Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Archive for the ‘Racketeering’ Category

Thank You Veterans

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 11, 2012

Thank you to all who served 

With a special thank you to those who served again

and were sold out to

AIG, CNA, and ACE

by the US Government

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Racketeering, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CNA’s Deadly Paper Games and Outright Lies Condoned by the Department of Labor

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 2, 2012

How do AIG and CNA get away with telling so many lies and paying for so little ?  

They get help from those put in place to “ensure that workers’ compensation benefits are provided promptly and properly” 

The Department of Labor’s Jacksonville Florida District Office Director Charles D Lee, formerly of Liberty Mutual, gave his seal of approval to CNA’s lies by refusing to find them in default of an order that he signed himself.  It took seven years to get this order.

If Mr. Lee does not remember signing this order over two years ago he should.  While he signed the order for medical and indemnity probably without reading it, slapped a form cover letter to it,  he did not bother to determine the amount of back indemnity and interest owed which allowed CNA to not pay on time and escape the 20% per day penalty.   So few penalties apply and so little enforcement of those that do.

It took many telephone calls and finally assistance from Michael Niss, the Director, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs at the time,  to encourage him to do his job.  He was not going to do it just because an injured contractor had not received his check  and was trying to find out why.

The failure on the District Director’s part to find CNA in 18 a Default occurred despite having in his possession legitimate proof, letters from Doctors stating that they had never been approved and had in fact been denied payment.

Proof of CNA lies to the new Claims Examiner, who comes to us from KBR with a KBR attitude, are ignored by everyone in the DoL from herself, Charles D Lee, Kristina Hall, to Eric Richardson, Miranda Chui, to the DOL IG.

CNA never produced a receipt for paying back  years of Medical Care that they were responsible for and refused to provide but Charles D Lee determined that they did so based on their attorney saying  that they did. 

CNA paid for a small fraction of the past medical care, finally, 16 months after the order was signed.  While this is clearly a 16 month default during which time the claimant has this debt hanging over his head despite having an Order in place, CNA is not held responsible.  A receipt has never been produced.  Charles D Lee takes them at their word while their lies are in his hands.

No dollar value is applied to the damages caused by a refusal to provide medical care for years on end and so there is no penalty or recovery.

We talk with contractors everyday who have orders in place for medical that  never receive it. 

The lengthy efforts your attorney must go through to try, not necessarily succeed, to secure the medical care is considered to be “Janitorial” work by CNA that they should not have to pay for.

Why not continue with the Deadly Paper Games when it saves you so much money and the very people that are supposed to be looking out for the claimant condone these criminal actions?

No dollar value is applied to the temporary injuries which become permanent at the hands of CNA.

The hands of CNA, their claims examiners, and their attorneys are so gently stroked by the Departments of Labor’s Jacksonville District Office. 

The Blood is on all of their hands.

Posted in AIG and CNA, 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, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Liberty Mutual, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Veterans, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 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 »

The Defense of Freedom Medal Held Hostage by The Defense Base Act

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 31, 2012

WHY HAVE I NOT RECEIVED THE DEFENSE OF FREEDOM MEDAL?

The Defense of Freedom Medal is an award held to be the equivalent of the Purple Heart and is awarded to Civilian Contractors injured in the war zones. 

One question we get here repeatedly is why have I not received the Defense of Freedom Medal?   The question comes from severely disabled Civilian Contractors wounded in horrific explosions and insurgent attacks.

WHO IS HOLDING YOUR MEDAL HOSTAGE?

The company you work for is responsible for requesting  that you receive the medal and providing the documentation that you have indeed suffered a qualifying injury.

As all Injured War Zone Contractors know the minute you must file a Defense Base Act Claim you are automatically placed in an adversarial relationship with your employer.   Your Employer and the Defense Base Act Insurance Company are considered equal entities in the battle you have entered for your medical care and indemnity.

Your Employer is required to assist the insurance company in denying your claim.  Under the War Hazards Act the Employer/Carrier must prove to the WHA Tribunal that they have diligently tried to deny your claim.

It appears that your Defense of Freedom Medals could be held hostage by your Employers due to the adversarial relationship the Defense Base Act has created.

When KBR, DynCorp, Blackwater, Xe, et al, provide documentation of your injuries to the DoD they have just admitted that you are indeed injured and to what extent.

Specific information regarding injury/death: Description of the situation causing the injury/death in detail to include the date, time, place, and scene of the incident, and official medical documentation of the employee’s injuries and treatment. The description must be well documented, including the names of witnesses and point of contact (POC) for additional medical information, if needed.

These admissions sure would make it hard for Administrative Law Judges like Paul C Johnson to name them as alleged.   ALJ Paul C Johnson has yet to award benefits to a DBA Claimant in a decision based on a hearing.

KBR who can never seem to find their injured employees medical records holds the key to the Defense of Freedom Medal.

Certainly there are other lawsuits outside of the DBA that the withholding of this information is vital too.

For those of you who still give a damn after being abused by so badly simply because you were injured-

The Defense of Freedom Medal may find you many years down the road once an Administrative Law Judge says you were injured.

We recommend that you contact your Congressional Representative or Senator and have them request this Medal if you qualify for it and would like to have it.

If you are still litigating your claim it SHOULD serve to legitimize your alleged injuries.

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense of Freedom Medal, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Injured Contractors, KBR, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Racketeering, War Hazards Act, Zurich | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Defense Base Act: The Weaponization of the Defense Medical Examination

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 15, 2012

The Defense Base Act Insurance Company is entitled to have Defense Base Act Claimants see a physician that they choose to provide them with a second opinion regards the injuries that you have filed a claim for.  These examinations are in no way Independent Medical Examinations as the Insurance Company and their Attorneys deceptively refer to them as.

These Insurance Company Second Opinions, or Defense Medical Examinations, come at a heavy price to the US Taxpayer.  The Insurance Companies pay much higher amounts to hire doctors that will give them a report unfavorable to your claim and also be willingly to back up these statements in Depositions or straight to a Judges face at hearing.  You are entitled to reimbursement for the expenses you incur attending these.  The DME can be a very expensive undertaking.

Very few DBA Claimants exercise their rights to have these doctors researched by a professional, not travel outside of their geographic area, take an advocate with them (preferably your attorney or a nurse), have the scope and purpose of the Examination clearly defined, or most importantly to video the examination

It must be you who pursues these protections because your DBA Attorney is not likely to suggest or pay for them despite your entitlement to them.  Your attorneys failure to assert your rights only enables the insurance companies and their bloodthirsty attorneys and claims adjusters.

You are required to “cooperate” not play dead.

One very prudent restriction on these DME’s used to be that the Insurance Company could not make you attend one more than every three years.  At some point that we cannot ascertain this restriction was removed. 

So  began the Weaponization of the DBA Defense Medical Examination.

Currently the DME is being utilized as a weapon to intimidate DBA Claimants to accept negligent settlements.

Even though you have an order in place you are told if you do not immediately attend a DME your payments will cease immediately.

Even though your claim is currently under the jurisdiction of an ALJ awaiting a decision you are told to fly across country for several days of DME’s.   Just prepping you for the settlement offer.

Your attorney presents to you a ridiculous offer for settlement along with the threat that if you do not accept it the Insurance Companies Attorney promises you DME’s every year and surveillance by their private dicks $$$ for the rest of your life.

We cannot always be certain who is manning the weapon.  As of late there is a barrage of Friendly Fire.

No doubt that the casualties are always the DBA Claimant and the US Taxpayer.

It has never been more true that After Injury the Battle Begins

Or more clear that this program is lacking oversight of any kind

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, DBA Attorneys Fees, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Defense Medical Examinations, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, Independent Medical Examinations, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Insurance Companies buy Republican US Senator, among others, to Further Deny Your Rights under the DBA

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 16, 2012

S. 669: Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Amendments of 2011

Here's Johnny !!

Johnny Isakson of Georgia has presented Bill S. 669 to the Senate which has been referred to a committee on which he sits, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, for deliberation, investigation, and revision.

TRACK THIS BILL

Bill S.669 was introduced AS IT WAS WRITTEN BY IT”S SPONSOR who is Senator Johnny Isakson, who is heavily supported by Insurance Companies and Attorneys who stand to reap ever larger profits than they already do if this bill were to become law.

Nearly every aspect of the Bill would be a huge present to the Defense Base Act Insurance business.

Johnny is looking out for the insurance companies and attorneys

This grim reaper sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee as well.

Johnny Isakson can be contacted at 202-224-3643.
1175 Peachtree St Ne
Atlanta, GA 30361
Phone : (404) 347-2202
The following is from the Johnny Isakson page at MapLight.org

Total Campaign Contributions Received by Johnny Isakson: $8,231,997

Interest Contributions
Real Estate $854,942
Lawyers/Law Firms $449,582
Health Professionals $298,416
Insurance $251,650
Banks and Credit $236,150
Lobbyists $214,261
Securities & Investment $200,500
Misc Finance $178,075
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $167,500

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Follow the Money, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Defense Base Act Insurance Companies: Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 29, 2011

Guest Post by Marcie  Hascall Clark November 29, 2011

Under the Defense Base Act the Employer/Carrier are responsible for the Injured Contractors medical to include all necessary prescriptions and supplies required by their Doctors.

Evidently the Department of Labor deems it proper to first abuse the injured and/or their caretaker when it comes to approving and if ever, providing these necessary prescription drugs and other medical items.  Nothing has been done in an entire decade to assure the injured receive necessary medications and medical supplies.

Since our first experience with this in 2003 with CNA, which continues to this day only they don’t even bother approving prescriptions or anything else, not one entity has done as much as acknowledge the dangerous life threatening practice of running the injured in circles trying to get prescriptions filled.

You may receive a prescription card from a Third Party Administrator that you are required to use when trying to fill your prescription.  Only when you arrive at the pharmacy you are told that your prescription is not approved.  You must then contact the TPA, who claims that is not true and that your prescription has been approved.  Back to the pharmacy who apologizes but does not have approval for your prescription.

Back to the TPA who SAYS they must then contact CNA but it seems the claims adjuster has just gone back to hell for a few weeks and no one else can approve your prescription.  In another scenario they give you Debra Donato’s number to call who is filling in for the Claims Adjuster that is back in hell for a month this time.

Debra Donato’s number is a recording asking you to call another number.  The other number asks you to call the number you first called.

When the injured is unable to have the prescription filled using the “required” card,  under the DBA everything must be approved by the insurer, they are left to fend for themselves.  Most injured cannot afford to purchase these expensive drugs on their own and if they pay for them themselves the chances of being reimbursed are slim.  We’ve turned in receipts starting in 2003 and have never been reimbursed.

This abuse is being played out everyday causing overworked, overtired caregivers to have to run laps to pharmacies for no reason other than harassment.  Often the injured cannot be left unattended making a trip to the pharmacy, or anywhere else, an ordeal.

Often the injured goes without the medically necessary medications for months on end causing further physical and psychological damage.

All because of the Defense Base Act Insurance Companies abusive treatment of injured contractors.

An Award by an Administrative Law Judge and the Department of Labor will do nothing to assure that the Insurer provide these with or without the abuse.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Racketeering, Suicide | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Injured War Contractors Sue Over Health Care, Disability Payments

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 27, 2011

T Christian Miller ProPublica September 27, 2011

Private contractors injured while working for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan filed a class action lawsuit [1] in federal court on Monday, claiming that corporations and insurance companies had unfairly denied them medical treatment and disability payments.

The suit, filed in district court in Washington, D.C., claims that private contracting firms and their insurers routinely lied, cheated and threatened injured workers, while ignoring a federal law requiring compensation for such employees. Attorneys for the workers are seeking $2 billion in damages.

The suit is largely based on the Defense Base Act, an obscure law that creates a workers compensation system for federal contract employees working overseas. Financed by taxpayers, the system was rarely used until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most privatized conflicts in American history.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians working for federal contractors have been deployed to war zones to deliver mail, cook meals and act as security guards for U.S. soldiers and diplomats. As of June 2011, more than 53,000 civilians have filed claims for injuries in the war zones. Almost 2,500 contract employees have been killed, according to figures [2]kept by the Department of Labor, which oversees the system.

An investigation by ProPublica, the Los Angeles Times and ABC’s 20/20 [3] into the Defense Base Act system found major flaws, including private contractors left without medical care and lax federal oversight. Some Afghan, Iraqi and other foreign workers for U.S. companies were provided with no care at all.

The lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind, charges that major insurance corporations such as AIG and large federal contractors such as Houston-based KBR deliberately flouted the law, thereby defrauding taxpayers and boosting their profits. In interviews and at Congressional hearings, AIG and KBR have denied such allegations and said they fully complied with the law. They blamed problems in the delivery of care and benefits on the chaos of the war zones

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, KBR, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Ronco Consultilng, spykids, State Department, T Christian Miller, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 26, 2011

Today  Injured War Zone Contractors and Scott Bloch filed a

Class Action Lawsuit

against the

Defense Base Act Insurance Companies

and some Employers.

Scott Bloch files complaint for $2 billion against major government contractors like

KBR, Blackwater/Xe, DynCorp, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting

and the global insurance carriers

AIG, CNA, ACE, Zurich,

on behalf of thousands of former employees,

for

unlawful, fraudulent and bad-faith mistreatment of

injured employees and their families  

Brink Vs. CNA et al

The Defense Base Act Compensation blog and it’s contributors invite you to

Join our Class Action here

The truth will be exposed

WASHINGTON, DC (September 26, 2011)

Since 2003, top government contractors like Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, CSA/AECOM and ITT have been perpetrating a fraud on their employees and on the American public.  The silent warriors who work for these companies, many of them decorated former military service members, have been injured, mistreated and abandoned by the contracting companies and their insurance carriers who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars in premiums.

“It is a grave injustice,” Bloch said, “to those who rode alongside American soldiers, including Iraqi and Afghani Nationals, to be case aside without the benefits of the law.  We are supposedly trying to bring them the rule of law.  We are supposedly trying to encourage them in democractic institutions.  We are the ones asking them to believe in justice and individual rights.  This is a travesty to all Americans and those around the world who look to America for an example of humanitarian aid and proper treatment of workers.”

This is a lawsuit for damages in the amount of $2 billion to remedy the injuries and destruction caused to the lives, finances and mental and physical well being of thousands of American families and others whose loved ones were injured while serving America under contracts with the United States.  It seeks an additional unspecified amount to punish the companies who made massive profits while causing this harm to people unlawfully and maliciously and working a fraud on the American public who paid them.
“This abusive and illegal scheme by the defendants has been allowed to go on for too long.  We are talking about loss of life, suicide, loss of homes, marriages, families split up, “ Bloch said, “and the culprits are the large government contractors who should have treated their employees better, and the mega-insurance companies who were paid a hefty sum to make sure the employees were taken care of with uninterrupted benefits in the event of injuries in these war zones.”
This complaint is filed due to actions and omissions of defendants, in conspiracy with others, and individually, to defeat the right of American citizens and foreign nationals to receive their lawful benefits and compensation under the Defense Base Act (“DBA”),  as it adopts the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”).
The lawsuit explains that those sued engaged under the RICO statute in an enterprise of fraudulent and or criminal acts to further their scheme to defeat the rights of individuals who have been injured or suffered occupational diseases, and death, while on foreign soil in support of defense activities under the DBA.   These acts were perpetrated repeatedly through bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, using telephones, faxes, and United States mail .
“These are heroes, decorated by America’s Armed Services,” said Bloch.  “Some of the foreign contractors were decorated special forces soldiers from their countries who assisted the United States in combating threats.  The sheer disregard for human dignity and law is reprehensible and deserves punishment.  These families and many others who have been harmed need treatment, need compensation, need redress of the wrongs that have been perpetrated by these huge companies and insurance carriers for the last 10 years.  They have earned $100 billion per year on the backs of these people, with the blood of these plaintiffs and those whom they represent.”
The was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and covers individuals from all over the United States, South Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and other counties.

Contact Scott J. Bloch, PA:
Scott Bloch, 202-496-1290

Posted in Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Dyncorp, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, Iraq, KBR, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Ronco Consultilng, State Department, Suicide, Toxic Exposures, USAID, Veterans, Wackenut, War Hazards Act, Whistleblower, Xe, Zurich | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Another TBI, PTSD Trajedy

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 23, 2011

What is the situation with the thousands of contractors who are being denied diagnoses and treatment for TBI and PTSD?

How many further deaths and injuries have CNA, AIG, and ACE caused with their denials?

His widow is broken-hearted and believes the military deserves some blame for the accident for not treating the Sciple’s disorder.

Remarkably, those sentiments are echoed by Marine Corps investigators who examined the case and wrote an 860-page report with recommendations for top brass. The report says the corps should be more thorough in evaluating and treating post-traumatic stress disorder, especially in Marines with brain injuries.

“This investigation reveals a disturbing vulnerability in the support we provide our combat veterans suffering the invisible wounds of PTSD,” wrote Col. John P. Crook of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, in a Sept. 26, 2010 letter. “It is folly to expect a wounded mind to diagnose itself, yet our Marines still depend on an anemic system of self-diagnosis and self-reporting.

Marine claims brain trauma led to fatal DUI crash  September 23, 2011

(AP) TAMPA, Fla. — It seemed like an open-and-shut DUI manslaughter case. Officers said Scott Sciple drove the wrong way down a Tampa interstate in April of 2010 and plowed head-on into another car, killing the other driver. According to court records, Sciple’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times Florida’s legal limit.

But as the case unfolded, so did the unusual circumstances of Sciple’s life. He was a Marine captain who had earned three Purple Hearts for injuries and the Bronze Star for heroism in Afghanistan and Iraq. He had nearly died from blood loss, suffered severe head trauma and once dug a mass grave for Iraqi civilians.

It’s these mental scars of combat, his lawyer says, that are to blame for the accident. Brain damage and post-traumatic stress disorder caused Sciple to blackout in a dissociative episode the night of the crash, said defense attorney John Fitzgibbons. Sciple has pleaded not guilty, and his attorney will offer an insanity defense at trial.

The other driver, Pedro Rivera, left behind a wife, two children and three stepchildren. His widow is broken-hearted and believes the military deserves some blame for the accident for not treating the Sciple’s disorder

Please read the entire story here

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Insurance, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

After Injury, The Battle Begins – House Oversight Committee – 2009-06-18 –

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 21, 2011

Editors Note:  Gary Pitts the attorney  is pictured here only by circumstance.  This is in no way, would never be, an endorsement of him by the Defense Base Act Compensation Blog or any of it’s contributors.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Iraq, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, State Department | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Prosthetics for Injured War Zone Contractors?? Don’t get your hopes up…..

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 7, 2011

Contractors covered by CNA and others under the Defense Base Act must fight for years to acquire prosthetics, orthotic devices, artificial eyes, and sometimes never receive them at all.

The Department of Labor enables this negligence, often delaying informal hearings and/or siding with the insurance company attorneys causing delays of years on end.  Precious recovery time is lost.

The following article details the importance of getting amputees the proper prosthetics and on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

Prosthetics helping soldiers return to active lifestyle

FORT DRUM — Spc. Matthew R. Hayes stood frozen, not sure which way to move. With one soldier already lying on the ground injured, Spc. Hayes and other 10th Mountain Division soldiers now realized that the Afghan hill they had just climbed was riddled with an unknown number of nearly undetectable plastic land mines.

So the soldiers decided that the only way to avoid another casualty was to carefully retrace their steps to safety.

But Spc. Hayes didn’t know he was already standing on a land mine.

“I shifted to step off and it exploded,” he said. “I didn’t know what was going on — just a little confusion … dazed — I couldn’t do anything.”

He fell back on his shoulders. He didn’t feel pain — just a strong pressure on his right leg.

“I looked down and I just saw my foot shredded,” he said.

He quickly reached for his tourniquet to tie his leg tight and stop the bleeding. He began feeling weak, and yelled, “Medic!”

His mind raced ahead as to what might happen.

“I figured I’d lose it,” the 22-year-old soldier said.

He was right.

Within hours of that explosion last September, Spc. Hayes’ leg was amputated below his knee, adding his name to the list of almost 900 soldiers nationally who have had a major limb amputation as a result of explosions in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to an Army Medical Command spokeswoman. More than half of the 10th Mountain Division’s 278 soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have died as the result of improvised explosive devices and anti-tank mines.

Yet within months of that explosion, Spc. Hayes was taking his first steps with help of a prosthetic leg.

“It felt great,” he said. “It was weird trying to remember how to walk, I guess, not being able to use an ankle.”

Each similar success story can be credited to the advanced prosthetics technology that the U.S. government is investing in. Last year, for instance, Clarkson University, Potsdam, received a $1.4 million grant from the Army to develop a prosthetic leg that uses sensors that respond to the remaining leg muscles.

Roger R. Howard, of Howard Orthotics and Prosthetics in Watertown, said working with highly active soldiers wanting to maintain their lifestyles is a challenge he enjoys. His civilian customers are benefiting as well.

“Any time there’s a war, the government puts a lot of money into research and development,” he said, “and as a result of that we have manufacturers coming out with newer systems at a much faster pace than ever. The computers are getting better, and the hardware is getting … lighter.”

Please read the entire article here

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

US Injured Contractors lawsuit alleges Blackwater failed to pay benefits

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 8, 2011

The lawsuit says Xe and its workers compensation insurers refused to provide benefits until forced to do so “after drawn out disputes in administrative courts.”

AFP June 8, 2011

WASHINGTON — Four former employees of Blackwater, the scandal-plagued security firm now called Xe, have filed a $60 million class action lawsuit claiming the firm failed to pay health and pension benefits to its employees.

Their lawyer, Scott Bloch, said Wednesday that Xe improperly classified thousands of its employees as independent contractors, allowing the company to avoid “millions of dollars in taxes, withholding and payments of benefits.”

“Blackwater made hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers and hired thousands of former veterans of military service and police officers,” said Bloch in a statement

It is a grave injustice to them who were mistreated and left without any health insurance or other benefits for their families, and left to fend for themselves in paying into Social Security and Medicare,” he said.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Washington, and hopes to recover Social Security, unemployment insurance, health and other benefits for the four plaintiffs, all of whom were injured while working for Blackwater.

“Plaintiffs and many of those similarly situated came home wounded physically and psychologically from Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, and needed health insurance to take care of difficulties for themselves and their families,” according to the complaint.

The lawsuit says Xe and its workers compensation insurers refused to provide benefits until forced to do so “after drawn out disputes in administrative courts.”

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Posted in AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Racketeering, Xe | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Claims to be Expedited

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 16, 2011

According to a Department of Labor’s DBA Claims Administration Status Report dated October 2008

DELAYED CLAIMS DECISIONS ADD TO THE STRESS AND ANXIETY OF THE CLAIMANT

A PTSD claim is presumed to compensible under the Act unless rebutted by substantial evidence

Fast Track PTSD cases through the dispute resolution process

ASSIST the parties to gather factual and medical evidence needed for claims resolution

Schedule informal conferences promptly on request

After Conference if OWCP claims examiners recommendations are rejected, refer the case promptly for hearing upon request.

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Melt Down, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

 
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