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Archive for October, 2009

Is this any way to treat our heroes

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 31, 2009

The following post by Joan E Dowlin at Huffington Post does not mention that this hero should be receiving treatment for his PTSD under the Defense Base Act.

A close family friend’s son recently returned from Afghanistan where he had been working as a government contractor for the US war there. He is a Veteran Marine who joined in 2002 right after terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11/01. He unselfishly wanted to serve his country and defend us from these attacks.

He was readily accepted by the United States Marine Corp. and his fellow soldiers, having been voted #1 Honor Man of his boot camp even though he was at least 10 years older than most of his peers. He worked his way up to Staff Sergeant and was so well liked by his battalion that they resisted sending him out to the battlefield. They didn’t want to lose him.

But go to war he did with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He served proudly with many honors and awards until 2006 when he started contract work in Afghanistan.

He has a wife and young son, two parents and a sister who love him dearly. You can imagine his family’s sense of relief every time he returned home safely and in one piece after each tour of duty. His last trip home in September of this year seemed as any other, but then something very strange and frightening happened. He tried to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. Luckily, he was a bad shot and survived, ending up needing surgery to repair his eye socket, but the emotional damage is the harder part to heal. We are told he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which afflicts many soldiers and anyone who has been in life threatening situations. We can only imagine what horrors he has endured being in a war zone off and on for over six years.

This is where we are failing our heroes and veterans. How can Congress pass a $680 billion defense authorization bill on October 22, 2009 to keep spending money and sending soldiers to die or be maimed overseas and not allocate enough for their recovery when they return?

The mother of this heroic Marine informed me that they wanted to get their son transferred to a VA hospital near them so they could visit and support him. Initially, the local VA hospital said no because they didn’t want to take responsibility for this ex-soldier being a danger to himself and others. Then they changed their mind and agreed to admit him, only to days later refuse to take him once again. Finally, they admitted him as a patient the following week. The family has been “tearing their hair out” over the bureaucratic red tape and hoops they have had to go through just to get their son treatment. Hasn’t this family suffered enough from this tragic event? Why has our country’s military hospital system failed them in their greatest hour of need?

So now that he is in the hospital, all is well, right? Well, not exactly. I am told he is currently in a four week Substance Abuse program, although he maintains he does not have an alcohol or drug problem. He agreed to go on the program because the waiting list is far shorter than the PTSD list. Once he began the treatment classes he realized he didn’t relate to the others because it was for “the worst of the worst — guys who have sold their children for alcohol or have drunk rubbing alcohol,” his mother has told me. “But he is choosing to stay because it is important to his future to be able to say he completed the program, however inadequate it is.”

The PTSD program is six weeks long and even though our favorite son is rated at the 90% level on the VA scale of PTSD, he doesn’t qualify because again it is for the worst of the worst and has a very long waiting list. I am told by his parents that thinking six weeks will cure PTSD is like “putting a band-aid on cancer.” The only other approach these government-run hospitals have is to give the patients an RX for anti-depressants and a monthly check from Uncle Sam. To quote our courageous soldier’s mom: “Doesn’t cure a thing.”

She says and I wholeheartedly agree: “It is quite criminal how we’re treating the vets from yet again, another war.” These brave souls have risked lives, limbs, and psyches to keep us safe. They are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and aunts and uncles. They are true American heroes.

I recently saw an alarming statistic that said that 43% of homeless males over 25 are veterans. What kind of a country are we when the men and women who fight for us overseas return to a system that neglects and discards them at home? Where is the moral outrage?

If you feel as I do, then join me and other friends and family members of these selfless veterans and write to your Representatives, Senators and the President and demand that more be done to care for our returning war heroes.

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Labor Dept., Congress Plan Improvements to System to Care for Injured War Contractors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 14, 2009

contractor-truck-dept-labor-275by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica – October 13, 2009 10:15 am EDT

The Labor Department has launched a series of changes to improve the controversial federal system designed to provide medical care and disability benefits to civilian contractors injured in war zones, department officials say.

The agency has stepped up enforcement, set new goals to speed delivery of benefits and begun tracking the performance of the insurance carriers that sell the highly lucrative policies for war zone workers, a senior official said.

The department is “reaching out to the carriers who are on the front lines to get them to perform at a higher level,” said the official, who declined to be named because he was discussing internal issues. The department will “start collecting data so we can show who’s doing well and who’s doing not so well.”

A joint investigation [1] we did with ABC News and the Los Angeles Times showed that civilian contractors’ claims for medical care and disability payments were routinely denied by insurers. Another investigation [2] by us showed that foreign workers often received no payments at all, though taxpayers had paid premiums to cover their injuries.

The Labor Department oversees the system, which requires defense contractors to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for employees in war zones. The insurance giant AIG dominates the market for such policies, which earn as much as 40 percent profit in some cases. Taxpayers have paid more than $1.6 billion for the policies, which are required by a law known as the Defense Base Act.

Labor officials plan to hold informal meetings to settle disputes between insurers and injured contractors  within 14 days of a request; it takes about 45 days now.  But it remains unclear whether speeding the process will quickly resolve disputes. The meetings hold no legal weight, and the insurers and the contractors  are free to ignore recommendations made by Labor Department examiners.

The department will also begin collecting data on how quickly insurers pay out claims. Without that information, the department has been unable to measure their  performance.

Labor and Defense Department officials also met late last month to discuss broader reforms to the system, the Labor official said. The discussions follow a Pentagon report [3] in September that suggested [4] the government provide its own insurance to cover contractors, at a potential annual savings of $250 million. The system has ballooned in size and cost as civilian contractors have flooded into Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We believe there’s a need for reform,” the official said. “DOD has indicated they believe so as well. Now it’s a matter of getting together and figuring out how to build something.”

The Labor Department’s efforts come as legislators consider new legislation to address flaws in the system.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., held a hearing on the system this summer and had planned to introduce fixes in a bill this year. But he now plans a larger effort to include the Defense Department suggestions, a major legislative undertaking that will probably not take place until next year, according to a Hill staffer.

“I read the report from the Department of Defense with great interest, and I have directed my staff to alter the bill, taking into account this new information.” Cummings said. “The opportunity to keep our civilian contractors protected, while saving the government hundreds of millions of dollars, is one we cannot ignore.”

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Partner of Scot killed in Iraq gives birth on day tragic fiance was due to return home

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 14, 2009

Oct 14 2009 Cordelia O’Neill

THE fiancee of a Scots security guard shot dead in Baghdad gave birth to their first child on the day he was due home.

Nicci Prestage told yesterday of her joy and sadness after having their baby girl four weeks early.

The youngster’s dad Paul McGuigan, 37, was a former Royal Marine working as a contractor in the Iraqi capital.

Nicci said the baby, who weighed 5lb, was “the image of her father”, originally from Peebles in the Borders.

Nicci, 36, of Tameside, Manchester, added: “She is gorgeous. I still can’t believe that Paul is never going to see her. He would have been such a proud dad, I can picture him grinning like a Cheshire cat showing off his ‘little princess’.

Paul was killed in August with Australian Darren Hoare.

A British national, Danny Fitzsimmons, has been charged with the murder of both men and is being held in custody in Baghdad.

Nicci said: “The last few months have been an emotional roller coaster “I know I have to face up to life without him but it is so very hard to. We were looking forward to being together as a family and bringing up our baby.”

Paul left Peebles in 1990 when he joined the Marines. He started work for security company ArmorGroup Iraq in 2003.

His dad is now in Ireland and mum Corrine has also left their home town.

A spokesman said: “Paul’s family have met their granddaughter – a very moving experience, especially as baby looks so like their son.”

Original Story here

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Civilian Contractors Toll in Iraq and Afghanistan Ignored by Defense Department

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 9, 2009

Civilian Contractor Toll in Iraq and Afghanistan Ignored by Defense Dept.

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica – October 9, 2009afghanistan-2007-contractorbombed_gt20091009

An Afghan policeman walks past a vehicle that had carried U.S. civilian contractors, after it was targeted by a suicide bomber in the Logar province. (Farzana Wahidy/AFP/Getty Images/January 2007 file photo)

As the war in Afghanistan entered its ninth year, the Labor Department recently released new figures [1] for the number of civilian contract workers who have died in war zones since 9/11. Although acknowledged as incomplete, the figures show that at least 1,688 civilians have died and more than 37,000 have reported injuries while working for U.S. contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More than 5,200 soldiers have died in the two war zones, meaning that one civilian contractor has died for every three soldiers — a ratio that reflects the unprecedented degree to which the Pentagon has outsourced the work of war. Civilian contractors make up [2] about half the total U.S. forces in the war zones and they have been deployed on the front lines far more than any previous U.S. conflict [3]. Iraq and Afghanistan are the most outsourced wars in U.S. history.

Despite the importance of civilian contractors to its mission, the Defense Department hasn’t been measuring their sacrifice. A little-noticed report [4] from the Government Accountability Office last week noted that the Pentagon has yet to implement a Congressional requirement to track contractor fatalities.

Military officials brushed off inquiries from the GAO, telling the agency that they “continue to lack a system to reliably track killed or wounded contractor personnel.” To get a handle on the issue, the GAO examined a sample of files from the Labor Department, which oversees a workers compensation program required by a federal law known as the Defense Base Act. The act requires contract firms to purchase insurance to cover civilians injured or killed while working abroad on federal contracts.

While the system is not designed to track war injuries, investigators determined that about 11 percent of reported contractor casualties stem from combat — about the same percentage of soldier casualties attributed to hostile action, according to an April 2007 report [5] by the Veterans Affairs Department. For both groups, most injuries are due to vehicle collisions, muscle or back strains or common, everyday accidents.

The Department of Defense is not alone in ignoring its hired help. Neither the State Department nor USAID could tell with certainty how many contractors they employed, the GAO found. USAID, for instance, failed to report how many civilians it had put to work under a $91 million contract to develop hydroelectric plants and small and medium businesses in Afghanistan. A State Department contracting officer insisted that there was no need to track local Iraqi hires, despite specific statutory language to the contrary, the report found. “Officials acknowledged that they are likely undercounting the actual number of contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the GAO concluded. State, USAID and DOD officials all told the GAO that they were working to fix the problem.

What it all means is that nine years after the launch of the most contractor-intensive war in U.S. history, nobody is sure how many contractors there are, what they are doing, or how many have been killed or wounded.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

US Senator Byron Dorgan Receives Response from DoD IG

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 8, 2009

Thank you Senator Dorgan for your efforts to expose these issues.
Many Civilian Contractors working in the war zones are suffering from the same toxic exposures as the soldiers.

INSPECTOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE ARMY’S RESPONSE TO EXPOSURE

OF U.S. TROOPS TO DEADLY CHEMICAL IN IRAQ

By

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan

Chairman, Senate Democratic Policy Committee

There’s an important development regarding the exposure of hundreds of U.S. troops to the deadly chemical compound sodium dichromate in Iraq . The Department of Defense’s Inspector General, has agreed to investigate the Army’s response to that exposure.. I requested such an investigation, in a letter in August, along with six other Senators.

The reply we have now received is heartening. What happened to U.S. troops – mostly National Guard men and women from Indiana , Oregon and West Virginia – should never have happened and must not be allowed to happen again. They were exposed because of shoddy work by one of the largest military contractors, KBR, but the Army’s deeply flawed response is just as troubling.

The exposure of troops to this deadly chemical compound was first revealed at a June 20, 2008, hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC), which I chair. We found ample evidence that KBR dropped the ball multiple times with regard to the contract it held for assessing the site, cleaning it up, and getting it running again. It failed to inform the Army of the contamination until months after it knew there was a problem and after hundreds of U.S. soldiers had been exposed. It failed to clean up the site properly. KBR failed to warn even its own workers of the danger.

But the evidence suggests the Army’s response was also highly inadequate and compounded the problem.

We found that when the Army finally got around to informing the soldiers, they consistently down played the seriousness of the exposure. When it finally got around to testing soldiers to determine the amount of exposure they had experienced, too much time had passed. The test results were useless.

We found troops back home in the U.S. coping with illnesses consistent with exposure to sodium dichromate with no idea why they were sick. They did not know they had been exposed to sodium dichromate or that that exposure was life-threatening.

When I called the head of the Indiana National Guard after our 2008 hearing to tell him what we’d learned heard about the exposure of his troops in Iraq to the deadly chemical, he said it was the first he’d heard of it. No one at the Army thought to tell the Commander of the Indiana National Guard that his troops, while serving our country in Iraq , had been exposed to one of the most potent carcinogens in the world.

I asked the Army to review its response to the exposure.

The Army appointed a task force, which reported back, months later, that the Army had not only acted appropriately, but that its response had been exemplary!

Hardly.

We scheduled a second hearing to examine the Army’s response ourselves. That hearing was held on August 3, 2009. We heard very little that was reassuring.

Following the hearing, Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Robert Byrd (D-WVA), John Rockefeller (D-WVA), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) joined me in formally requesting an investigation by the Defense Department’s Inspector General into the Army’s handling of all this.

We now have a written response from the Inspector General’s Office, agreeing to conduct an investigation and making clear it will get underway immediately.

Someone recently asked me what I hope will come out the investigation. The answer is simple – in a word, accountability. I want to know how all this happened, why it happened, and whose being held accountable for it. I want to know what is being done to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.

I also want every soldier exposed at Qarmat Ali to be accurately informed, first, that he or she was exposed, and second, that the exposure presents serious health risks. I want every exposed soldier to have access to on-going health monitoring and, if they should get sick, treatment, through the Veterans Affairs network of hospitals. I want this exposure made part of the service file of every soldier who was at Qarmat Ali during this time, so doctors can proactively look for sodium dichromate exposure related symptoms. Time is of the essence in treating illnesses that result from sodium dichromate exposure. Doctors need to know immediately, and up front, that the soldier was exposed.

I also want there to be no question about whether illnesses that result from this exposure are service connected. They can take years, even decades, to show up. If every exposed soldier’s service record includes information about what happened at Qarmat Ali, there will be no question about whether a resulting illness – no matter when it appears – is service connected, and therefore, eligible for treatment at a VA medical facility. If an illness develops, time is of the essence in treating it. I don’t want anyone to have to waste time fighting to establish that the illness is service connected.

War is risky business. Soldiers know that when they sign up. But there is no excuse for any of that risk to come from sloppy work by a U.S. military contractor. Nor is it acceptable for that risk to be increased because the Army dropped the ball in dealing with the aftermath of that contractor’s failure.

I look forward to the Inspector General’s report.

View Video Of Senator Dorgans response here

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DOD INSPECTOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE ARMY’S RESPONSE TO EXPOSURE OF U.S. TROOPS TO DEADLY CHEMICAL IN IRAQ

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 7, 2009

Dorgan jpeg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Wednesday                            DORGAN: Barry Piatt – 202-224-0577
September 30, 2009

DOD INSPECTOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE ARMY’S RESPONSE TO EXPOSURE OF U.S. TROOPS TO DEADLY CHEMICAL IN IRAQ
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Defense Department’s Inspector General (IG) will investigate the U.S. Army’s response to the 2003 exposure of hundreds of U.S. soldiers to the deadly chemical sodium dichromate in Iraq.

A major component of sodium dichromate is hexaalent chromium, one of the most carcinogenic substances on earth. The Senate Democratic Policy Committee has held two hearings on the exposure, revealing a number of failures by contractor KBR to warn troops, and even their own employees, of the exposure and to clean up the contamination. The hearings also exposed multiple failures by the Army to hold KBR accountable and to properly inform and test soldiers once the Army did learn of the contamination.

The Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General’s investigation of the Army’s actions was requested in August by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), who called and chaired the DPC hearings on the issue, and six other members of the U.S. Senate, including Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV), Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA), Evan Bayh (D- IN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Charles Beardall, the Deputy Inspector General for Policy and Oversight, has informed the Senators by letter that the IG will initiate an investigation that will begin this month. The Senators asked the IG to investigate seven specific areas related to the exposure and the Army’s response to it.

Dorgan said the hearings revealed “repeated and almost unbelievable failures by both the contractor, KBR, and the Army to take needed steps to protect and even to inform soldiers and workers who were needlessly exposed to this deadly chemical. We want to know how it happened, why it happened, and who is being held accountable. An IG investigation is not only welcome, it is overdue.”

“Oregon National Guard members have suffered serious health problems as a result of the deliberate contamination of the facility by the Iraqi army,” Wyden said. “This investigation will determine whether the U.S. Army and KBR took appropriate precautions to safeguard the health of National Guard members and appropriate action after exposure. I thank the Inspector General for conducting this investigation and look forward to his report.”

Another concern of the Senators has been whether the Army is adequately informing the Department of Veterans Affairs about the exposure and its potentially deadly consequences. Having such information is vital to proper treatment and even the ability of former soldiers to be treated by the VA for a “service connected” sickness that could take years after the initial exposure to develop.

In his letter informing the Senators of the investigation, Beardall said the IG will coordinate his investigation with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Longshore/DBA Conference Speakers Overwhelmingly Work for the Defense

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 6, 2009

The overwhelming  majority of these speakers work for the insurance companies.

It is their business if they choose to hold conferences which are biased toward their interests.

But is it the place for an ALJ who works for the Department of Labor, a public servant,  to be?

Here is the line up.  Make up your own mind.

Craig A. Kuhns NWLAA President
Master Claims Consultant
Liberty Northwest
Portland, OR

Joshua Gillelan

Longshore Claimants National Law Center

Owner

Thomas Fitzhugh, Esq.

From Mr Fitzhugh’s website

“The Defense Base Act extends the LHWCA to employees of private employers working on overseas contracts related to national defense. Most of the private workers in Iraq and Afghanistan – including foreign nationals – are covered by the Defense Base Act. The DBA applies to any worker employed by a contractor on a defense contract who is in the “zone of special danger.” This zone is an extremely inclusive and has been held to cover a worker in a bar fight on Johnston Atoll, a worker injured in a late-night rendezvous with her boss, and an off-duty worker who drowned while attempting to save a fellow swimmer.

There is no minimum compensation rate under the DBA like there is under the LHWCA. But, very often DBA-covered American employees receive wages that entitle them to the maximum compensation rate, currently $1,200.62. The firm has been successful in innovative and aggressive arguments regarding average weekly wage in DBA cases. The Director, OWCP, has been aggressive in arguing that regardless of the length of an overseas worker’s tenure, he or she should be entitled to a benefit rate based on their overseas wages only. We disagree with this blanket approach, and have been successful at trial and on appeal limiting DBA workers’ average weekly wage.

Although the boundaries of DBA coverage are expansive and the benefits generous, there are limits on recovery. Fitzhugh, Elliott & Ammerman, P.C. specialize in handling DBA claims and has been successful in trial and appeal in limiting workers to not one penny more than their entitlement, if any.”

Nina Mitchell, Esq.

Holmes, Weddle & Barcott, Seattle, WA.

From their website

“Clients of Holmes Weddle & Barcott include international, national and regional insurance companies and construction companies, self-insured employers and business entities, shipping and fishing industry concerns, banks and other financial institutions, oil companies, municipalities, and school districts.”


William Durcho

Cambridge Galaher, Rancho Cordova. CA

www.cambridegalaher.com

Phil NealWalker Law Firm

He’ll review it and within 7 days (or sooner if you wish), proivide you a correct rating AND he’ll tell you what steps to take next to save your company money in PD comp.

Hon Jennifer Gee- Moderator
Office of Administrative Law Judges, San Francisco, CA

Jennifer Gee is an ALJ for the Department of Labor.

In this decision, well check the X Files for this one

http://www.oalj.dol.gov/Decisions/ALJ/LDA/2006/ZS_v_SCIENCE_APPLICATIONS_2006LDA00034_(APR_06_2007)_130232_CADEC_SD.PDF

We are still awaiting word from the DoL on who is paying her way this week and on whose behalf she is speaking, moderating.

UPDATE   The DoL has responded that they are paying for Gee’s expenses.  While this may be better than the Defense

wining and dining her we’re still not sure the taxpayer should be supporting this kind of relationship.

Roger Levy, Esq.
Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi — San Francisco, CA

Mr Levy needs no introduction here.

Ray Warns, Esq.
Holmes, Weddle & Barcott, Seattle, Wa.

Again, Ray Warns firm represents insurance companies.

David C. Barnett, Esq. No comment
Barnett & Lerner, Ft. Lauderdate. FL
Tom Weiford, CRC
Weiford Case Management and Consultation, Portland, OR

“Mr. Weiford is the principal of Weiford Case Management and Consultation.  He conducts life care plans as well as vocational assessments nationwide.

Mr. Weiford has been in the field of rehabilitation for over 30 years.  He has a Bachelors, as well as Master degree in Rehabilitation Counseling.  He also has completed a post graduate degree program in Life Care Planning.

He holds national certifications as a Certified Life Care Planner (CLCP), a Diplomate of the American Board of Vocational Experts (D/ABVE), a Certified Case Manager (CCM), a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), as well as a Certified Disability Management Specialist (CDMS).

Mr. Weiford is an adjunct faculty instructor at Portland State University’s Graduate School of Rehabilitation Counseling.  In addition to teaching at Portland State, Mr. Weiford has presented at seminars and workshops on a national basis, both in the field of Life Care Planning as well as in the Forensic Vocational Arena”

John Dudrey, Esq.
Williams Fredrickson, Portland, OR

Representative Clients:
Beaverton Toyota Co.; CIGNA Cos.; General Electric Corp.; Homeport Insurance Co.; Liberty Northwest Insurance Corp.; Russ Chevrolet; Saturn of Beaverton; Stevedoring Services of America; The Travelers Cos.; United Grain Corp.

Russell Metz, Esq.
Metz & Associates, Seattle, WA

Shawn Groff

Leonard Carder, Oakland CA

Dan Thompson

Thompson and Delay

Daniel Thompson & Paul Delay founded Thompson & Delay in 1990 to emphasize representation of the injured and disabled.


D. Gary Rischitelli, MD, MPH, JD


Norman Cole, Esq.
Sather, Byerly & Holloways — Portland, OR

Norm joined Sather Byerly & Holloway in 2005, where he continues to defend claims under the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Act and the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Andrew Posewitz
Todd Pacific Shipyards Corp., Seattle, WA

Andrew Posewitz: Manager, Human Resources

Mr. Posewitz is the Manager of Human Resources.  Andrew has worked in the Human Resources Department at Todd Pacific Shipyards since 1996.  He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Whitman College and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington.  Andrew is the co-chair of the National Shipbuilders and Research Panel’s Committee on Cost Containment and a Member of the Governing Board for the Washington Assigned Risk Pool.  Andrew has also served on the workforce development committee for the Shipbuilder’s Council of America.


Rebecca Watkins

Slather, Byerly, & Holloway

She also defends employers and insurers on workers’ compensation claims, and represents SBH clients in appellate matters before the courts and the Workers’ Compensation Board.

D. Gary Rischitelli, MD, MPH, JD
Northwest Occupational Health Associates, Portland, OR
Robert Babcock, Esp.  

Babcock/Haynes, Portland, OR

Short Biography: Robert E. Babcock, Esq. “Reb” received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1965, and his juris doctorate from Indiana University in 1968. His defense practice began in Oregon, where he did extensive legal representation of stevedore and maritime interests. He later relocated to southern California, where he served with Laughlin, Falbo, Levy and Moresi, before joining the firm of Littler, Mendelson, Fastiff and Tichy. He later founded Babcock & Company, a law firm in Lake Oswego, Oregon. His practice centers on defense of maritime interests, with particular emphasis on Longshore, Jones Act and maritime law.

David Utley, Esq.
Long Beach, CA

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Contractors in Iraq are Hidden Casualties of War

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 6, 2009

by T Christian Miller49678720

In April 2004, Reggie Lane was driving a fuel truck in Iraq for a defense contractor when insurgents attacked his convoy with rocket-propelled grenades, causing him numerous injuries. For most of the five years since, Lane, now 60, has spent his days in silence, cared for at the Country Gardens Adult Foster Care in Central Point, Ore. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Propublica

LA Times

Reporting from Central Point, Ore. – A nurse rocked him awake as pale dawn light crept into the room. “C’mon now, c’mon,” the nurse murmured. “Time to get up.”

Reggie Lane was once a hulking man of 260 pounds. Friends called him “Big Dad.” Now, he weighed less than 200 pounds and his brain was severely damaged. He groaned angry, wordless cries.

The nurse moved fast. Two bursts of deodorant spray under each useless arm. Then he dressed Lane and used a mechanical arm to hoist him into a wheelchair.

He wheeled Big Dad down a hallway and parked the chair in a beige dining room, in front of a picture window. Outside stretched a green valley of pear trees filled with white blossoms.

Lane’s head fell forward, his chin buried in his chest. His legs crossed and uncrossed involuntarily. His left index finger was rigid and pointed, as if frozen in permanent accusation.

In 2004, Lane was driving a fuel truck in Iraq for a defense contractor when insurgents attacked his convoy with rocket-propelled grenades. For most of the five years since, Lane, now 60, has spent his days in silence — a reminder of the hidden costs of relying on civilian contract workers to support the U.S. war effort.

His wife, Linda, said visiting her husband was difficult. They were childhood friends and fiercely loyal to each other. On this spring morning, she caressed his hand and told him she loved him.

“He was a good man. He paid his bills. He took care of his family,” she said, her breathing labored from a pulmonary disease. “He’s a human being who fought for his country. He doesn’t deserve to be thrown away.”

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military has depended on contract workers more than in any previous conflict — to cook meals for troops, wash laundry, deliver supplies and protect diplomats, among other tasks. Tens of thousands of civilians have worked in the two battle zones, often facing the same dangers as U.S. troops and suffering the same kinds of injuries.

Contract workers from the U.S. have been mostly men, primarily middle-aged, many of them military veterans drawn by money, patriotism or both, according to interviews and public records. They are police officers, truck drivers, firefighters, mechanics and craftsmen, mostly from rural corners of America, especially the South.

Nearly 1,600 civilian workers — both Americans and foreign nationals — have died in the two war zones. Thousands more have been injured. (More than 5,200 U.S. service members have been killed and 35,000 wounded.)

Many of the civilians have come home as military veterans in all but name, sometimes with lifelong disabilities but without the support network available to returning troops

There are no veterans’ halls for civilian workers, no Gold Star Wives, no military hospitals. Politicians pay little attention to their problems, and the military has not publicized their contributions.

“These guys are like the Vietnam vets of this generation,” said Lee Frederiksen, a psychologist who worked for Mission Critical Psychological Services, a Chicago-based firm that provides counseling for war zone workers. “The normal support that you would get if you were injured in the line of duty as a police officer or if you were injured in the military . . . just doesn’t exist.”

Herbert J. Lanese, former chief executive of DynCorp International, one of the largest employers of civilian workers in Iraq and Afghanistan, said: “These are people who have given their lives in the service of our country. They are the unappreciated patriots of our country at this point in time.”

Lane was born in Ventura and moved to Grants Pass, Ore., when he turned 12. He met Linda there, and the two grew up together.

After high school, Reggie enlisted in the Army and went to Vietnam. He and Linda found each other after he returned. By then, each had been married and divorced, and each had a child.

As a pair, they were inseparable. Reggie was steady, strong. Linda was energetic and outgoing. They eventually found work as a truck-driving team, steering tractor-trailers across the country.

His CB radio handle was “Grizzly.” Hers was “Wild Cat.” He loved country music and Tom Clancy novels, G. Gordon Liddy’s talk show and Honda motorcycles. She loved the open road, the speed of the truck.

“We went to see the big wide world driving a truck. What an adventure,” Linda recalled.

But work was haphazard, and the pay was modest. Together, they made about $32,000 a year. They had a hard time keeping up with bills and twice filed for bankruptcy.

In the late 1990s, they sold their home in Oregon and moved to Montana, where land was cheaper.

In the fall of 2003, Linda heard that defense contractor KBR Inc. was hiring truck drivers to deliver fuel, food and supplies for the military in Iraq. The salary was $88,000 a year, more than they had ever earned.

“We wouldn’t be on easy street,” Linda said. “But we wouldn’t be stressed.”

By November, Reggie was on his way to Iraq. He arrived during a turbulent period, with the insurgency raging. Convoys regularly came under attack. The trucks were not armored

He didn’t go over there to fight a war. He went over there because [KBR] said, ‘You’ll have armed guards,’ ” Linda said. “They promised big money. ‘You’ll be protected, no problem.’ ”

On April 9, 2004, Reggie Lane and a friend, Jason Hurd, rolled out of a base south of Baghdad to deliver fuel to Balad, north of the city. The convoy was outside Baghdad when gunfire rang out. Hurd saw Reggie’s truck careen to the side of the road.

Hurd pulled over. A rocket-propelled grenade had shattered the windshield. Reggie was lying face-up on the shoulder of the road. His right arm was gone below the elbow. His face was covered in shrapnel wounds. He was drenched in blood.

The rest of the convoy moved ahead, apparently oblivious. Hurd fumbled with Reggie’s arm, trying to apply a tourniquet. Then a group of military vehicles pulled over to help.

Soldiers helped stabilize Lane, who shuddered awake and asked for water. An Army helicopter evacuated him to a U.S. base, where he was put on an emergency flight to Germany.

Linda got the news from a military doctor. A few days later, Reggie called. He told her not to worry.

“I still got one arm left to hug you with,” he said.

It was the last conversation she would have with her husband.

Two days later, another military doctor in Germany called Linda, asking permission to perform an emergency tracheotomy on Reggie. A blood clot had dislodged, blocking the flow of blood to his brain.

“My head is spinning. I’m trying to digest what they’re telling me,” Linda said. “I’m deciding this long-distance by phone, and it’s someone I love.”

Ten days after the attack, Reggie Lane was on a flight back to the U.S., headed to a Houston hospital. KBR paid to have Linda meet her husband in Texas.

She was unprepared for the sight. A raw, red stump was all that remained of his right arm. There was a hole in his throat. She could see his intestines, which were left exposed to aid in cleaning out shrapnel. His body was swollen and purple. He was unresponsive, his pupils mere pinpoints.

Over the next nine months, Linda lived out of a hotel in downtown Houston. She became her husband’s advocate, navigating a complex medical world with little guidance.

“It was a lot of one foot in front of the other. I was pretty devastated,” she said.

Slowly, Lane’s condition improved. Toward the end of his hospital stay, he could respond to questions. He would say: “Love Linda.” He was trying to stand up with help.

“By the time he left, he was interacting, communicating,” said Dr. Sunil Kothari, a neurosurgeon who coordinated Reggie’s care at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) Memorial Hermann in Houston, one of the country’s top rehabilitation hospitals for brain injury. “Near the end, he was beginning to answer questions, starting to vocalize.”

In January 2005, doctors cleared Reggie for release. He was going home.

Grants Pass had a handful of nursing homes. They provided physical and speech therapy, but Linda was dissatisfied with the care. She confronted workers at one home, leading to Reggie’s discharge. He returned to a hospital.

Linda was dealing with her own health problems. Her weight ballooned. She was admitted to the hospital repeatedly with breathing difficulties.

As Linda searched for a home for her husband, she got into a dispute with American International Group Inc., the insurance carrier for KBR. Linda wanted her husband close to home. She said AIG insisted that he go to a facility in Portland, where care was less expensive than in the hospital.

Troops injured in Iraq are guaranteed care at Veterans Administration facilities. In contrast, contract workers depend on worker’s compensation insurance paid for by the federal government under the Defense Base Act. They often must fight with insurers to get medical bills paid.

Linda hired a lawyer, and AIG relented, allowing Reggie to be placed in an adult foster care home near Grants Pass.

The lawyer, Roger Hawkins of Los Angeles, said it was the least Reggie deserved.

“You look in his eyes and you see that somewhere, he realizes what is going on,” Hawkins said. “He’s sitting there with his arm missing and knowing that he’s never going to get better.”

AIG and KBR declined to comment on the case.

Reggie’s mental state had gradually declined since he’d left Houston. Before, he spoke. Now he descended into long silences broken only by grunts.

Told of Lane’s condition, Kothari, who treated him in Houston, expressed concern.

“Decline is not typical,” Kothari said. “If someone goes to a nursing facility, if they happen not to get stimuli, it means the brain could not heal as well as it would otherwise.”

Jim Gregg, operator of the foster care home where Lane was placed, said the facility was not equipped for advanced physical or speech therapy. In their home on a 4-acre farm, Gregg and his wife provided basic medical care and monitoring to half a dozen elderly patients.

“It’s a boring life. He just sits here,” Gregg said. “It’s not a stimulating environment.”

Gregg closed his facility earlier this year, and Lane was moved to another foster home. The total cost of Lane’s care for the rest of his life could be as much as $8.9 million, according to an AIG estimate. The bill will be paid by the federal government, which reimburses insurers for combat-related claims from war zone workers.

Linda Lane died July 10. She had been hospitalized after suffering respiratory distress, family members said.

Reggie let out a wail when relatives told him the news. “I had never heard anything like that before,” said Bev Glasgow, who runs Lane’s current foster home.

Glasgow arranged for a van to take Reggie to a memorial service for his wife. It was held in a state park alongside the Rogue River. Under the shade of scrub oak and aspen, he watched as Linda’s family and friends sang “Amazing Grace” and looked at old photos of the couple.

Diane Firestone, Reggie’s sister, visited him shortly after Linda’s death. She said the family accepted that Reggie’s condition was unlikely to change. But, she said, they did not believe his sacrifices had been adequately recognized, by his company or the country.

She knelt beside her brother and asked him about the attack on his convoy.

“Hey, Reg,” she said. “Do you know it’s been five years? It doesn’t seem that long to me. Does it seem that long to you?”

Reggie blinked twice, hard — his signal for yes.

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Defense Longshore/DBA Conferences, not all bad

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 4, 2009

Before we get on with introducing the line up of speakers for the Defense Longshore/DBA Conference this week we wanted to point out one name which you will see listed at nearly every conference.

Joshua Gillelan who owns the Longshore Claimants’ National Law Center — Washington D.C.   The name speaks for itself.

Mr. Gillelan spent many years working in the Department of Labor.

He now represents  injured contractors picking up the pieces of claimants cases on appeal.

He even wrote a few chapters in the book  Roger Levy is Editor in Chief of,  The NEW Defense Base Act and War Hazards Act Handbook, or How to Screw Over the Modern Day DBA Casualty as we more accurately refer to it as, which are not highly regarded by the Defense.  The book was promoted by the DoL at the DBA Conference held last October, 2008,  in Washington DC.

Look  for the follow up book soon.

For what it’s worth coming from us, Thank you Josh Gillelan for putting yourself in the eye of the storm time after time.

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Senate Bill would protect contractor whistleblowers

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 4, 2009

By Robert Brodsky rbrodsky@govexec.com

The head of the Senate contracting oversight subcommittee introduced legislation on Thursday that would provide whistleblower rights to employees of companies receiving government contracts.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., sponsored the legislation (S. 1745) that would also apply to employees of state and local governments, nonprofits, and other companies receiving grants or other federal reimbursements such as Medicare.

“Whistleblowers are our first line of defense against waste, fraud and abuse,” McCaskill said. “We’ve got to do everything possible to protect them.”

The bill would defend whistleblowers who make disclosures to their employer, Congress or agency inspector generals when they believe there has been a violation of law, rule or regulation related to an agency contract. Such disclosures also would cover abuse of authority by contract managers — a definition that would include unethical practices that technically are not illegal, such as cronyism.

“Unless the inspector general determines that the complaint is frivolous, does not relate to covered funds, or another federal or state judicial or administrative proceeding has previously been invoked to resolve such complaint, the inspector general shall investigate the complaint and, upon completion of such investigation, submit a report of the findings of the investigation to the person, the person’s employer and the head of the appropriate agency,” the bill states.

The legislation also would shield contract workers when preconditions of their employment forced them to relinquish their whistleblower rights. In many cases, McCaskill said, new employees are forced to sign gag orders and to waive their statutory remedies against retaliation, submitting any dispute to company-financed arbitrators.

Government employees and private sector workers who receive contracts from the Defense Department already have many of these protections. McCaskill’s bill would extend those safeguards to civilian agency contractors.

S. 1745 also would:

  • Establish a burden of proof in whistleblower cases, similar to that involving federal employees
  • Guarantee that unless an extension is approved, the IG will complete its investigation within 180 days
  • Give whistleblowers and their employers the right to inspect an IG’s investigative file on their case
  • Allow whistleblowers to take their case to court and access to a jury trial once the administrative review is completed.

Stephen Kohn, executive director of the National Whistleblowers Center, said the legislation is essential in ensuring that taxpayer dollars are not being wasted.

“Studies have shown that whistleblowers are the single most important source of information when people are ripping off the government,” Kohn said. “Without this kind of law, people will not come forward to disclose fraud.”

Additional whistleblower protections soon could be available to federal workers through legislation (S. 372) sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii.

The bill, which the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved in July, extends whistleblower protections to employees of the intelligence community and Transportation Security Administration. Government employees also would be allowed to bring major claims to jury trials.

Original Story here

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The DoL and Defense Longshore/DBA Conferences

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 4, 2009

While we prepare our presentation on this weeks  Longshore and DBA conference we’d like you to see an example of a defense conference held last year and rather well attended by the Department of Labor.   Many of the DoL attendees had to travel from Washington DC to attend.

Injured contractors wait for years without medical and lost wages.  They wait for months on end to have a hearing date assigned once it is determined they are entitled to one,  only to have it taken away at the whim of a defense lawyer.

The Benefits Review Board takes six months and more to review a claim.

The DoL Administration claims they are overwhelmed.

But there is plenty of time to attend conferences with the Defense.

The sponsors of this example are a Longshore Insurance Company and a Defense Advocacy Group (non-profit to boot) which you can check out at the links below the conference information.

Signal/LCA
Maritime Conference
May 29th & 30th, 2008

The conference will open with an in-depth discussion of effective practice and
procedure before the Department of Labor. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit
with representatives from the offices of the Administrative Law Judges, District
Director, the Solicitor, and the Benefits Review Board.

A Conversation with the DOL
The representatives of the Department of Labor will look briefly at the
recent past to provide an overview of their respective branches and offer
insight into trends observed. The panel will then look at the present
status of practice and procedure before the DOL including common
pitfalls and issues of interest to attendees. The discussion will conclude
with a look toward the future of Longshore Practice.
Faculty: Anthony Filiato moderator, Associate Chief Judge Stephen Purcell (OALJ),
Jan Ulan (BRB), Mark Reinhalter (Solicitor’s Office)

The Conversation Continues…
Join us to examine a roadmap for successful practice before the OALJ
and the District Director’s Office. Enjoy this rare opportunity to discuss
the ‘nuts and bolts’ issues of pursuing a case to resolution from the
perspective of the claimants’ and employers’ counsel, the District
Director, and the ALJ. Topics will include settlement language, Section
8(f) relief and the ‘fine line’ of fact finding as between the ALJ and the
District Director’s Office.
Faculty: Randy Harris moderator, District Chief Judge Daniel Sutton (OALJ),
District Director David Groeneveld, Peter Quay & William J. Gately, Jr.

Signal Mutual Indemnity Association

Established in January 1986 to meet the demands of the stevedoring industry for reasonable and stable workers’ compensation insurance rates, Signal Mutual Indemnity Association is now the largest provider of Longshore benefits in the United States.

http://www.longshoreclaims.com/

The Longshore Claims Association (”LCA”) is a non-profit tax exempt, national association of individuals and companies involved in the defense of claims under federal jurisdiction. These include Admiralty and Maritime claims and claims under the Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and its extensions. Our goal is to promote the most competent claims administration expertise through educational programs and legal advisories. As a defense advocacy group, we provide input about issues pending before the courts and regulatory agencies

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National Average Weekly Wage Increase October 2009

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 2, 2009

The new rates reflect a 2.00% increase in the NAWW, increasing the maximum compensation rate to $1,224.66.

National Average Weekly Wages (NAWW), Minimum and Maximum Compensation Rates, and Annual October Increases (Section 10(f))

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GAO Contingency Contracting Report October 2009

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 2, 2009

DOD, State, and USAID Continue to Face Challenges in Tracking Contractor Personnel and Contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan

What GAO found

In response to a statutory requirement to increase contractor oversight, DOD,
State, and USAID agreed to use the Synchronized Predeployment and
Operational Tracker (SPOT) system to track information on contracts and
contractor personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. With the exception of USAID in
Afghanistan, the agencies are in the process of implementing the system and
require contractor personnel in both countries to be entered into SPOT.
However, the agencies use differing criteria to decide which personnel are
entered, resulting in some personnel not being entered into the system as
required. Some agency officials also questioned the need to track detailed
information on all contractor personnel, particularly local nationals. Further,
SPOT currently lacks the capability to track all required data elements, such
as contract dollar value and the number of personnel killed and wounded. As
a result, the agencies rely on other sources for contract and contractor
personnel information, such as periodic surveys of contractors.
DOD, State, and USAID reported nearly 226,500 contractor personnel,
including about 28,000 performing security functions, in Iraq and Afghanistan,
as of the second quarter of FY 2009. However due to their limitations, the
reported data should not be used to identify trends or draw conclusions about
contractor personnel numbers. Specifically, we found that the data reported
by the three agencies were incomplete. For example, in one quarterly
contractor survey DOD did not include 26,000 personnel in Afghanistan, and
USAID did not provide personnel data for a $91 million contract. The agencies
depend on contractors to report personnel numbers and acknowledge that
they cannot validate the reported information.
USAID and State reported that 64 of their contractors had been killed and
159 wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan during our review period. DOD officials
told us they continue to lack a system to reliably track killed or wounded
contractor personnel and referred us to the Department of Labor’s Defense
Base Act (DBA) case data for this information. However, because DBA is a
worker’s compensation program, Labor’s data include cases such as those
resulting from occupational injuries and do not provide an appropriate basis
for determining how many contractor personnel were killed or wounded
while working on DOD, State, or USAID contracts in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, the data provide insights into contractor casualties. According
to Labor, 11,804 DBA cases were filed for contractors killed or injured in Iraq
and Afghanistan during our review period, including 218 deaths. Based on our
review of 150 randomly selected cases, we estimate that 11 percent of all
FY 2008 DBA cases for the two countries resulted from hostile actions.

Full Report here

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LHWCA Training and Compliance Assistance Seminar

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 2, 2009

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Program

Training and Compliance Assistance

Seminar

October 20 – 22 , 2009

The Norfolk Longshore Office is pleased to present a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Training and Compliance Assistance Seminar from Tuesday , October 20 , 2009 thru Thursday , October 22 , 2009.

Sessions Include:

Tuesday , October 20 , 2009

Morning session: Reporting and Filing Requirements

How to Avoid Penalties

Claims Handling Q&A

Afternoon session: Medical Billing Disputes/Issues

OWCP Medical Fee Schedule Use and Training

Wednesday , October 21 , 2009

Morning session:: Addressing Multiple-Impairment Claims

Payment Guidelines and Calculations

Forms LS-208; Errors , problems and questions

Afternoon session: Informal Adjudication and Dispute Resolution *

OWCP Vocational Rehabilitation Overview

Thursday , October 22 , 2009

Morning session: Mock hearing **

Afternoon session: Q & A Forum with DOL representatives

* This session topic is tentative and may be replaced with a presentation by a medical provider.

** This session is open to anyone , but is especially recommended for claims adjusters , legal office staff , paraprofessionals and workers’ comp committee members. The Honorable Alan L. Bergstrom of the Office of Administrative Law Judges in Newport News , Virginia has agreed to preside at this session as a training and information tool. The “hearing” will be interrupted several times to allow for Q&A from the gallery.

All sessions will be held in Room 222 of the Norfolk Federal Building. A picture identification and proper attire are required to be permitted entry into the Federal Building.

Morning sessions will begin with registration at 9:00 am; afternoon sessions begin with registration at 1:00 pm. The security screening process may delay your arrival.  Please allow sufficient time to insure your timely arrival.

The deadline for registration is Thursday , October 1 , 2009; however , space for each session is limited and early registration is encouraged to ensure your participation.

You need to register to attend each/all pertinent session(s).

If you have questions regarding the seminar , registration or agenda items , please call District Director T. A. Magyar at (757) 441-3071.

You are requested to use the Registration Form to enroll members of your staff for each appropriate session. If additional space is needed for any date/session , you may either use a copy of the registration form or attach an addendum.

Please mail your completed registration form to:

U. S. Department of Labor , ESA , OWCP
Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation
Federal Building , Room 212
200 Granby St.
Norfolk , VA. 23510

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Longshore and DBA Fall Conference

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 1, 2009

Tribulations & Trials Under the The Longshore Act

October 7,8,9, 2009
———
The Governor Hotel
Tenth and Alder
Portland, Oregon

30 Advance Registration — The Governor Hotel, 10th and Alder, Portland, Oregon*
*(go to NWLAA Registration )
6:30 – 8:30 Early Bird Welcome & Reception

 

Western Culinary Institute / LeCordon Bleu Program
600 SW 10th Avenue, Portland, Oregon
Thursday — October 8, 2009
8:00 – 8:30 Registration, Coffee & Vendor Fair
8:30 – 10:30 SESSION I
8:30 – 9:00 Opening & Introductory Remarks

 

Craig Kuhns, NWLAA President
Liberty Northwest — Portland, OR
9:00 – 10:30 What’s New From the Courts? – Recent Case Law Developments

 

Joshua Gillelan, Esq.
Longshore Claimants’ National Law Center — Washington D.C.
Thomas Fitzhugh, Esq.
The Longshore Institute — Houston, TX
10:30 – 11:00 Break – Vendor Fair
11:00 – 12:00 SESSION II
11:00 – 12:00 Medicare Set Asides – What’s New, and What Do We Do About Prescriptions?

 

Nina Mitchell, Esq.
Holmes, Weddle & Barcott, Seattle, WA.
William Durcho
Cambridge Galaher, Rancho Cordova. CA
Thomas Fitzhugh, Esq.
The Longshore Institute, Houston, TX
12:00 – 1:30 Lunch – “How to Win Cases & Persuade Judges: Secrets of the Great Litigators”

 

Phil Walker, Esq.
Phil Neil Walker Law Corporation, San Francisco, CA
1:30 – 3:00 SESSION III
1:30 – 3:00 Defense Base Act Claims – Come Home to America

 

Hon Jennifer Gee- Moderator
Office of Administrative Law Judges, San Francisco, CA
Roger Levy, Esq.
Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi — San Francisco, CA
Ray Warns, Esq.
Holmes, Weddle & Barcott, Seattle, Wa.
David C. Barnett, Esq.
Barnett & Lerner, Ft. Lauderdate. FL
Tom Weiford, CRC
Weiford Case Management and Consultation, Portland, OR
3:00 – 3:30 Break – Vendor Fair
3:30 – 4:30 SESSION IV
3:30 – 4:30 Attorney Fees – Headed to the Supreme Court?

 

John Dudrey, Esq.
Williams Fredrickson, Portland, OR
Joshua Gillenlan, Esq.
Longshore Claimsts’ National Law Center, Washington, DC
6:00 – 8:00 Reception –OREGON MARITIME MUSEUM
Foot of SW Pine Street – Portland, OR
Friday — OCTOBER 9, 2009
8:00 – 8:30 Coffee – Vendor Fair
8:30 – 10:00 Session V
8:30 – 10:00 Welcoming a New Party to Settlements – ILWU/PMA Welfare Fund

 

Russell Metz, Esq.
Metz & Associates, Seattle, WA
Shawn Groff. Esq.
Leonard Carder, Oakland, CA
Daniel Thompson, Esq.
Tompson & Delay, Seattle, WA
10:00 – 10:30 Break – Vendor Fair
11:30 – 11:30 SESSION VI
10:30 – 11:30 Evidence Based Management of Chronic Pain

 

D. Gary Rischitelli, MD, MPH, JD
Northwest Occupational Health Associates, Portland, OR
11:30 – 1:00 Lunch – Drawing for Door Prizes
1:00 – 3:30 SESSION VII
1:00 – 2:30 Settling Employment Rights: Avoiding Discrimination Claims & Penalties

 

Norman Cole, Esq.
Sather, Byerly & Holloways — Portland, OR
Andrew Posewitz
Todd Pacific Shipyards Corp., Seattle, WA
Rebecca Watkins ,Esq.
Sather, Byerly & Holloway, Portland, OR
2:15 – 3:45 The Impact of the Recession on Longshroe Act Benefits: Increase or Decrease?

 

Robert Babcock, Esp.
Babcock/Haynes, Portland, OR
David Utley, Esq.
Long Beach, CA
3:15 – 3:30 Closing Remarks

 

Craig Kuhns, NWLAA President

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