Barbara Dill, Wade Dill vs AIG/KBR SEII
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 7, 2011
The Department of Labor Office of Administrative Judges has issued a 44 page
Decision and Order
declaring that an injured contractor suffered a psychological injury
as a result of his employment and that the injury led to suicide.
Survivor benefits were awarded to Dill’s widow and daughter.
Dill was hired by SEII, a defense contractor insured by AIG,
as a pest control specialist.
His job was to kill insects and trap rodents and certain feral animals.
He took the job to improve the family finances, pay down debt and
provide for his daughter’s education.
Dill was given psychological testing before being assigned to Iraq.
He was declared fit for service.
The ALJ determined that Dill’s work required his long term
physical separation from his family and exposure to a war zone environment,
“replete with both generally stressful conditions and specifically stressful incidents.
In the Judge’s opinion the changes in Dill’s behavior,
circumstances at home and the taking of his own life
were enough to connect his work to his death.
The employer was unable to overcome
the requisite legal burden to defeat the claim.
The Judge also declared that the suicide was the result
of an irresistible impulse that followed
a series of powerful countervailing impulses experienced
over a period of time.
Attorney Bruce Nicholson commented on the decision:
“The decision represents a sound road map for work related contractor suicide claims and is unlikely to be overturned when followed.”