Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Department of Labor District Medical Consultants (DMC’s)

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 12, 2010

This is how the DoL uses it’s “District Medical Consultants” for their  Independent Medical Examinations?

The Department of Labor repeatedly defies the very laws and regulations put in place to protect the Worker, even the regulations they write themselves

Harkin to Dept. of Labor: Reopen nuke worker’s case

“The Department of Labor’s district medical examiners have rejected the medical opinions of Fuortes and other qualified medical experts”

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin has officially asked the Department of Labor to reopen the medical compensation claim of Michael Fellinger, a former Ames Laboratory worker who died of lung disease in 2008, most likely caused by exposure to radiation as part of his work.

n a June 28 letter addressed to Shelby Hallmark, the director of the Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs with the Department of Labor, Harkin requested the case — which has been denied by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program — be reopened and sent to an independent third party for review.

“I believe that this case unfortunately illustrates flaws in the administration of the … program both with regard to the qualification of the District Medical Consultants (DMCs) and with overall adjudication of similar claims,” Harkin says in the letter. District medical consultants are doctors contracted by the program to offer medical opinions on disputed claims.

Harkin told The Iowa Independent in May that he would be intervening on behalf of Fellinger’s widow, Bo Fellinger.

“This is good,” said Fellinger, now a Colorado resident. “It’s a clear encapsulation of everything that has happened thus far. I think this is going to be very helpful.”

“I’m thrilled about this letter,” said Dr. Laurence Fuortes, Fellinger’s medical advocate and director of the University of Iowa Former Worker Medical Screening Program. “It very eloquently and humanely states a rationale behind reopening this claim. I hope Shelby Hallmark is willing and able to meet the request.”

Fellinger worked for the Ames Laboratory, the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., and the Fermi National Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., for periods from 1967 through 1972, where he would have been exposed to a host of toxins, including beryllium, thorium, and asbestos. He first became ill with pulmonary fibrosis in 1993, and contracted esophageal cancer in 2003. While still alive, he applied for compensation for his illnesses through the EEOICP. The first letter denying his claim arrived on the day of his death in 2008, and has been repeatedly denied since then.

Please Read the entire article here

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