Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Claimant “alleges” he was injured……

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 1, 2010

Alleged Injury

7 Responses to “Claimant “alleges” he was injured……”

  1. daffodils said

    This whole DBA game has moved beyond absurd, it’s become truly insane.
    A DOL judge called this bomb blast injury an “alleged injury” in a ruling few days ago, demanding yet another so-called independent opinion from an insurance hired gun doctor.
    Any dimwit on earth can see that this is a real disabling injury at first glance, so why do these twits at DOL need any further proof to grant this war hero his DBA compensation without dragging this process out for years?

    Of course not, the whole charade is just a game to wear them down and provide make-work (and mega pay) for all these lawyers and doctors and investigators and claims managers and judges/dol officials and the whole bloody cottage industry leeching off injured contractors.

    Alleged means so declared, but without proof or legal conviction.
    Gee, next we have to prove the earth is round and the sun rises in the east. After all, being in a war zone for months is no longer life-threatening according to these courts and mark my words the next ruling will claim that dismantling unexploded ordinance is a cakewalk, it can’t possibly hurt anyone, the photo is exaggerated, the shuffle is fake, and the victim is malingering.

    Really had enough of this ongoing BS.

  2. Yeah, they didn’t see enough of this at Walter Reed in July of 2003 so they took time to exaggerate that photo.
    The unabashed bias represented in this sloppy order is a perfect example of the DoL’s and a few ALJ’s disdain for “alleged” injured workers.

  3. Injured Contractor said

    From the DBA X Files
    TW v Service Employers INTL 2008-LDA-00331 (March 31 2009)

    ALJ Paul Johnson

    Griffith credited Dr. John Dorland Griffith

    Kurt A Gronau, Jerry R. McKenney for AIG

    Note: Claimant lives in Cheboygan, Michigan, Dr Griffith is in Houston

    TW worked in Iraq from February 2005 until May 2007 as labor foreman supervising third-party (non-
    Iraqi and non-U.S.) nationals and drove trucks. He stayed at Camp Remagen for eight months where
    he was exposed to occasional mortar attacks and small arms fire. He transferred to Camp Danger
    for a year, the camp was subjected to mortar and rocket attacks on average three times a day.

    TW was forcibly removed from Camp Warrior after telling his brother on the phone that he was going
    to kill the camp manager who had made racial slurs, put him in danger by increasing his crew over 7
    and denied him permission to see a military doctor.
    He had called Employee Assistance Program four times for help, so that he would not in fact hurt the
    camp manager, but the person he spoke with laughed at him.

    In addition, TW witnessed three soldiers under mortar fire, resulting in the death of one soldier, the
    immediate injury of the others, with one eventually dying. He also was part of the response in the
    aftermath of a mortar attack that killed six third-country nationals, and he helped in the
    cleanup of bodies.

    TW had no psychiatric problems before going to Iraq. All of his four doctors diagnosed PTSD and
    Major Depression Disorder, supported by the Millon Clinical MultiaxialInventory-III (“MCMI-III”) test
    result. They include a clinical psychologist who treated TW for 24 sessions; aboard certified
    psychiatrists; Dr Steven Reppuhn, Ph.D; an dhis board certified family physician.

    But the judge denied his claim for one single dubious reason: “Because a reaction of intense fear,
    horror, or helplessness is required for a finding of PTSD, and because that reaction is not present in
    this case, Claimant has not established that he suffers from PTSD. The opinions of Drs.Marshall, Van
    Holla, Reppuhn, and Oram do not establish the existence of PTSD because the credible, objective
    evidence does not support their conclusions.”

    The sheer arrogance of this judge impeaching the professional competence and integrity of four
    qualified doctors without affording them the opportunity to explain and supplement their diagnosis is
    beyond belief. Does he really think they did not consider a basic PTSD criterion before reaching their
    He even implies that Dr Marshall, a clinical psychologist who treated TW over 24 sessions, was lying
    in his treatment notes: “He [TW] reports thinking about Iraq a lot. He has thoughts about gun fire,
    incoming missiles, and fears of being hit by shrapnel”. Unless the judge read the full transcript of
    these 24 therapy sessions, how does he presume to know everything that was said? “Although Dr.
    Marshall states that Claimant felt intense fear or horror, there is nothing in Claimant’s statements to
    him that supports that finding.”

    Only the deceptive Dr John Dorland Griffith was credited, who claims TW told him the killing “didn’t
    affect him”. “When asked specifically whether any incident caused him to feel horror, Claimant first
    “blew up” at Dr. Griffith, and then said, “it didn’t affect him”.
    Why so vague?
    What exactly did TW say when he “blew up”?
    Where is the audio/ video recording of the session?

    The DSM-IV states: ‘or horror’, not ‘and horror’; why are we playing word games again?
    Dr Griffith asked once about the killing, not about TW’s reaction to daily incoming mortar and small
    arms fire. Its simply untrue for the judge to say TW “consistently stated hat exposure to mortar fire
    and to the deaths of soldiers and other workers in Iraq did not affect him in anyway.”

    Any rational, reasonable person would be afraid of random incoming rocket/ mortar fire three times a
    day. TW testified he did not care if he lived or died; he began to cry at nighttime, felt very
    unsupported by those that were former military; and carries the bullet that penetrated his pillow in a
    necklace. LW never said that there was no incident that made him feel intense fear, helplessness, or
    horror. In his deposition, he said he “thought about” the deaths he observed “for a little bit, but then it
    went away.” He was not asked about his reaction to the consistent incoming mortar fire.

    It’s puerile, a major leap in reasoning puerile to conclude that TW did not mention fear or horror to
    three of his doctors just because they made no specific mention of such common-sense fact in their
    treatment notes.

    Basic due process demands that all witnesses have an equal opportunity to be heard.
    But only AIG’s Dr Griffith testified at trial, could say whatever he pleased and none of the other four
    doctors had a chance to rebut him. It is a common tactic to have claimants’ doctors prepare their
    reports first and then allow the defense doctors to pick holes in it (however inaccurate) without an
    opportunity to respond.
    Similarly, the down-and-out civilian contractors can’t afford to pay their doctors to attend and testify at
    trial while the insurance company, flush with bailout money, always dispatches their hired guns to
    have the last word.

    At least this judge did not fall for Dr Griffith’s routine attempts to minimize wartime exposure; but
    nevertheless seized upon his sophistry concerning one PTSD criterion without having the medical
    background to properly evaluate its significance for this complex diagnosis.

    Judge Johnson inexplicably ignored the diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder in his decision, and
    made no mention of the MMPI-2 test result administered by Dr Griffith.

    The court reporter who recorded the formal hearing on October 14, 2008 disappeared, along with the
    tapes of the hearing and no transcript was prepared.
    [How convenient. Did TW perhaps say at the hearing that he was scared in Iraq?
    Is the court reporter still missing?]
    Judge: “It is significant as well that in testifying at his second deposition, Claimant addressed the
    mortar attacks and the deaths he observed in a matter-of-fact way, with no evident emotional
    response. Taken as a whole, therefore, the evidence shows that Claimant did not, in fact, react with
    horror, intense fear, or helplessness to the incoming mortar
    attacks or the deaths that he witnessed”
    [Note: The whole point of 24 PTSD treatment sessions is desensitization by revisiting the trauma in a
    controlled environment, to blunt the emotional response. The judge ignored the obvious fact that at
    the time of his 2nd deposition TW was already home for 18 months and on Zoloft pills.
    In addition, he was already forced to retell his trauma to at least five doctors; his lawyer; at two
    depositions and trial. To expect him to have a breakdown after all this time is completely ridiculous,
    especially when the judge cites PTSD Criterion C: “… and numbing of general responsiveness.”

    This case is a prime example of an administrative law judge cherry-picking and then distorting the evidence to support his predetermined conclusion to deny.

  4. anonymousonpurpose said

    Hello Daffodils,

    Very well said, thank you for putting into words everything that we all think…and know to be true.

    Thank you once again defensebaseactcomp!

    Your hard work helps hundreds, if not thousands of people who have been raped by the system!

  5. daffodils said

    The dark irony in all this is that the leading psychiatrists of our generation are throwing out this required criterion from the 1980 DSM4 and came to the conclusion that “intense fear, helpnessless or horror” has no utility in diagnosing PTSD.

    All these dimwit judges playing God without any elementary understanding of the complexities involved in diagnosing a mental disorder and without any medical background should do the honorable thing and fall on their sword, not tomorrow but tonight. Never mind never having stepped outside an air-conditioned or comfortably heated environment and still have the gall to blithely declare war zones are not life-threatning.

    Too bad that a whole lot of people have been condemned to misery and even death because of your mistake and belated recognition of something that was obvious and documented since Sparta. You don’t show or r emember emotion when in extreme danger because more primitive survival instincts take over until your’e out of there when it only starts dawning what actually happened and the ghosts start haunting you.

    Too bad, although every nation since recorded history knew and was honest enough to acknowledge and tried to accommodate this inevitable war injury the Department of Labor in America in 2010 walked the world backwards at the expense of their own people.

    Happy Independence Day everyone.

  6. […] admissions sure would make it hard for Administrative Law Judges like Paul C Johnson to name them as alleged.   ALJ Paul C Johnson has yet to award benefits to a DBA Claimant in a […]

  7. […] admissions sure would make it hard for Administrative Law Judges like Paul C Johnson to name them as alleged.   ALJ Paul C Johnson has yet to award benefits to a DBA Claimant in a […]

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