Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for June, 2010

Dr. John Dorland Griffith Exposed, Publicly, Finally

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 29, 2010

Forwarded by a Contributor to the blog:

Dr. John Dorland Griffith, Star of the DBA X FilesAIG’s hired gun,

Thank you, Judge Jeffrey Tureck, for confirming what we at  American Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan  have been saying all along about Dr John Dorland Griffith at the DBA X-files.

Dorothy Clay Sims you are a true American hero.

Your extensive knowledge on PTSD, your diligence and passion for justice has finally shown up this charlatan for what he is.
Thank you for the lives you will have saved, for helping  injured civilian contractors where very few will.

To those who stood idly by or even helped arranged for their clients to travel from five or six states away to see this bogus hired gun may you go down with him.

In light of this ruling, Case No. 2008-LDA-00287, we request  that all prior cases that were denied because of Dr Griffiths’ misleading testimony (notably ALJs Romero and Kennington who declared themselves so impressed with him in earlier decisions) be reopened so that justice can be done.

From the decision  Judge Jeffrey Tureck,

“In regard to Dr. Griffith, to put it bluntly, he was a terrible witness.

He was sarcastic, arrogant, argumentative and flippant, and often refused to answer the questions put to him.

On his own, he assumed facts for which there was no support in the record, and then offered his opinion based on these assumed facts.

For example, he assumed that the Claimant was at fault in the incident where his truck was shot at (e.g., TRG 142-48), that Claimant was worried that he would have to pay $17,000 to repair the truck (e.g .• TRG 35), and that Claimant was depressed due to his three divorces (TRG 48-49, 312).

He provided different answers to substantially similar questions throughout his testimony. As an example, his testimony regarding whether Claimant is malingering or exaggerating changed constantly, to the point that his opinion regarding this question is incomprehensible. See, e.g., TRG 49-53, 309-10, 317.

Further, he believes that anyone in Claimant’s shoes would be trying to collect compensation rather than
work, since he believes “no one feels like working
“. E.g., TRG 442.8

He also believes that if the Claimant actually was suffering from PTSD, the carrier would not be opposing the claim.
TRG 161.

Moreover, his medical judgment is clouded by his belief that PTSD is a highly overused diagnosis. TRG 317.

The full flavor of Dr. Griffith’s testimony can only really be appreciated by reading the
entire 490-page transcript and viewing the videotape of his May 8, 2009 deposition; but reading
pages 29-35 of the transcript would be a good starting point.

His bias against Claimants; his irrationality; and his unwillingness to provide a straight answer to a question; are exhibited throughout his testimony.

Dr. Griffith’s opinion in this case is not credible and has no probative value.”

So this raises the question of why Dr. Griffith, who indicates he is well off financially continues to work at the age of78.

Is it just good sport helping AIG deny injured contractors the benefits they are entitled too?

There is more to come on this weasel.  This claim is just the tip of the iceberg.

See also  AIG, Their DME, the Saga Continues

Judge Turek decision and order

Issue Date: 14 June 2010
In the Matter of
David C. Barnett. Esq.
Ft. Lauderdale; FL
For the Claimant
Billy 1. Frey, Esq.
Jerry R. McKenney; Esq.
Houston, TX
For the Employer/Carrier
Administrative Law Judge
Case No. 2008-LDA-00287

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, KBR, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

American Casualties 500,000 When Injuries and Illnesses are Included

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 29, 2010

These numbers undoubtedly include some civilian contractor casualties who are the responsibity of AIG, CNA, ACE and other DBA Insurance Companies but refuse diagnoses and treatment of TBI, PTSD, and diseases endemic to Iraq and Afghanistan.

LA Times: U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan War Casualties Top 500,000

June 24, 2010, Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Times) – Here’s an eye-popping number: A blogger and writer claims American military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan now exceed 500,000.

That’s if you count certain injuries and diseases including mental illness that he alleges the Department of Defense doesn’t include in its official combat-related casualty toll in an effort to soften U.S. military losses in the wars and win funding for them from the Congress.

VCS Note: Internal VA reports obtained by VCS confirm LA Times article:

Consequences of Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, as of June 24, 2010
*  537,099: U.S. Veteran Patients Treated at VA
*  489,369: U.S. Veteran Disability Claims Filed Against VA

For example, cases of traumatic brain injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, as a result of serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are excluded from the official list of casualties.

“Under this scheme, chronic injuries and many acute internal injuries such as hearing impairment, back injuries, mild traumatic brain injuries, mental health problems and a host of diseases suffered by personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan are usually not counted as being war-related regardless of how debilitating they are,” writes Matthew Nasuti in an article published on the Afghan news site and media organization Kabul Press. “They are either generally lumped into the category of ‘non-hostile wounded’ or simply not counted at all.”

Masuti is a former Air Force captain and Los Angeles deputy city attorney who worked for the State Department in Iraq for a spell. He’s now a critic of the U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The writer claims that 95% of injured soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen were not reported as casualties due to what he refers to as the Pentagon’s “fudging the numbers” in a bid to win funding from American lawmakers to finance the wars.

“Wounded in action is narrowly defined to essentially be an injury directly caused by an adversary,” he writes. “So called ‘friendly fire’ injuries and deaths would apparently not be counted. The emphasis is on acute injuries caused by enemy munitions which pierce or penetrate.”

He cites sources such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Navy to conclude that the more than 170,000 U.S. soldiers suffer from hearing damage, the 130,000 or more cases of milder brain injuries, and the 200,000 troops suffering from mental problems are left out of the casualty count.

If they were to be included in the Pentagon’s official numbers of 5,500 troop deaths and 38,000 injuries, the total American military casualty toll in Iraq and Afghanistan would amount to well over 500,000.

And it doesn’t end there. The 500,000 tally would increase significantly if one also added to the count what Nasuti claims are around 30,000 cases of serious disease and hundreds of accident injuries and suicides, among many other types of disease and injury-related military casualties.

Skeptics would maybe argue that a soldier suffering from a gastrointestinal disease from having eaten bad meals in Iraq and Afghanistan and minor roadway accident injuries do not belong in the tally along with troops who have been killed in ambushes with insurgents.

But Natusi writes that it’s important not to leave these types of injuries out in order to show the real image of the war and its effects on U.S. troops.

Not only do the aforementioned injuries deserve to be formally recognized as casualties as a sign of respect for the soldiers serving in the battlefield, but leaving them out of the count distorts the overall toll, the writer concludes.

“These casualties are real and are a direct result of fighting two wars,” he writes. “The soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who have suffered these combat injuries deserve to be recognized and the American people deserve a proper accounting of the mounting costs of their two seemingly endless wars. That accounting begins with an honest casualty count.”

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Department of Labor, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

High Profile Suicide in Iraq: Deeply Disturbed by Abuses Carried Out by American Contractors in Iraq

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 28, 2010

Greg Mitchell at Huffington Post

The scourge of suicides among American troops and reservists (which I’ve covered since 2003) remains a serious and seriously under-reported problem. One of the most high-profile cases involves a much-admired Army colonel and ethicist named Ted Westhusing — who, in his 2005 suicide note, pointed a finger at rising U.S. general named David Petraeus.

Westhusing’s widow, asked by a friend what killed this West Point scholar, had replied simply: “Iraq.”

Before putting a bullet through his head, Westhusing had been deeply disturbed by abuses carried out by American contractors in Iraq, including allegations that they had witnessed or even participated in the murder of Iraqis. His suicide note included claims that his two commanders tolerated a mission based on “corruption, human rights abuses and liars. I am sullied — no more. I didn’t volunteer to support corrupt, money grubbing contractors, nor work for commanders only interested in themselves.” One of those commanders: the future leader of American forces in Iraq, and then Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus.

Westhusing, 44, had been found dead in a trailer at a military base near the Baghdad airport in June 2005, a single gunshot wound to the head. At the time, he was the highest-ranking officer to die in Iraq. The Army concluded that he committed suicide with his service pistol and found his charges against the commanders unfounded. Petraeus would later attend Westhusing’s memorial service back in the U.S.

Ted Westhusing was an unusual case: “one of the Army’s leading scholars of military ethics, a full professor at West Point who volunteered to serve in Iraq to be able to better teach his students. He had a doctorate in philosophy; his dissertation was an extended meditation on the meaning of honor,” as Christian Miller explained in a major Los Angeles Times piece.

Please read the full article here

Posted in Melt Down, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cloud of Smoke Could Put Soldiers’ Lives at Risk

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 27, 2010

Hundreds of Soldiers Say They Inhaled Toxic Smoke from Pits Where Military Burns Equipment, Medical Supplies, Hazardous Waste as were the Contractors

When soldiers go into war zones, they expect certain hazards on the battlefield but not necessarily on base, yet that’s where hundreds of soldiers say they were exposed to toxic fumes, CBS News Correspondent Jeff Glor reports.

This week, the American Lung Association issued a strong recommendation for the military to discontinue the use of open-air trash burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan because they are a dangerous health risk. Hundreds of soldiers who’ve been exposed to the burn pits say inhaling the toxic smoke has inflicted them with severe breathing problems and even cancer.

Michele Pearce is a fighter. She battled stomach cancer in 2008. Then doctors discovered another tumor in her lung.

“I literally just said, ‘Wow I could die,'” Pearce said.

Pearce – now in remission – was deployed to Iraq in 2006. She believes her cancer is connected to the months she spent inhaling smoke from base burn pits.

Christopher Sweet blames his wife’s leukemia on the burn pits she was exposed to in Afghanistan. Diagnosed in September 2008, Jessica Sweet died five months later.

“I don’t know that it gets easier,” said Sweet. “4:08. That’s the time that’s ingrained in my brain when you hear ‘Time of death, 4:08,’ and that’s your wife.”

The military authorized more than a hundred burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. The largest were operated by private contractors Halliburton and KBR, designed to burn everything from military equipment to medical supplies, batteries and hazardous waste.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. Robert Miller of is treating more than a dozen soldiers exposed to burn-pit smoke.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the burn pits emit toxins,” said Miller. “It’s a solid waste burning. It’s a practice that’s essentially outlawed in the United States.”

Sweet, Pearce and nearly 400 military personnel are part of a class-action lawsuit against KBR, accusing the company of negligence and illegally burning waste.

Last November, former KBR employee Rick Lamberth told senators he’d witnessed operators improperly throwing hazardous waste into burn pits.

“I was told to shut up and keep that to myself,” Lamberth said.

KBR turned down CBS News’ request for an interview but said in a statement that “the military, not KBR, decides what method of waste disposal will be used … what items can be disposed .. and it complied with all military directives.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., pushed legislation to force the military to shut down many burn pits, but 40, including 11 KBR pits, are still in operation.

“I do not want to see these burn pits become the Agent Orange of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars,” Bishop said.

Despite a 2006 leaked internal Pentagon memo warning of chronic health concerns, the military maintains it needs time to study the smoke exposure effects.

Pearce said she just wants answers.

“What did these companies do to put my life at risk?” Pearce asked.

Sweet believes the bottom line is his wife’s death should have been prevented.

“If she wasn’t exposed to the burn pits, I believe she’d be here today, absolutely,” Sweet said.

With most of the soldiers unable to serve, the Department of Veterans Affairs has issued guidelines to doctors and has launched a study to evaluate the long-term health effects from exposure to the burn pits.

Posted in Afghanistan, Burn Pits, Cancer, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Iraq, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Toxic Sand: Another Enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 27, 2010

Note:  Depleted Uranium is also a neurotoxin found in the sand.

American forces in Afghanistan, who already face roadside bombs and insurgent attacks, may be dealing with an environmental enemy as well — toxic sand that can damage their brains, according to a recent Navy study.

In a presentation at a neurotoxicology conference in Portland, Ore., earlier this month, Palur G. Gunasekar, a senior scientist with the Navy Environmental Health Effects Laboratory, said that dust kicked up in sandstorms contains manganese and other metals. “The sand is a risk factor for inducing neurotoxicity,” Gunasekar said. Compounds that are neurotoxic are those that damage the nervous system or the brain.

The Navy said the findings are preliminary and that so far no definitive link has been found between the inhalation of sand and brain damage. Still, the study followed reports that returning soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq are experiencing impairments such as memory loss and difficulty concentrating, which may not always be attributable to traumatic brain injuries.

Gunasekar told the group, most of them academic and government scientists, that he and his colleagues focused on “subtle environmental issues that our soldiers face.” Troops caught in sandstorms may inhale toxic particles, which can be carried to the brain, lungs and other organs. “Once they return…they complain about respiratory problems and also they complain about some of the cognitive functions,” he said.

Gunasekar conducted the study with staff scientist Krishnan Prabhakaran and Lt. Cmdr. Micheal Stockelman, both of whom also work at the Naval Health Research Center Detachment, Navy Health Effects Laboratory, located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, in Ohio.
The research team analyzed sand samples from Afghanistan, and found manganese, silicon, iron, magnesium, aluminum, chromium and trace elements. Manganese, on its own, is considered a potent neurotoxicant capable of damaging the brain and causing Parkinsons-like symptoms. They are also studying sand from Iraq.

The researchers conducted tests in which nerve cells were exposed to the toxic sand. “As the sand extract dose increases at the higher concentration you see cell death,” said Gunasekar, who accompanied his talk with a video of a fierce sandstorm.

The researchers also found that exposure to sand could also damage the lungs. Gunasekar noted that soldiers returning from Afghanistan have complained of respiratory problems. Their next step will be to test the effects of exposure to the sand dust in an animal study, if they can secure funding, Gunasekar said.

Neither Gunasekar nor the Navy would provide further details about the study.
Dr. Stephen N. Xenakis, a retired brigadier general who now has a private medical practice and also does consulting for the government and health-related companies, said he wasn’t surprised by Gunasekar’s results. “We know environmental factors are going to make a difference here,” Xenakis said. “Now, fortunately, these scientists have gone down to the cellular level and shown what the manifestations are.”
Xenakis says he sees cognitive problems “all the time in the soldiers I work with,” though the causes are not always clear. “They can’t focus. They have problems with short-term memory. They’ll tell you that stuff that came really quickly to them before, they seem to have more difficulty trying to understand.”
In recent years, there has been controversy over reports of how many troops return home with cognitive problems. Xenakis puts the estimate at 20 to 30 percent, most of whom are survivors of brain injuries from blasts or other traumas. “You had over 2 million people who served, some multiple times, in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Xenakis. “We don’t know precisely how many have been effected, but you’re looking at a big number.”
Lisa Jaycox is a senior behavioral scientist with the Rand Corp. who has studied cognitive difficulties after exposure to blasts. She supports a closer look at the possible threat posed by sand.
“A lot of people are reporting headaches and difficulties with memories and such that are hard to explain,” she said. “The symptoms overlap with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. There is lots of controversy about what these cognitive symptoms are, whether they are related to a central brain problem or more of a mental health or emotional problem or a combination. This idea of the neurotoxins in the sand would be yet another thing that could contribute to some cognitive problems. I think there needs to be more research is the bottom line.”
Cmdr. Cappy Surette, a spokesman for Navy Medicine, said Gunasekar was presenting his own opinion, and not speaking in an official capacity. Surette said that the Navy has no record of troops complaining about cognitive difficulties that are unrelated to traumatic brain injuries. The research team’s work was commissioned, he said, “acting on theories that the dust and sand may contain elements of interest.”
Surette added that “research will continue until the complete picture is understood.”
The Navy has several related research projects either in the planning stages, or underway; among them, one study to determine whether exposure to sand can exacerbate traumatic brain injuries, and another looking at combined effects of Iraqi sand and cigarette smoke. Read the Original Story here

Posted in ACE, Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Iraq, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Senate Passes PTSD Awareness Day Resolution

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 26, 2010

Contributed by Brit Guy

Click on the Defense Centers of Excellence link.

The 6/27/2010 is PTSD awareness day.

Senate Passes PTSD Awareness Day Resolution

Hey we nearly missed it!!  They passed the resolution yesterday just in time for tomorrow.

Funny that you have an awareness day for something that the ALJs and insurance companies claim does not exist.

Does this mean that Congress are going to pass a law saying that it has to be recognized? Does this mean that all those denied treatment in the past will now get the help they need?

Are the Judges and insurance companies along with their bogus dubious doctors going to be forced to apologize to the loved ones of those people for who it has come too late?

Or as I suspect is this just another political stunt for public consumption without substance.
Let us hope for those suffering we do not have to wait to long to find out.

To you Daffodils I agree may those who put profit before care rot in hell.

To me they are worse than the terrorists as you expect them to stab you in the back.

You do not expect that from those who we signed up to protect

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Misjudgements, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Congress Questions Military Leaders on Suicides, Traumatic Brain Injury

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 26, 2010

AIG, CNA, ACE remember this, it WILL come back to haunt you:

It is important to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury and quickly provide treatment for any lingering effects, according to the Pentagon’s own experts.

Thank you T Miller and D Zwerdling for your efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senators pressed senior military leaders today to improve their efforts to address traumatic brain injuries, suicide and other wounds suffered by soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Responding to what he called “disconcerting” reports by NPR and ProPublica, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military needed to better address the wide range of medical and behavioral problems affecting troops.

Earlier this month, we reported [2] that the military was failing to diagnose and adequately treat troops with brain injuries. Since 2002, official military figures show more than 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions, which leave no visible scars but can cause lasting problems with memory, concentration and other cognitive functions.

But the unpublished studies that we obtained and the experts that we talked to said that military screens were missing tens of thousands of additional cases. We also talked to soldiers at one of the military’s largest bases [3], who complained of trouble getting treatment.

“I am greatly concerned about the increasing number of troops returning from combat with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries, and the number of those troops who may have experienced concussive injuries that were never diagnosed,” Levin, chairman of the committee, said as he opened today’s hearing [4].

Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s vice chief of staff, said the Army had made strides in identifying soldiers at risk of committing suicide, setting up new treatment centers and deploying a new system of “telemental health services,” allowing soldiers to talk with counselors by computer video chat programs.

Chiarelli’s remarks were echoed by other senior military commanders at the hearing from the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

“Our success notwithstanding, we still have much more to do,” said Chiarelli, who has emerged as the Army’s point man on mental health issues. “We face an Army-wide problem that will be only be solved by the coordinated efforts of our commanders, leaders, soldiers and program managers and health providers. This is a holistic problem with holistic solutions and that is how we’re approaching it.”

Chiarelli acknowledged that the Army continues to have problems with properly diagnosing soldiers with mild traumatic brain injuries, saying that it was an emerging area of medicine. And he acknowledged that soldiers at bases throughout the Army have sometimes had trouble receiving treatment for mild traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress.

Chiarelli took issue with our reporting, however. He said the NPR and ProPublica reports were wrong to blame military doctors for failing to diagnose the problem, or to accuse senior military officials of not taking the issue seriously. He also said that NPR and ProPublica had tried to draw a distinction between traumatic brain injury, or TBI, and post-traumatic stress, or PTS, two conditions which frequently occur together.

“I think the great disservice that NPR did to everyone was to try to isolate TBI from PTS. And that is just not possible,” Chiarelli said. “The co-morbidity of these two is what’s giving us the difficulty today. And I also think that they did a disservice when they indicated that PTS is a psychological problem. It’s not just at a psychological problem. It is a physical injury that occurs.”

Chiarelli did not cite any factual errors in the stories and we stand by our reporting. But we also think he is mischaracterizing our reporting, which was based on dozens of interviews with senior military researchers, commanders and soldiers, and thousands of pages of unpublished studies, e-mails and medical records.

First, we did address the overlap of TBI and PTSD in our stories: “To be sure, brain injuries and PTSD sometimes share common symptoms and co-exist in soldiers, brought on by the same terrifying events,” we wrote.

We also did not downplay the seriousness of PTSD — a wound which NPR has reported on extensively in past stories [5].

We found several instances in which military doctors expressed skepticism about mild traumatic brain injury and its effects. Dr. Charles Hoge, one of the Army’s senior health advisers, referred to the “illusory demands” of mild traumatic brain injury in an opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine last year. In an April 2010 e-mail that we obtained, he wrote: “What’s the harm in missing the diagnosis of mild TBI?” In an interview, Hoge told us that he was concerned with treating soldiers’ symptoms, no matter the cause.

We also turned up extensive evidence that military doctors weren’t diagnosing mild traumatic brain injuries, both on the battlefield and when troops came home. Battlefield medics, overwhelmed by life-threatening wounds, can miss the signs of concussions. Screening tools now in place often fail to catch soldiers who have suffered concussions. Soldiers often try to hide their symptoms to return to battle with their comrades.

One of the Army’s senior neuropsychologists told us of examining five soldiers who had survived a rocket attack in Iraq last year. Medical staff had treated their visible wounds, but failed to diagnose them as suffering from mild traumatic brain injury — even though they were suffering “classic” symptoms, according to Lt. Col. Mike Russell.

It is important to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury and quickly provide treatment for any lingering effects, according to the Pentagon’s own experts. While the majority of soldiers recover quickly from concussions, some report lasting mental and physical problems. Studies show that such soldiers can be helped by providing cognitive rehabilitative therapy, an intensive program to retrain the brain to perform mental tasks.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., asked Chiarelli several questions about the military’s efforts to improve how it diagnoses traumatic brain injury. Afterwards, he said that he appreciated Chiarelli’s efforts, but planned to continue pressing Army officials on the issue.

Udall “remains concerned about the impact of TBI and PTSD on our service members,” Tara Trujillo, a Udall spokeswoman. “As discussed at the hearing, there is much still to learn, different approaches to take and ways to continue to improve.”

After the hearing, Levin said he was convinced that the services were trying to properly diagnose mild traumatic brain injury.

“I remain concerned about the diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries, and especially of mild traumatic brain injuries, but it is not for lack of the services trying to do the best they can with existing science, tools, and methods,” Levin said in a statement. “There is still much to be learned in both the military and civilian medical environments about the diagnosis, treatment, and care of traumatic brain injury, and its relationship to other combat-related injuries such as post traumatic stress. I believe each of the services is taking the issues of detection, tracking, and follow-up care very seriously, but there is still work to be done.”

Read the Original Story here

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Department of Labor, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Leader of Military’s Program to Treat Brain Injuries Steps Down Abruptly

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 25, 2010

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica, and Daniel Zwerdling, NPR

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The leader of the Pentagon’s premiere program for treatment and research into brain injury and post traumatic stress disorders has unexpectedly stepped down from her post, according to senior medical and congressional officials.

Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton told staff members at the Defense Centers of Excellence [1], or DCOE, on Monday that she was giving up her position as director. Sutton, who launched the center in November 2007, had been expected to retire next year, officials with knowledge of the situation said. The center has not publicly announced her leaving.

Sutton’s departure follows criticism in Congress [3] over the performace of the center and in recent reports [4] by NPR and ProPublica that the military is failing to diagnose and treat soldiers suffering from so-called mild traumatic brain injuries, also called concussions.

It comes just as the Pentagon prepares to open a new, multimillion-dollar showcase treatment facility outside Washington, D.C., for troops with brain injuries [5] and post traumatic stress disorder, often referred to as the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Read the Entire Story here

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Challenges of Living With Traumatic Brain Injuries, PTSD

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 24, 2010

U.S. Army Capt. Adiran Veseth-Nelson and his wife Diana Veseth-Nelson with Imus on the challenges getting help for traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder.

Imus notes how well Capt Adiran looks and how you would never suspect he has a TBI and PTSD.

This couple discusses how important it is to help the entire family as it drastically effects the entire family.

DBA Casualties get NONE of this thanks to AIG, CNA, ACE…..

Go here to see the video Thanks to Charles for the heads up on this one

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Remember, health care delayed is health care denied!

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 24, 2010


From Larry Scott at VA Watchdog

Lists 24 ways that VA employees are “gaming” the dates on medical appointments to make themselves look more efficient while veterans wait for health care.

View the document Gaming the System

William Schoenhard, VA’s Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operation and Management, his issued a memorandum with an attachment that details 24 ways VA employees are “gaming” the appointment and waiting list procedures.  The memorandum portion of the document is to the right … click for larger view.

The problem with Schoenhard’s document is that it a great learning tool for VA employees who wish to keep “gaming” the system.  Schonehard even explains how “gaming” can be detected, thus giving employees warning to find a better way to hide their sins.  The perversity of this is pointed out below in a commentary by Veterans’ Advocate Jim Strickland.  Read the full story here

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

ACE in place to deny bp oil spill compensation claims

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 24, 2010

by Brit Guy

Anybody recognize this company! God help those involved,  but more importantly God help us.
We are not media darlings nor am I covered in feathers and struggling in oil.  I am not stood on the beach crying about my beautiful beach being ruined and how my business is going down the toilet.

I am in pain though,  fighting to get the treatment I need, to make sure my checks arrive on time,  chasing attorneys as they play games with my life as I watch my life disappearing down the toilet at the hands of these people.

To all of you in the Gulf Good luck your going to need it.

Deepwater Horizon Incident Response

ESIS®, Inc. (ESIS) is currently working at BP’s direction to administer claims associated with the Deepwater Horizon incident. ESIS is processing claims according to BP’s guidelines as overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard in compliance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

BP also will evaluate all claims for bodily injury even though they are not payable under the Oil Spill Pollution Act of 1990.

To date, ESIS has more than 700 claims professionals in 32 field offices in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. ESIS uses licensed claims professionals where required.

Follow the Money

Posted in ACE, Cancer, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, Political Watch, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Those fine upstanding Louisianna Judges

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 22, 2010


Judge Heavily Invested in BP and more

Follow the Money

We continue to follow our elected or appointed officials who value corporate greed, and in this case possibly personal greed as well,  over that of the lives under their jurisdiction.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans blocks Gulf offshore drilling moratorium

“The Less Than Honorable Feldman thinks it’s okay to play Russian Roulette with America’s shorelines. Methinks Feldman is bucking for a Supreme Court nomination.   He’s showing Big Oil he’s got the Right Stuff when it comes to making bullshit legal decisions.” here

Feldman’s financial disclosure report for 2008, the most recent available, shows holdings in at least eight petroleum companies or companies that invest in them, including Transocean Ltd., which owned the Deepwater Horizon.

Feldman’s 2008 financial disclosure report  also showed investments in Ocean Energy, a Houston-based company, as well as Quicksilver Resources, Prospect Energy, Peabody Energy, Halliburton, Pengrowth Energy Trust, Atlas Energy Resources, Parker Drilling and others. Halliburton was also involved in the doomed Deepwater Horizon project.

Feldman is a native of St. Louis and former Army captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps who was appointed in May to a seven-year term on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, according to court records.

The court meets secretly to consider government requests for wiretaps in national security cases, such as those involving foreign terrorist groups.

The lawsuit was filed by Hornbeck Offshore Services of Covington, La., and company CEO Todd Hornbeck said after the ruling he is looking forward to getting back to work.

Posted in Follow the Money, Misjudgements, Political Watch, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

BP’s Public Relations Propaganda supported by Department of Labor

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 22, 2010

OSHA Says Cleanup Workers Don’t Need Respirators

Hilda Solis and crew at the DoL again supporting Big Money

BP’s Contracted Oil Spill Workers are covered under the individual states Worker’s Comp programs ( which relieves them of  liability for this negligence.   The same way US Gov Contractor Companies are free to ignore all safety issues due to the DBA’s Exclusive Remedy.

Read more and sign the petition at Firedoglake

Nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, headaches, and chest pain: these are just some of the identical symptoms reported by people working around BP’s oil in the Gulf Coast.

More than 100 people in the Gulf have fallen ill from BP’s oil, and that doesn’t include untold numbers of workers hiding their symptoms for fear of being fired by BP.

Yet despite clear evidence of illness from exposure to oil and dispersants, BP refuses to provide respirators to people cleaning up its disaster. Why? Because BP is afraid of the PR impact from images of people wearing this critical safety equipment in pictures and on TV.  BP even threatened to fire workers who choose to wear their own.

This is ridiculous. No amount of good PR images for BP is worth the health and lives of people battling BP’s oil in the Gulf Coast.

Posted in Department of Labor, Exclusive Remedy, Political Watch, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hilda Solis Ignores Payment to “Documented”DBA Casualties

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 21, 2010

Hilda Solis  has plenty time for “Undocumented” Workers but refuses to address  “proper payment for every cent they are worth” to Injured War Zone Contractors who have no money to pay lobbyists with…..

Follow the Money……..

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Department of Labor, Political Watch, Zurich | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

2010 Annual Longshore Conference

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 20, 2010

The BRBS Longshore Reporter Staff provides a summary of the recent LHWCA/DBA 2010 Conference in New Orleans.  For a reminder of how heavily biased toward the defense this Department of Labor sponsored  Conference was  AGAIN see:

Loyola Annual Longshore Conference 2010- Overwhelmingly for the Defense again

From the Summary

“On March 18 and 19, 2010, the Annual Longshore Conference put on by Loyola University and the United States Department of Labor was held in New Orleans. Despite the current state of the economy in the United States, a record turnout of over 310 people attended.  Included in the attendees were Acting Chief Judge Stephen Purcell and Acting Associate Chief Judge Daniel Sutton. Also attending were judges from California to Covington as well as several District Directors of the OWCP. The conference was dedicated to the Honorable John M. Vittone, who retired recently as Chief Judge of the United States Department of Labor, and conference planners also thanked him for his years of service and dedication to the conference.”

Apparently times are good for all involved in the DBA except the claimant.

You won’t find any answers but you can read what topics were deemed most noteworthy here.

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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