Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for July, 2012

Attention ALJ’s, Department of Labor, Defense Base Act Insurance Companies: It’s Official, The Iraq War was Dangerous for Everybody

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 27, 2012

Texas District Court Rules Iraq War Not Life Threatening

Eyesslinck VS Ronco Consulting:  Injustice Prevails

Many Civilian Contractors were sent to Post War Iraq in 2003 with little consideration for their safety even after it became clear that the Mission had not been Accomplished.  

Due to the Defense Base Acts Exclusive Remedy Contract Companies and those they take orders from never had to be concerned with Threat Mitigation, no cost to them when an employee is killed or injured.  Taxpayer picks up the tab, Contract Company puts another warm body in place.

When is our Government going to put it’s people before Profit

Lessons for Consideration from SIGIR Special Report #2

SIGIR identified two lessons for consideration.

1.  Reconstruction or stabilization operations conducted in combat zones present  potentially lethal threats to all participants, including military, contractors, U.S.  government civilians, third-country nationals, and host country citizens.        Planning for  such operations must anticipate this threat.

Reconstruction or stabilization operations are sometimes described as “soft,” “non-kinetic,” or “non-lethal” missions, but when they occur in a combat zone, these characterizations are a misnomer.   The human losses suffered in Iraq (and outlined in this report) underscore the point that when such operations are conducted in combat zones, they are dangerous for everyone involved, military and civilian, U.S. and non-U.S. alike Given the broad risks inherent in such operations, leaders and planners should consider threat mitigation when deciding to conduct reconstruction or stabilization operations missions in combat zones.

2.  Poor casualty data management during reconstruction or stabilization operations  obscures the actual human cost of such operations.       Reliably integrated databases must be developed and implemented prior to commencing future reconstruction or  stabilization operations.

One measure of the cost of reconstruction or stabilization operations is the number of casualties suffered.  Without accurate records, there cannot be a reasonably complete evaluation of the human cost of reconstruction or stabilization efforts.  U.S. agencies involved in such missions should develop systems that effectively track all casualty data related to stabilization or reconstruction operations.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Department of Labor, Exclusive Remedy, Political Watch, ACE, Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Dropping the DBA Ball, Veterans, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Chartis | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SIGIR: Iraq Reconstruction Casualties

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 27, 2012

Nothing was safe or “soft” about reconstruction missions, according to the report. “The human losses suffered in Iraq and outlined in this report underscore the point that when such operations are conducted in combat zones, they are dangerous for everyone involved,” the report said.

OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR IRAQ RECONSTRUCTION
We have posted selections from this report which pertain to Civilian Contractor Casualties

SIGIR SPECIAL REPORT NUMBER 2   Special Report, July 27, 2012

 THE HUMAN TOLL OF RECONSTRUCTION OR STABILIZATION OPERATIONS DURING OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM

 Reconstruction or Stabilization Casualties

Deaths

SIGIR identified a total of 719 people killed while engaged in reconstruction or stabilization activities in Iraq between May 1, 2003, and August 31, 2010.      This number includes 318 Americans (U.S. military, federal civilian employees, and U.S. civilian contractors), 111 third- country nationals, 271 Iraqis and 19 of unknown nationality who were working in support of the U.S. reconstruction or stabilization mission during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Wounded

Combing through various sources, we identified at least 786 people reportedly wounded while performing reconstruction or stabilization-related missions in Iraq.  This included 289 U.S. service members, 17 U.S. civilians, 109 third-country nationals, 334 Iraqis and 37 others (nationality undetermined).

 Kidnappings

We accounted for at least 198 people kidnapped while working on U.S.-supervised
reconstruction or stabilization projects.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Contractors Kidnapped, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Injured Contractors, Iraq, State Department | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Iraq war veteran, 25, shoots himself after battle with PTSD

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 27, 2012

Once every half hour in America, a veteran tries to commit suicide according to VA figures for 2011

We’ll never know how many Civilian Contractor Suicides , how many could be prevented

The Daily Mail  July 27, 2012

On a warm summer afternoon, Michael Ecker, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, called out to his father from a leafy spot in their backyard.

Then, as the two stood steps apart, Michael saluted, raised a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

‘His eyes rolled back,’ his father, Matt, said softly as he recounted the 2009 suicide. ‘There was just nothing I could do.’

Weeks before he killed himself at the family’s home in Champion, Ohio, Michael received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs accusing him of ‘over-reporting’ the extent of his psychiatric problems.  Read more here

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Dropping the DBA Ball, PTSD and TBI, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Average Weekly Wage & Residual Earning Capacity in DBA Cases: Beware Adjuster Sleight of Hand

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 26, 2012

Guest Post by Doug Grauel, ESQ  July 26. 2012

DBA insurance companies scurry a lot.

They can’t seem to take a claim, look at it, make a reasoned statement of how they see it, and have a conversation about it. Instead they see a claim coming, so they scurry. The scurrying gets so fast it’s like watching a magician running a shell game. One of the favorite deceptions has to do with Average Weekly Wage (on the front end) or Residual Earning Capacity (sometimes called Residual Functional Capacity) on the back end.

Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is generally thought of as the rate of pay that an injured worker was making at the time that he or she was hurt. Section 10 of the Longshore Act tells you how to calculate AWW–sort of.  For most overseas war zone contractors,  AWW is the amount that you would have earned working at your regular, time-of-injury job for one year, divided by 52.  This means that you include overtime, hazard pay, and all the rest to your base pay, figure out what a “typical” year would have looked like, and divide by 52. Roughly. If you are unlucky enough to get hurt before you have worked a year, then there is issue of possible annual or completion bonuses. Workers who are hurt in the third year of overseas work, even if each year was a one-year stint, have stronger claims for higher wages than workers who get hurt six weeks after they arrive on base. It’s just how the world works.

Carriers love this simple trick:

Overseas contractors often earn enough that their DBA/Longshore compensation rate is the maximum. So if you’re an adjuster, do you bother to figure out the real AWW?   No way: You just say, “This year’s max is $1295.20. The comp rate is 2/3 AWW, which is the same as .666xAWW. So .666xAWW=$1295.20.  Therefore AWW=$1295.20/.666= $1944.74.” But $1944.74×52=$101,126.48.  Plenty of overseas contractors are making more than that if you include hazard pay, overtime, and so on.  So that AWW that the adjuster cooked up is too low. Why should you care, if you get the max rate anyway?

Here’s why: After you get a little medical treatment, suddenly the adjuster sends you a “Labor Market Survey,” claiming that you could be working at $12.00 an hour for 35 hours a week. That’s about $420 per week, or $21,840 per year. So now your comp benefits go down, because the carrier says your comp rate should be 2/3 of the difference between AWW at the time of injury ($1944.74) and your residual earning capacity ($420). $1944.74-$420=$1524.74. $1524.74x.666=$1015.48.

Presto: You lose $1295.20-$1015.48=$279.72 per week, or $14,545.44 per year.

All because the adjuster didn’t want to figure out what your real AWW should be.

Douglas Grauel, Esq. |

dgrauel@grauellaw.com | (603) 369-5010 | 15 N. Main St. Concord NH 03301 | http://www.grauellaw.com

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mark McGowan, Ex Soldier, Private Security Contractor, dies in Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 24, 2012

Ex-soldier dies in Afghanistan

Mr McGowan had previously served in the Parachute Regiment.

It is thought he left the Army to become a private security contractor, joining the lucrative “circuit”, as it is known.

The 32-year-old was engaged to be married and had two young children, Manus and Mila.

No details surrounding his death were available last night.

Luke Duffy  June 27, 2012

I regretfully announce the loss of yet another fallen comrade and great friend,

Marc McGowan, sadly passed away yesterday while in Afghanistan.

 

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

US Civilian killed by Afghan Gunmen

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 24, 2012

Washington Post July 24, 2012

An official for the Afghan National Security Directorate, Nihmatullah, said one of the shooters was wearing a uniform of the Afghan Local Police, a village-level security organization. Like many Afghans, he goes by one name.

(AP) CNN News KABUL, Afghanistan – July 24, 2012

The U.S. embassy and Afghan officials say an American civilian who reportedly worked as an electrical engineer in northern Afghanistan has been killed by gunmen.

The U.S. Embassy on Tuesday could not provide further details because of privacy laws, but three Afghan security officials say the man, an electrical engineer working in Afghanistan for about 30 years, was shot Monday by gunmen as he rode in a mini-bus in northern Parwan province. The gunmen, two or three in number, also killed two Afghans, the driver and one of the man’s colleagues, they said.

Shirin Agha, the police chief in Parwan’s Siahgerd district, said on Tuesday that the American had been dressed in Afghan clothes and had a long beard

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Three Civilian Contractors, Police Trainers, killed, unknown number wounded, in Green on Blue Shooting Herat Afghanistan

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 22, 2012

US identifies contractors killed in Afghanistan

The victims were Benjamin Monsivais, a former US Border Patrol and retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent; Joseph Perez, a retired US Customs and Border Protection port director; and retired British customs officer David Chamberlain, DHS said in a statement.

Dave Chamberlain was killed in western Afghanistan alongside two American colleagues by a gunman who turned his weapon against the US military coalition, sources have said.

Mr Chamberlain, who was in his 40s and from Westgate-on-Sea, was working for the Border Management Task Force, which trains and mentors former Afghan customs officers and border policemen, when he and his colleagues were killed on Sunday, a source said.

He said another American national had been taken to hospital with severe injuries and that an Afghan interpreter had also been injured during the shooting

A British civilian contractor was one of three people shot dead on Sunday by a person wearing an Afghan national security force uniform.
An Afghan police officer shot and killed three American civilians on Sunday at the West Zone Police Training Center in Herat province, CNN reports.  Huff Post
Afghan in uniform kills three NATO contractors

(AFP)–1 hour ago

KABUL — Three foreign civilian contractors working for NATO as trainers were killed Sunday when a man in an Afghan security force uniform turned his weapon against them, NATO and Afghan officials said.

The shooter was killed in the incident in the west of the country, the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement, without giving further details or naming the nationalities of the victims.

An Afghan official who requested anonymity said he knew two Americans had been killed in the attack and they had been shot by an Afghan man in a police uniform in a military training centre near the Herat airport.

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Department of Defense | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

When do CNA’s Deadly Paper Games become outright lies to Department of Labor?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 19, 2012

How about now DOL ????

Documents showed that CNA reported the highest profits margins, taking in nearly 50 percent more in premiums than it paid out in benefits.

CNA’s Deadly Paper Games

After having defaulted on an Order to provide medical to an Injured War Zone Contractor for over 15 months, after denying for six years prior, CNA provides a computer printout to the Department of Labor Claims Examiner who was charged with  investigating this Default.

Not to give undue credit here, the Claims Examiner was trying to remedy the default per her job description, not confirm that they were in default.

Here is a copy and paste of the body of the correspondence, the full document has been forwarded to the DoL IG for investigation along with computer printout they attached.

Dear Mr Lee

Pursuant to Claims Examiners Kristina Hall’s request of January 3, 2012 and as a supplement to our response dated January 9, 2012, please find enclosed a payment printout showing payments issued by CNA International to medical providers regarding Mr. Clark.  The enclosed printout also shows the recent reimbursement payment of $1,270.34.

Defendents will continue to adjust medical invoices when and as received with accompanying medical reports.
Sounds just like they are paying for Injured War Zone Contractors  Medical over the years.  The reimbursement was for Out of Pocket presented in 2009 and clearly 15 months post order.

Problem here is that these payments were not for provided medical.

One is for a final report, not diagnoses or treatment, requested by CNA prior to hearing , that really made the Doctor mad over wasting his precious time, and the rest are for Defense Medical Examination’s.  Pages 3 and 4 were with held  but we suspect they include the parade of DME’s that were demanded.

The very abusive DME’s that were required repeatedly and outside of his geographic area.  The ones that ALJ Paul C Johnson assisted CNA with.

Not only did CNA represent these DME’s as having provided medical care for this Injured War Zone Contractor when in fact they did not, they reinforced the lie by stating that they will continue to do so.

CNA is currently under investigation for just this kind of unlawful and Overly Zealous Defense in denying Defense Base Act Claims

Unless that is, the DoL IG failed to investigate previous requests or are simply failing to provide documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Posted in AIG and CNA, 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, Hope that I die, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Melt Down, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Veterans, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

The Department of Labor and the Supreme Group, A Cover Up?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 16, 2012

In the second quarter of 2010 The Department of Labor reports that the Supreme Group had 192 employee death claims filed

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbaallemployer6-30-10.htm

The Supreme Group shows no prior death claims filed dating back to September of 2001.

While no single insurer shows death claims filed amounting to this number for this time period

CNA shows 46 death claims filed

Zurich shows 105 death claims filed

And the DoL lists 103 death claims to an uninsured employer (there were previously none listed)

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbaallcarrier6-30-10.htm

See Also Failure to Secure DBA Coverage, Failure to Report Claims

.

We filed FOIA’s on February 22, 2012 and again on March 8, 2012

Which included the following:

    1.    Any and all complaints, statements, or reports to U.S. Dept. of Labor (DoL) concerning the activities of Supreme Group, Supreme Food Service, and their subcontractors

    2.    Any and all letters, reports, e mail, memoranda or other record showing communications with people regarding the activities of and/or the filing of DBA claims by Supreme Group, Supreme Food Service, and their subcontractors

             3.        Any and all report(s) of investigation or other memoranda or record concerning results of investigation conducted by DoL or any person working for DoL concerning the activities of  and/or the filing of DBA claims by Supreme Group, Supreme Food Services, and their subcontractors

.

We understand that when filing FOIA requests they must be worded properly

But are we to believe that there were 192 Death Claims filed in one quarter by one company and that during this same quarter over 100 Death Claims were filed to an uninsured employer and

No one at the Department of Labor had anything to say about it?

Posted in Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Armorgroup, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, Zurich | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Wade Dill AIG/KBR PTSD DBA Casualty July 16th, 2006

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 15, 2012

After many years of surviving an extremely abusive and Overly Zealous Defense

Wade Dill’s  family was finally provided death benefits under the Defense Base Act

These benefits were recently taken away by the Benefits Review Board when Attorney Bruce Nicholson, who was actively pursuing a settlement with KBR/AIG’s Attorney Michael Thomas, had a contract with the widow, was an attorney with the Law Firm of Peyman Rahnama, was the attorney of record with the BRB, did not as much as respond to the Appeal.

While Bruce Nicholson is the one who apparently purposely abandoned the claim, Michael Thomas and the BRB were more than happy to carry on without notifying the widow that AIG’s appeal of her claim was unopposed.

The man I married was my prince charming.
We had grown up together.
High school sweethearts, we were married 17 ½ years.
I believe that if he had never gone over there he would still be
here today.
Something happened in Iraq.
He committed suicide the morning of July 16th, 2006
He left behind a lot of pain and two ruined lives.
I never dreamed I would be without him
and
my daughter without a father.

Our thoughts are with you today Barb

Posted in PTSD and TBI, AIG and CNA, KBR, Misjudgements, Department of Labor, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Racketeering, T Christian Miller, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, War Hazards Act, Iraq, Dropping the DBA Ball, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Lawyers, AWOL Medical Records, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Veterans, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Nine Years Ago Today, Still getting screwed over by CNA !

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 6, 2012

July 7, 2003

Nine years ago you get that phone call you hoped you’d never get

But hey they say, not to worry, the insurance company will take care of everything

Heart is breaking but not to worry

Everything, they say, will be OK

Good thing we’ve been paying for good medical insurance

No way of knowing that the “insurance” was Defense Base Act through CNA, a policy we had never heard of,  looked at, or signed for

Or that  Administrative Law Judge Paul C Johnson would deem his injuries to be alleged when denying him his rights under the DBA

One day we’ll look back at this and be so grateful for our blessings, for what we’ve overcome………

But one day never comes

What’s that in the way?

CNA 

CNA with the assistance of the Department of Labor District Office in Jacksonville

From failing to provide a medical evacuation and abandoning him to the military medical system to defaulting on the order to provide his medical care for nearly two years now after denying for six years.

CNA, their Claims Adjusters, their overly zealous legal representation, and the biased Department of Labor District Office have caused much more physical, mental, and financial  damage than there ever had to be. 

What should have been temporary disabilities have become permanent.

CNA has denied the looking back one day, the moving forward, the healing

If CNA had simply lived up to their responsibilities rather than playing paper games this family would have long moved on

And the US Taxpayers would not be paying ever more to the War Profiteers CNA and their “representation”

Documents showed that CNA reported the highest profits margins, taking in nearly 50 percent more in premiums than it paid out in benefits.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, DBA Attorneys Fees, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Exclusive Remedy, Hope that I die, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, Iraq, Leishmaniasis, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dan Hoagland’s Death Sentence at the hands of AIG’s Overly Zealous Defense

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 4, 2012

Injured War Zone Contractor Dan Hoagland shares his story of medical treatment denied  by KBR/AIG resulting in a death sentence by Cancer with Sean Calleb.

Scott Bloch, Defense Base Act Attorney tells the truth about the Defense Base Act Insurance Scandal and our Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit.

Join our Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit here

Posted in AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Cancer, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, Iraq, KBR, Misjudgements | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

At Least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths Filed on in Second Quarter of 2012

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 3, 2012

See New Third Quarter Numbers HERE

WE ARE THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF THE WARS

According to the Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Claim Summary Reports there were at least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths filed on in the second quarter of 2012.

Keep in mind that these numbers are not an accurate accounting of Contractor Casualties as many injuries and deaths are not reported as Defense Base Act Claims. Also, many of these injuries will become deaths due to the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies denial of medical benefits.

Many foreign national and local national contractors and their families are never told that they are covered under the Defense Base Act and so not included in the count.

6 Contractor Deaths this quarter were in Iraq

42 Contractor Deaths  were in Afghanistan

1 Contractor Death is Nation Pending

1 Contractor Death  in the United States

1 Contractor Death in the  United Arab Emirates

2 Contractor Deaths in Qatar

1 Contractor Death in Columbia

1 Contractor Death in Pakistan

1 Contractor Death in Liberia

1 Contractor Death in Mozambique

1 Contractor Death in Tajikistan

At least 2, 685  Defense Base Act Claims were filed during this quarter

At least 59 were death claims

At least 1074 were for injuries requiring longer than 4 days off work

At least  92 were for injuries requiring less than 4 days off work

At least 1460were for injuries requiring no time off of work

A total of 87, 505  Defense Base Act Claims have been filed since September 1, 2001

Contact dbacasualty@yahoo.com for questions regarding these numbers

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Iraq, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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