlements. Then changed numbers.. Then the best of all lowered the settlement and then told us that includes our lower fees. Tell ME MY LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Barry said

    Hello Me Again,

    I let my emotions take over a lot too. I think we all probably do.

    No one should have to go though the living Hell’s being created by multiple insurance companies and employers.

    Yesterday I was very stressed because I have just sent FOIA requests to the Department of Justice and Department of Labor. I believe it is very likely that they are both a huge part of the problem, and it seems like a real nightmare to be challenging such powerfiul agencies during and after I had multiple cancer surgeries.

    I hope you will read Ephesians 6:12, because I think the cosmic forces of evil and powers and principlaities mentioned there are a good description of what we are dealing with here.

    Even if the DOL and DOJ take action now they get no pat on the back because they are way to late !! They should make a public appology and everyone responsible for their lack of enforcement should be fired and be investigated for criminal charges.

  8. Me Again said

    I am afraid that no I have not read Ephesians 6:12. I can tell you that the book that has helped me threw a lot of my trials and emotional breaks is The Shack. It is a great book. You must read it with and open mind. If you have lost your way it is a great book to read. Even if you haven’t lost your way this is a great book to read. If everyone read this book in the world I think that our world would be a much better place.

  9. Barry said

    Hi Me Again,

    I had a friend give me “The Shack” and she also thinks it’s a great book. I haven’t read it yet because my eye cancer causes my eyes to get stressed easy and hurt if I read too much, and I already work to the point of pain and increased visual problems as we continue the desperate fighting of multiple insurance companies destruction of so many lives.

    I pray a lot, because what these multiple insurance companies are doing is very evil, and our governments lack of action (or very slow action) and their lack of seeking justice is so very overwhelming.

    I’m just an average guy, and I would just stay in bed every day but with prayer and hope that God will provide justice in the end I can get up and go through the day knowing that the great evils we are experiencing now will not control us through eternity.

    Thank you again for your suggestion of the book “The Shack”

  10. T. Lee Marshall said

    AIG CEO testified before the Committee the number of claim adjusters has increased from 6 to 70 since the wars began.

    Seven years, and less, is too little time to develop a self-sacrificing loyalty to such a corporation. Actually, how pleasant can the workplace be when they inflict more pain on the already suffering for a paycheck? They are people too; people with family, friends and neighbors. Is “what do they really think of me,” more than a fleeting thought when they meet?

    Add with this stigma— AIG’s instability, Congressional and press scrutiny, plus the recent rumblings of criminal charges and civil lawsuits against employees and the environment ripens for Whistleblowers.

    The best response the insurance Brass can offer is to assure their employees they are safe and the Corporation will take care of them. The employee’s past experience will play against those assurances. How their company took care of the war-injured will leave more than haunting doubt in their minds. “Will the company do me the same way I did them,” will be more than just sleepy pillow talk. Criminal convictions are not taxpayer reimbursed. How much of a lawsuit, or a threat of one, would it take before the employee becomes a liability and she is thrown to the curb? “We swear on a stack of corporate by-laws we did not know what she was doing!” would be a good defense for them.

    Criminal charges leveled against one single claim adjuster, one single supervisor and the air hangs heavy with fear around the water cooler—am I next? This is a gold mine for the Congressional and civilian investigator.

    The insurance companies cannot restrict employee access to select websites as can KBR in a war zone. It takes only one hit, one employee talking, and it begins. Fred tells Ethyl. Ethyl tells Lucy. By the time it runs full circle, the story is they are all being tried in the parking lot, Friday after next.

    Posts here; letters and emails sent to your state politicians fuels the fire. Without public pressure, the story gets pushed back to the Obits and the Washington Lobbyists win. There is no one forced to answer “Why,” and the politicians sign in new laws giving the insurance company more power.

  11. Barry said

    T, in your last sentence you wrote “There is no one forced to answer “Why,” and the politicians sign in new laws giving the insurance company more power”

    You and many others have probably experienced the same government indifference (and protection of insurance company crimes) that I have experienced during the last 6 years. I think we will have to get many citizens involved to force action, because our governments unbelievable inaction and what appears to be a lack of conscience (just like the insurance companies) makes me think they will have to be forced to take action.

    I called the Domestic Issues Subcommittee last Friday and tried to get a direct number so I could have multiple people call, and they would not give me a direct line.

    I was told that having multiple people call would not help the cause and they refused to give it to me. so now the only way I can have people call is to give them Congressman Kucinich’s phone number and then they have to ask to be put through to the Subcommittee.

    I told the person that I talked to that they had failed to take action for so long I wanted to have many more people call and insist that they take action.

    She still would not give me the number, she was not pleasant, and I could not help but become upset because of the lack of access to a government agency and I told her how bad that sucked, and sucked was the only word that I used to express my great disappointment. She hung up and when I called back she immediately hung up again.

    I will be very surprised if anything close to enough action will occur unless large numbers of citizens demand it.

  12. defensebaseactcomp said

    It’s true that the Department of Labor has refused to acknowledge the injured contractors either as a group or personally.
    But Representative Dennis Kucinich, Senator Bernie Sanders, Representaive Elijah Cummings, and the Domestic Policy sub committee have acknowledged our problems and have been working hard at exposing how this has been allowed to happen.
    They are the good guys.
    If you want to barrage anyone with phone calls it is the Department of Labor who could use the input.
    It looks like they may be making some moves in the right direction but they have been at the core of the injured war zones workers problems.
    The people who allowed this to happen on their watch still have their jobs and still make up DBA policy as they go.
    There is a tab at the top of this page with DoL contacts. We will add the rest .
    Call them with informed requests to make needed changes.
    Not this week though, DC is on vacation.

  13. Barry said

    It was my understanding that the Government Oversite Committee had this evidence last year and nothing significant happened. That was my reason for asking people to call the SubCommittee now.

    Before I learned about DBA I had numerous people call the Oversite Committee regarding overwhelming evidence that the same types of crimes (that are happening in DBA) are occuring in Workers Comp in the U.S. and U.S. Title 29 employee disability cases. The Oversite Committee did nothing.

    Because of the great respect I have for you I will do as you have requested and will not have people call the Subcommittee. Instead I will ask people to call their own representatives and the DOL contacts and request or demand action.

    I pray the Subcommittee will resolve the DBA problems. If they still do nothing about the exact same insurance company crimes that are destroying the lives of so many citizens working in the U.S., then justice is not close to being fully served.

    I have enough case examples to fill a very large book. Here’s one :

    Nashville’s WSMV wrote a story about an injured worker named Dean Weidener who had to be fed through a tube and was paralyzed in Vanderbilt hospital because he was denied the medical treatment that his doctor ordered when he fell through the floor of his employers loading dock.

    In addition to the report from WSMV, WTVF NewsChannel 5 also did a report on Mr. Weidner and here is an exact quote from this report :

    “Dean Weidener suffered a stroke a month ago. His wife Theresa said she believes an accident he had on the job two years ago was really to blame for his paralysis.

    “The doctors have pretty much said it’s related to workman’s comp,” she said.

    Weidener worked for a trucking company when he fell through a loading dock. Theresa said the company denied a doctor’s request to check for herniated discs.

    Dean, frozen by back pain and immobile for months, suffered a clot, which is why he’s now in a Vanderbilt hospital bed.

    “Mainly because of sedentary lifestyle he’s had to take on,” Theresa said.

    Theresa said the test would have cost the company $4,500. Now Dean’s family faces millions of dollars in medical bills.”

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