Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Are UK companies on American contracts violating UK law and hiding behind the DBA exclusive remedy?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 6, 2010

Posted by our Brit Guy

Thanks to a landmark ruling in the House of Lords.  A ruling as far back as August 2006

The decision means that a traveler claiming against a party insured outside of England and Wales is entitled to UK levels of damages – among the highest in the world – even if the law in the country concerned limits the scope of compensation.

Whilst the article relates to holiday makers several UK law firms are now studying the ruling to see if it can be applied to injured contractors.
This is a complicated area of law below a brief but by no means a full quote of the law but an area which gives a basic idea.

Whilst the article relates to holiday makers several UK law firms are now studying the ruling to see if it can be applied to injured contractors.
This is a complicated area of law below a brief but by no means a full quote of the law but an area which gives a basic idea.

The contract of employment is an important document as are the facts as to who has day to day control over a worker’s activities whilst he is working abroad. Many duties of an employer to their worker are not delegable to a third party (such as s foreign company where the worker is sent to do his job) even though the employer may deny responsibility for health and safety. For many practical and financial reasons it is often very important that a worker can show that there is a UK based Defendant to a accident claim even though the injury occurred whilst working abroad.

So UK companies relying on the exclusive remedy of the DBA may in fact be liable under the laws of England and Wales for any shortfall in payments. Indeed foreign contractors can have benefits commutated to halve of future installments.

Also they may be liable for the shortfall as of the maximum amount being paid to limit the insurers liability.

Whilst we have to wait for the legal profesionals to work through this it has the possibility to expose several UK companies to huge loses because of the DBA policy.


If it is found that the law applies to injured contractors then the question to be asked is why are we insured under an inadequate policy which does not apply in the UK but cost the US taxpayer millions ????

One Response to “Are UK companies on American contracts violating UK law and hiding behind the DBA exclusive remedy?”

  1. esmacd said

    This leads to something that has been on my mind lately. I was blown up by an Ied under my vehicle near Baji jan 07. I am covered by AIG now Chartis Dallas with DBA benefits ie monthly pension with my commuting after MMI in (hopefully) the near future.
    My injuries are severe with loss of legs, eye, even an ear amongst other things.
    i worked for Armorgroup Convoy’s and spent a month in Germany before being repatriated to Australia, 20 odd surgeries later my wife was contacted by AG human resources telling her someone was going to visit me in hospital. This occurred about a week after my leg was amputated when the rep arrived from London. We were told we were entitled to a years wage if we signed an amputation disclaimer with no come back to Liberty at Loyd’s of London & Armorgroup. We signed of course as we were told we were covered by the DBA administered by AIG.
    My question is being 2 months after my injuries and not even remembering signing this disclaimer, I was so drugged up at the time I didnt really know what I was doing.
    We wondered if this disclaimer can stand up as im sure it was under duress especially for my family as none of us understood the insurance either AG’s or the DBA with AIG. Is there any precedent or does this come under we signed off from AG and this thread in regard to AG having no liability because of the DBA exclusive remedy?
    Regards.

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