Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for March, 2012

Nuclear Workers Data Breach Revealed

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 29, 2012

Nuclear Workers Data Breach RevealedHuntington News  March 29, 2012

Craig, CO – The Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups (ANWAG) has learned and is “extremely disturbed” that the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) failed to inform claimants that one of their medical contractors, Impairment Resources LLC, had computer files stolen on December 31, 2011.

These files contained claimant names, addresses, social security numbers, and medical records. ANWAG was alerted to this issue by a claimant’s authorized representative, Gary Vander Boegh, who forwarded this article on the break-in:

I confirmed with OWCP Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation that they were notified of this breach in early February. Yet almost two months later they are still trying to identify which claimants have had their records breached,” stated Terrie Barrie of ANWAG. “I’m appalled that OWCP did not immediately issue a general warning that some of their claimants may have had their protected information stolen.”
“The lack of timely notification to the affected people seems egregious,” added Faye Vlieger of CWP. “I am highly indignant with OWCP withholding the facts. It shows a certain highhandedness of OWCP to assume there will be no damage done by the break in.”

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Department of Labor, Independent Medical Examinations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

AIG/Chartis stops writing excess workers’ comp

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 28, 2012

It had previously been predicted elsewhere that the DBA Insurance Companies would begin to crash as they lost the huge premiums they were taking in for Contractors working in the War Zones.

Take the money and run

Best Week Press Release

Big changes lie ahead for the excess workers’ compensation line, as the third-largest writer leaves the stand-alone market in the wake of rising medical costs and the possible impact of the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest issue of BestWeek U.S./Canada. Chartis said in February it stopped writing the business on a stand-alone basis.

“Workers’ compensation is in a very different place today than where it was 10 years ago,” said Russ Johnston, who runs U.S. and Canada casualty operations for Chartis.

AIG said one reason it was leaving the stand-alone business was the Affordable Care Act. AIG “concluded that there is increased vulnerability to the risk of further cost-shifting to the excess workers’ compensation class of business in particular,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

Under the ACA, some 33 million people will gain health insurance coverage at a net cost of $1.1 trillion. That increase in the insured population will result in an increased demand for doctors, resulting in a shortage of primary care doctors and some cost shifting, said Don Hurter, senior vice president of Chartis’ medical management services

What is Excess Workers’ Comp Insurance

Workers’ Comp Executive  Analyst says AIG Workers Comp Reserves are short (2010)

Shares in American International Group (NYSE: AIG) were taking a hit on Wall Street after a prominent analyst warned that three of its long-tail lines of coverage were significantly under reserved. The warning was issued by analysts at Bernstein Research who said the bulk of the reserve deficit is with its general liability and professional liability lines of coverage, but workers’ comp accounted for $1.8 billion of the total, according to published accounts of the research report.

Overall, the three lines amounted to an estimated $10 billion shortfall, while another $1 billion is spread across other lines. AIG spokesman Mark Herr says AIG is “not commenting” on the report and contacts at Bernstein Research were not available to elaborate on their findings.

Those findings could spell trouble for taxpayers who are on the hook for approximately $180 billion in financial aid to the troubled carrier. Taxpayers own 80% of the company and the value of their investment tumbled in trading on Monday in the wake of the report. Shares were off over 14% in late-afternoon trading to $28.52 a share.

While the report is troubling, the company had been showing signs of improvement. AIG and its Chartis general insurance unit recently closed the third quarter with $455 million in net income — the second quarter in a row in which it posted a profit. AIG had adjusted net income of $1.9 billion in the quarter compared to a $9.2 billion adjusted net loss last year. For its Chartis unit, which covers its workers’ comp operations, the company reported net operating income of $722 million. This is up from $105 million in the same period last year and was helped by $612 million in net investment income.

Premiums, however, were down for the unit. AIG says Chartis’ net written premiums amounted to $8.1 billion in the quarter – a 13% decline from the prior year period. AIG said the drop-off was due in part to a decision to hold the line on prices for its workers’ comp business, which accounts for 14% of its gross written premiums.

In California, AIG had nearly $576 million in written premiums in 2008 or 7.5% of the market. AIG companies filed for rate increases of 10% and 7% during the January 1 and July 1 filing periods last year. It hasn’t filed its 2010 rates. Companies in the AIG group filed for an 8% increase for its 2010 rates.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Defense Base Act Insurance | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jim St Pierre, Former Pasco County Deputy, dies in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 26, 2012

My Fox Tampa Bay  March 26, 2012

Two years ago Jim St. Pierre told his girlfriend Nancy Kleinfelder he wanted to go to work in Afghanistan.

As you can imagine, she was concerned.

“I was just worried to death that he would be in harms way,” Kleinfelder said of where St. Pierre would be spending a majority of his time.

But she also understood.

St. Pierre, a retired Pasco County sheriff’s deputy and father of three, had dedicated his life to service and training K-9s.

In Afghanistan he would be doing both.

“He wanted to help people and those were the best times,” said Kleinfelder.

Friday Kleinfelder’s fears were confirmed, St. Pierre died in Afghanistan of a heart attack at the age of 51.

“I’ll miss him,” she said. “His family will miss him terribly.”

St. Pierre worked as a contractor in Afghanistan for American K-9 Detection Services as a narcotics detection dog handler.

The company says he and his partner Jowi had found drugs on numerous occasions during their two years in the country.

St. Pierre also worked with K-9’s with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, but his love for dogs started long before his work as an officer.

“When we were children, going to Sunshine Elementary School he had a shepherd here,” said David McConnell.

McConnell had known St. Pierre since childhood. They grew up together.

“He was more like a brother to me, basically all my life,” McConnell said Sunday.

He adds that St. Pierre’s parents are distraught over their son’s death.

Friend and family say he’ll be sorely missed.

“A terrific guy, great sense of humor but also a great sense of duty and honor,” said McConnell. “He was serious about his work but he didn’t take himself too seriously so that made him fun to be around.”

They also hope his death reminds folks of the many contractors who have died in the war-torn country.

“I just don’t want people to forget that there are thousands of men and women just like him who are serving and we need to remember them and honor them as well,” said Kleinfelder

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

War is Brain-Damaging

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 18, 2012

The Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and the Department of Labor are as negligent as the Department of Defense when it comes denying the dangers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, and most negligently when a contractor suffers from both.

“a potentially lethal combination of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. When the frontal lobe — which controls emotions — is damaged, it simply can’t put on the brakes if a PTSD flashback unleashes powerful feelings. Seeing his buddy’s leg blown off may have unleashed a PTSD episode his damaged brain couldn’t stop”

The New York Times Sunday Review

These vets suffer from a particular kind of brain damage that results from repeated exposure to the concussive force of improvised explosive devices — I.E.D.’s — a regular event for troops traveling the roads in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It’s Russian roulette,” one vet told me, “We had one guy in our company who got hit nine times before the 10th one waxed him.” An I.E.D. explosion can mean death or at least a lost arm or leg, but you don’t have to take a direct hit to feel its effects. A veteran who’d been in 26 blasts explained, “It feels like you’re whacked in the head with a shovel. When you come to, you don’t know whether you’re dead or alive.”

The news that Robert Bales, an Army staff sergeant accused of having killed 16 Afghan civilians last week, had suffered a traumatic brain injury unleashed a flurry of e-mails among those of us who have been trying to beat the drums about this widespread — and often undiagnosed — war injury. New facts about Staff Sgt. Bales are coming out daily. After we heard about the brain injury that resulted when his vehicle rolled over in an I.E.D. blast, we were told that he had lost part of his foot in a separate incident. Then we learned that the day before his rampage, he’d been standing by a buddy when that man’s leg was blown off. There are also reports of alcohol use.

People with more appropriate professional skills than mine will have to parse these facts, but from what I have learned in my work as a storyteller, this tragedy may be related to something I heard about in my interviews: a potentially lethal combination of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. When the frontal lobe — which controls emotions — is damaged, it simply can’t put on the brakes if a PTSD flashback unleashes powerful feelings. Seeing his buddy’s leg blown off may have unleashed a PTSD episode his damaged brain couldn’t stop. If alcohol was indeed part of the picture, it could have further undermined his compromised frontal lobe function

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Melt Down, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Afghan shooting suspect’s friend had leg blown off

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 16, 2012

From the AP  March 16, 2012

Attorney John Henry Browne talks to reporters, Thursday, March 15, 2012, in Seattle. Browne will be representing the U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The soldier’s attorney, Seattle attorney John Henry Browne, told reporters Thursday that the day before the rampage, he saw his friend’s leg blown off.

Browne told The Associated Press that his client’s family provided him with details of the injury to another U.S. soldier. The details have not been independently verified.

“His leg was blown off, and my client was standing next to him,” he said Thursday.

It isn’t clear whether the incident might have helped prompt the horrific middle-of-the-night attack on civilians in two villages last Sunday. Browne said it affected all of the soldiers at the base.

The suspect had been injured twice during his three previous deployments to Iraq and didn’t want to go to Afghanistan to begin with, Browne said.

Browne declined to release his client’s name, citing concerns for the man’s family, which is under protection on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma. But he said the soldier has two young children, ages 3 and 4.

Please see the original and read more here

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

All’s Fair in Love and AIG WAR? No Ethics ?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 14, 2012

Defense Base Act Claimants really are in another War Zone when they must file a DBA Claim.

As it turns out many, too many, of the Plaintiff’s own Attorneys are aiding and abetting the enemy

Last January ALJ  Berlin awarded the Dill Widow DBA Death Benefits in a very important PTSD/Suicide Claim.

This claim was denied for five years while Wade Dill’s  widow Barbara’s integrity was brutally attacked as though she had pulled the trigger herself.

KBR refused to supply Wade Dill’s medical records and other reports which would have exposed the state of mind he was in while still in Iraq.  But it is OK to defy discovery if you are AIG/KBR-SEII.  Do not try this yourself, you’ll lose your claim.

Dennis Nalick was the Attorney who brought this claim to a successful decision. 

Barbara Dill’s next Attorney, Bruce H Nicholson, refused to address misinformation in the records saying “you won the claim why would you want to mess with it”.

Mr Nicholson refuted any suggestion that this very important decision would be appealed.  He went so far as to tell the Widow that she should discontinue corresponding with those who assured her it would be.  Bad people we are, just trying to upset her needlessly.

AIG KBR SEII via Michael Thomas appealed the decision.

Mr Nicholson never responded to the Benefits Review Board on behalf of the Widow though he assured her he was on top of it and he and the widow corresponded regularly.

On February 28 the BRB overturned the ALJ’s decision, unopposed.  The widow was not represented at all.

Mr. Nicholson was though, prior to this decision, negotiating a “settlement” with Michael Thomas and AIG which would take this important PTSD Suicide decision out of this WAR as case law for all impending and future PTSD Suicide claims.  The same Mr Nicholson who posted here at the blog in response to the award:

“The decision represents a sound road map for work related contractor suicide claims and is unlikely to be overturned when followed.”

We ask, is no one in this wretched biased system held to any standard of ethical practice?

Mr Nicholson was responsible for representing the Widow and he did not.

Would it not have been a requirement of those who were involved in this to make the widow aware, to speak up?

We do not kid ourselves that this was simply a case of friendly fire.  There was too much at stake here.

Posted in AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Defense Medical Examinations, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, Iraq, KBR, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

PTSD diagnoses at Lewis-McChord reexamined

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 13, 2012

Thanks to MsSparky for putting this one together, your DBAComp team is busy SCREAMING WHY !!!!


It is home base not only of the soldier accused in this weekend’s shooting of civilian women and children in Afghanistan, but also , who was recently convicted of killing Afghan civilians for sport.

It’s also the base of Iraq War veteran , the suspect in the killing of a Mount Rainier National Park ranger on New Year’s Day. (Barnes’ body was later found in the park.) “Beltway Sniper” – executed in 2009 for killing 10 people around Washington, D.C. – was also stationed at Lewis-McChord.

(CBS/AP) – March 12, 2012 – Diagnoses of post-traumatic stress disorder at an Army Medical Center located at the home base of the soldier accused of fatally shooting 16 Afghan civilians has been under scrutiny by Army investigators.

The forensic psychiatry unit at had come under fire for reversing diagnoses of for nearly 300 service members during the past five years. The head of Madigan Healthcare System was recently placed on administrative leave.

The Army initiated an investigation following an Army ombudsman’s memo indicating that hospital officials were encouraging psychiatrists to limit diagnoses of PTSD in order to reduce costs.

Madigan is located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., which has sent tens of thousands of soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is home base not only of the soldier accused in this weekend’s shooting of civilian women and children in Afghanistan, but also Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, who was recently convicted of killing Afghan civilians for sport.

It’s also the base of Iraq War veteran Benjamin Colton Barnes, the suspect in the killing of a Mount Rainier National Park ranger on New Year’s Day. (Barnes’ body was later found in the park.) “Beltway Sniper” John Allen Muhammad – executed in 2009 for killing 10 people around Washington, D.C. – was also stationed at Lewis-McChord.

It is unknown what, if any, role PTSD played in the case of Sunday’s attack.

Shooting suspect is from troubled U.S. base
Afghan rampage: Suspect’s motive a big unknown
U.S. soldier held in deaths of 16 Afghans

PTSD is a condition which results from experiencing or seeing a traumatic event, such as a battlefield casualty. Symptoms can include recurrent nightmares, flashbacks, irritability and feeling distant from other people.


Soldiers are often diagnosed with PTSD as they move through the Army medical system. The forensic team at Madigan was charged with making a final diagnostic review of soldiers under consideration for retirement.

In 2008 the Rand Corporation had estimated that one in five veterans of fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan suffers from major depression or PTSD.

The ombudsman’s memo, as reported in The Seattle News-Tribune, quoted a Madigan Army psychiatrist telling a September 2011 meeting of medical center clinicians not to simply “rubber stamp” a soldier’s PTSD diagnosis, which could allow the service member to retire with disability and lifetime health benefits ranging between $400,000 and $1.5 million.

The psychiatrist stated that “we have to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars,” and warned PTSD diagnoses could lead to the Army and Department of Veterans Affairs going broke.

In February the Seattle Times reported that the head of Madigan Healthcare System, Col. Dallas Homas, was administratively removed from command less than a year after taking over.

“This is a common practice during ongoing investigations and nothing more,” Maj. Gen. Phillip Volpe, head of Western Regional Medical Command, told the Associated Press.

Madigan’s PTSD screeners were also suspended from duty as Army Medical Command investigates the reversed diagnoses.

The staff at Madigan has denied they were pressured by commanders to limit PTSD diagnoses.

Earlier this year 14 soldiers were re-evaluated after complaining that their PTSD diagnoses had been reversed by Madigan. (Six of the 14 had their PTSD diagnoses reinstated.) Last week, it was announced that an additional 285 patients had been identified as having had their PTSD diagnoses reversed at Madigan since 2007.

The soldiers will be invited to undergo new evaluations, either at Madigan or at other military facilities. (Click HERE for original article)

Posted in Afghanistan, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

US Spec Ops Serviceman, with diagnosed TBI, kills 16 in house to house village shooting

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 11, 2012


Someone always pays, just not those responsible

Updated at 7:59 a.m. ET: KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.S. soldier who allegedly shot 16 Afghan villagers was caught on surveillance video that showed him walking up to his base and raising his arms in surrender, Afghan officials who viewed the footage said.

The video reportedly was shot from a blimp and showed the soldier walking up to his base covered in a traditional Afghan shawl. The soldier removed the shawl and put his weapon on the ground, then raised his arms in surrender, unidentified Afghan officials told Reuters and The Associated Press.

The video had been shown to investigators to help dispel a widely held belief among Afghans, including many members of parliament, that more than one soldier must have been involved because of the high death toll, the officials told journalists.

Shooting suspect was trained sniper  March12, 2012

The soldier detained for the shootings in Afghanistan was a qualified infantry sniper, a senior Department of Defense official told CNN. (See also: heightened security in Afghanistan)

The soldier was injured in a vehicle rollover while in Iraq in 2010, according to the official. The official described it as a non-combat rollover. He was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) but was found fit for duty.

His family has been moved on to Joint Base Lewis-McChord for their safety, the official said.

After an Afghan soldier alerted the U.S. military at the base of the soldier’s initial departure, the U.S. military put up an aircraft to search for the missing soldier. Soon after, Afghan civilians came to the gate carrying wounded civilians, the first indication the military had of the shooting.

When the soldier turned himself over to the search party, he immediately invoked his rights not to speak. He has been moved to Kandahar and put in pre-trial confinement, a congressional source told CNN.

  March 11, 2012 10pm

“It appears he walked off post and later returned and turned himself in,” said Lt. Cmdr. James Williams, a military spokesman. The NATO force said the assailant acknowledged he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shootings, which began about 3 a.m.

The soldier’s name has not been released, but a U.S. official told ABC News he is a 38-year-old staff sergeant who is married with two children and had served three tours in Iraq This was his first tour in Afghanistan, where he has been since early December, the official said.

Separately, a senior U.S. military official confirmed that the sergeant was attached to a unit based at Lewis-McChord, located near Tacoma, and that he had been part of what is called a village-stabilization operation in Afghanistan, in which teams of Green Berets, supported by other soldiers, try to develop close ties with village elders, organize local police units and track down Taliban leaders. The official said the sergeant was not a Green Beret himself.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – A soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in cold blood while they slept is a staff sergeant from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a U.S. official has confirmed

The soldier’s name has not been released, but a U.S. official told ABC News he is a 38-year-old staff sergeant who is married with two children, and served three tours in Iraq. This was his first tour in Afghanistan, where he has been since early December, the official said

LA Times  March 11, 2012

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — A lone American serviceman slipped away from his base in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday and went on a methodical house-to-house shooting spree in a nearby village, killing 16 people, nearly all of them women and children, according to Afghan officials who visited the scene.

The NATO force confirmed that the assailant was in military custody, and that he had inflicted an unspecified number of casualties during the shooting spree at about 3 a.m. Sunday. The U.S. Embassy called for calm and expressed deep condolences; the Taliban referred to the killings as an “act of genocide.”

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported that the shooter was a staff sergeant and a member of the U.S. special operations forces who had been involved in training the Afghan police.

The incident, potentially the worst atrocity of the 10-year war to be deliberately carried out by a single member of the Western military, represents a stunning setback to U.S.-Afghan relations, already shaken by last month’s burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. military base north of Kabul

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Afghanistan, Follow the Money, Iraq, Melt Down, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Family says DynCorp lied about killing

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 6, 2012

Courthouse News  March 6, 2012

DETROIT (CN) – A family claims in Federal Court that DynCorp International covered up the shooting of their son, who allegedly was shot to death by a drunken co-worker in Iraq.
The family of the late Justin Pope sued DynCorp and 12 of its employees, including the alleged shooter, Kyle Palmer.
The family claims Palmer was drunk when he shot and killed Justin Pope in front of at least 11 other DynCorp employees on March 4, 2009. They say in the complaint that “Defendant Palmer pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the case of United States v. Kyle Palmer … and on March 29, 2010, was sentenced to, among other things, three (3) years in prison for the crime.”
The men worked as security specialists for DynCorp in Kirkuk, Iraq, assigned to protect American diplomats and dignitaries. DynCorp is a private military contractor based in Falls Church, Va.
Pope, a Detroit native who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was 25 at the time of his death.
Pope’s family claims DynCorp and the alleged witnesses conjured up a story to cover up the facts of his death.
The complaint states: “Defendant Palmer in his drunkenness, pulled out a gun, pointed it at Justin’s mouth, pulled the trigger, and shot Justin to death

“Within 24 hours, defendants commenced a series of events as part of a conspiracy amongst and between themselves as well as, at some point, agents of the United States government, to deceive and mislead the public – and Justin’s family, plaintiffs herein, in particular – with regard to the facts and circumstances of Justin’s death, withholding the truth from them.
“Among the falsehoods that Defendants affirmatively told plaintiffs and/or communicated to the public, at various times from March 4, 2009 to the present and continuing, were the following:
“a. That Justin was alone when he was killed;
“b. That Justin shot himself;
“c. That Justin was intoxicated, in violation of DynCorp policy;
“d. That Justin was shot by his own firearm;
“e. That Justin was shot because he and Palmer were pointing their guns at one another;
“f. That Justin, while intoxicated, pointed his gun at Palmer’s head;
“g. That Justin’s death was exclusively his fault; and
“h. Other falsehoods.
“Among the facts that defendants deliberately concealed from plaintiffs were the following:
“a. That defendant Palmer shot and killed Justin;
“b. That Justin was shot from a distance of at least several feet;
“c. That there was no evidence that Justin had ingested alcohol or any other intoxicants;
“d. That there were at least eleven (11) people in the room at the time that Justin was shot;
“e. That there was widespread ingestion of alcohol and intoxication amongst DynCorp employees, including but not limited to individual Defendants
Palmer, Fleming, Hillestad, Augustine, Igo, Tanner, Isaac [Doe 1] and Doe #’s 2-7, the night of Justin’s shooting death;
“That while DynCorp claimed to have a policy of zero tolerance for alcohol ingestion by DynCorp employees on its premises in Iraq, in fact, alcohol abuse was permitted, tolerated, authorized, condoned, approved, known, and promoted by Defendant DynCorp;
“That defendant DynCorp had ordered all its employees who were present in Justin’s room when he was shot and killed to go into a room and not come out until they had agreed upon a story as to how it had happened so they could conceal the truth; and
“Other pertinent information.
“Plaintiffs to this date have never been provided any information regarding the medical treatment that was provided to Justin after he was shot and before he died.
“Plaintiffs to this date have never been provided any of defendant DynCorp’s investigation reports or information about the internal investigation that supposedly occurred after the shooting.”
Even after Palmer’s conviction and sentencing, DynCorp continues to stick to its fabricated story, Pope’s family says.
They add: “The acts, false statements and omissions of defendants, described above, were intentional, willful, wanton, and designed to cause pain and injury. They were malicious, and were performed in violation of and with deliberate indifference and/or in reckless disregard of plaintiffs’ respective emotional well-being. …
These craven acts of dishonesty, some of which occurred immediately after Justin’s death and in the wake of his family’s shock and grief, and continue to this day, consisted both of fabricating events that did not happen (e.g. telling Justin’s family that ‘he shot himself’) and of intentionally withholding information regarding the circumstances of his death from the family. These acts of dishonesty were committed directly by defendants, and as part of the conspiracy, alleged herein, amongst defendants and with agents and officials of the United States government.”
Pope’s family seeks exemplary damages for conspiracy to intentionally inflict emotional injury, and intentional infliction of emotional injury.
They are represented by William Goodman, with Goodman Hurwitz

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Dyncorp, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, State Department | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Lawsuit seeks accounting of Fort Ord Reuse Authority money

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 6, 2012

Most of $100 Million of Federal Munitions Clean Up Money goes to AIG for Insurance

Fort Ord: Group files suit to get accounting of FORA’s $100M

Open space advocates filed suit Monday to get an accounting of how the Fort Ord Reuse Authority spent nearly $100 million in federal money.

Keep Fort Ord Wild is asking a judge to compel FORA to release documents it first requested under the Public Records Act in December. Molly Erickson, attorney for the group, said FORA responded with incomplete records and said it does not have or has destroyed the rest.

At issue is a $99.3 million grant, the Environmental Services Cooperative Agreement, issued in 2007 for cleanup of munitions and explosives on Fort Ord.

The records supplied say the majority of the money, $82.1 million, purchased an “environmental insurance policy.” Erickson said FORA representatives said they did not have a copy of the policy and didn’t have a right to request one unless a claim were filed.

FORA spokeswoman Candy Ingram said the policy is a fixed-rate contract with Chartis, formerly American International Group, to administer the cleanup work with independent contractors. AON insurance, in turn, underwrote Chartis, guaranteeing the job would be completed at cost by 2015.

Contracts between the two companies are private, she said. With few exceptions, FORA does not have purview over the individual invoices submitted as part of the ongoing work, she added

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Follow the Money, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

PTSD Suicide Joseph R Clyde

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 5, 2012

Joseph R Clyde – “JC”, Clydesdale
Jan 14, 1970 – Jan 28, 2012 – RIP
Iraq 2005 -2009 BT – Anaconda

Tribute to those who gave all

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Dropping the DBA Ball, PTSD and TBI, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

First new civilian medal presented posthumously to Norfolk suicide bomb victim Nic Crouch

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 4, 2012

Norwhich Evening News  March 3, 2012

The first of a new set of civilian medals has been presented posthumously to a Norfolk man who died in a suicude bomb blast

But the small piece of metal carries a huge message of hope and comfort for the family of Nic Crouch.

The Civilian Service Medal recalls his service as a private security worker in the Middle East – and sees the fulfilment of a wish he penned in a poignant letter to his parents in north Norfolk in case he was killed.

After Mr Crouch died, aged just 29, in a suicide car bomb blast in Iraq in July 2010, his family received a letter saying: “If I should be killed in Afghanistan/Iraq and the media is interested, I should like them to know how I and all the other former soldiers contributed to the Great Game.

“I seek no personal glory, but many good Paras and ex-Servicemen have died supporting these operations with little or no recognition of their bravery.”

Now after an 18-month battle by his parents, who have moved from Trimingham to Sheringham since Nic’s death, Mr Crouch has been awarded the first of the newly-created Civilian Service (Afghanistan) Medals.

His father Clive Crouch said: “I am pleased we have managed to get a tick in the box for one of Nic’s requests. The medal is not just for him, but for all his colleagues, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

With more and more civilian workers doing support duties for shrinking armed forces it was all the more important to get recognition for their service, which was a far cry from the mercenary “dogs of war” that some people associated with overseas security duties.

What Nic did was “duty in a tough environment” and the MP was pleased the posthumous medal was presented at the Foreign Office this week by Alistair Burt, the foreign secretary for Middle Eastern affairs.

“Bereavement is incredibly difficult particularly when a young man is involved, and when you feel there has not been proper recognition of what your child has done. It hurts profoundly,” said Mr Lamb, who hoped the award would help the family move on.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the Queen approved the introduction of the new medal last June, which would be awarded to UK civilians who, like Mr Crouch, had “served in direct support of Her Majesty’s Government’s objectives in Afghanistan since 2001.

“It recognises their dedicated work in this challenging, often dangerous environment. Their important work is integral to the achievement of a stable and secure Afghanistan,” he added, confirming Mr Crouch was the first recipient

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in Aegis, Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense of Freedom Medal, Iraq | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Medical bills can wreck credit, even when paid off

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 4, 2012

When CNA does not pay Walter Reed and it goes on your credit rating as a “Serious Delinquency to the Treasury Department”

When AIG does not pay Landstuhl and the government attaches your Social Security, your only source of income because they are denying your claim

When CNA, AIG, ACE “approve” your doctors and medical but do not pay the bills

When CNA does not pay laboratory fees that show up on your credit rating years later

When CNA approves your wheelchair but it is repossessed due to non payment

When a US DOL ALJ signs a useless order requiring CNA or AIG to pay your past medical bills and they boldly defy the order

Your credit has been irreparably damaged and it is you that must bear the extreme cost of their abuse, never the insurance company or those that help them get away with this

By Carla K Johnson AP  March 4, 2012

CHICAGO (AP) — Mike and Laura Park thought their credit record was spotless. The Texas couple wanted to take advantage of low interest rates, so they put their house on the market and talked to a lender about a mortgage on a bigger home in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs.

Their credit report contained a shocker: A $200 medical bill had been sent to a collection agency. Although since paid, it still lowered their credit scores by about 100 points, and it means they’ll have to pay a discount point to get the best interest rate. Cost to them: $2,500.

A growing number of Americans could encounter similar landmines when they refinance or take out a loan. The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that sponsors health care research, estimates that 22 million Americans were contacted by collection agencies for unpaid medical bills in 2005. That increased to 30 million Americans in 2010.

Surprisingly, even after the bills have been paid off, the record of the collection action can stay on a credit report for up to seven years, dragging down credit scores and driving up the cost of financing a home. An estimated 3.4 million Americans have paid-off medical debt lingering on their credit reports, according to the Access Project, a research group funded by health care foundations and advocates of tougher laws on medical debt collectors.

Among them are Nathen and Melissa Cobb of Riverton, Ill., who tried to refinance their home last year. They didn’t qualify for the loan because of $740 in medical bills that had been sent to a collection agency. The Cobbs were surprised because the bills — nearly a dozen small copayments ranging from $6 to $280 — had been paid before they tried to refinance. The collection action took their credit score from good to mediocre and is likely to mar their credit report for years.

“I’m not one of those people trying to ditch out on my bills,” 34-year-old Melissa Cobb said. “I’m really frustrated.”

Medical bills make up the majority of collection actions on credit reports, and most are for less than $250, according to Federal Reserve Board research.

Please see the original and read more here

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Defense Base Act Attorney Alert

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 2, 2012

At the risk of sounding repetitive:

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is not returning your calls and emails

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is not sending you copies of correspondence and actions on your claim

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer refuses to send evidence to the DoL Claims Examiner when asked to do so

It is NEVER a good thing when you never receive copies of actions on your claim from the DoL

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is, or ever was, Bruce Nicholson, or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer was Dennis Nalick and you left your file with Matthew Singer or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is one of the sign em and stack em high volume, low results, insurance company favorites or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer does not have malpractice insurance (it is not required to handle DBA claims)……

Remember that it is you and your families future at stake and stay on top of your claim

Because these DBA Attorneys/Lawyers are capable of saving the insurance companies millions of dollars on the backs of widows and disabled contractors

YOU must do this for yourself and do it when you first begin to have doubts

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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