Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘DBA Attorneys’

Defense Base Act Claimant Alert, Bruce H Nicholson Clients

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 18, 2012

It has been brought to our attention that the following claimants at  some time thought that their DBA Claim was being handled by Bruce Nicholson and/or his assistant Ken Youngman, of Los Angeles California at Peyman Rahnama.  Ken Youngman now works for a lawfirm that represents AIG and ACE, though he most recently reported working at Law Office of Bruce Nicholson as a Federal Workers’ Comp GURU on LinkedIn

If your name is listed below you need to find out the status of your claim immediately if you have not already lost your claim or found another attorney.  If you recognize someone’s name please contact them. 

If your with the DoL, the BRB, or an ALJ, and recognize these names it would certainly be upstanding of you to let these people know they are not being represented.

Maybe even an Insco Defense Attorney out there that can resist an easy kill just because it is the right thing to do.

 Dill  (never responded to the appeal but was negotiating a deal, settlement, with the defense attorney Michael Thomas)

Kitterman
Humphrey
Stewart
Clausen
Reuben  (we believe this claim was lost due to failure to respond to a motion)
Ruffner

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

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 »

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 »

My Defense Base Act Attorney is not responding to my calls or emails

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 27, 2011

AWOL DBA Attorneys

This is a complaint we hear everyday from Injured Contractors.

There are different reasons why this may be happening to you but trust that none of them are good.

Do not wait to hear from an ALJ or the DoL that your claim has been lost or severely damaged due to missing a deadline or not having been filed properly.

If your DBA lawyer is not responsive to your questions and not keeping you updated on the status of your claim you need to contact the Department of Labor yourself to check up on the status of your claim.

Always be certain that the DoL has a current, accurate, address for you so that you will receive copies of all actions being taken on your claim by both sides.  If you do not understand what the paperwork you receive means you need to find out right away.     Often there are 10 day deadlines for responding that must be met.

Always stay on top of your DBA Claim yourself, always.

Posted in Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, OALJ | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Longshore and Defense Base Act Reasonable Hourly Rate Determination

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 17, 2011

Longshore Act: Reasonable Hourly Rate Determination – Overview of Recent Decisions

Posted by the BRB Staff at Lexis Nexis

By Yelena Zaslavskaya
Senior Attorney for Longshore, Office of Administrative Law Judges
U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.

A. The Governing Law

Section 28 of the Longshore Act, 33 U.S.C.S. § 928, provides for an award of a “reasonable attorney’s fee” to a prevailing claimant’s attorney payable by employer (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.).

See also 20 C.F.R. §§ 702.132, 802.203.

Section 702.132(a) provides that a fee application must indicate the normal billing rate for each person who performed services on behalf of the claimant. The regulations further provide that any attorney’s fee approved shall be reasonably commensurate with the necessary work done and shall take into account the quality of the representation, the complexity of the legal issues involved, and the amount of benefits awarded.[FN2] 20 C.F.R. § 702.132(a),

see also 20 C.F.R. § 802.203(e).[FN3] In addition, case law addressing what constitutes a reasonable fee under other federal fee-shifting statutes is also applicable to fee determinations under the LHWCA. See City of Burlington v. Dague, 505 U.S. 557, 120 L. Ed. 2d 449, 112 S. Ct. 2638 (1992); see also Stanhope v. Elec. Boat Corp., 44 BRBS 107 (2010) (and cases cited therein). 

Continue reading this post with corresponding case law here

From the Longshore Manual

  1. Determination of Reasonable Legal Fee.
    1. In determining whether a fee is reasonable, a number of factors must be considered. A partial list of factors is provided in subparagraph 7b, below, but it is not all-inclusive. Although there may be a broad agreement on the factors to be considered in setting fees, in practice the standards of what is appropriate compensation for claimant’s counsel vary markedly from one State to another (The Law of Workmen’s Compensation, Arthur Larson). The variation is reflected not only in statutory limits but also in administrative and judicial decisions.
    2. The following factors should be considered in determining a reasonable legal fee (See 20 C.F.R. section 702.132):
      1. Usefulness and necessity of the representative’s services to the claimant.
      2. Nature and complexity of the claim.
      3. Actual necessary work performed (the itemization showing the dates on which services were performed, brief descriptions of services, time spent on each, and the amount of fees requested. Time spent in preparation of a fee application is a appropriate factor to be considered in the determination of a reasonable attorney fee). (See LHWCA Circular No 97-01).
      4. Amount of benefits involved.
      5. Customary local charges for similar services.
      6. Professional qualifications of the representative.
      7. When the fee is to be assessed against the claimant, the financial circumstances of the claimant are also to be taken into account.
      8. Enhancement for extraordinary delay in receiving payment. (See Anderson vs. Director 30 BRBS 67 (CRT) and LHWCA Circular No 97-01).
      9. Whether the fee is reasonable in relation to the results obtained. [(See Bullock v. Ingalls Shipbuilding 27 BRBS 90, July 16, 1993, for a decision of the two-prong test under Hensley vs. Eckerhart 461 U.S. 424 1983).]
    3. In considering the factors above, emphasis is given to the factor in subparagraph 7b(1), above. Before considering the other factors, the necessity or usefulness of the representative’s services should be considered. If the necessity for the service is questionable, the fee should be kept to a minimum. Many States prescribe, by statute or administrative regulation, the maximum dollar or percentage amount which can be charged. Others permit a sliding scale which allows certain percentages on various portions of the award.Since almost all States in one way or another regulate the amount of legal fees for claimants’ representatives, any person approving a legal fee under this act should be aware of the various States’ workers’ compensation laws governing attorney’s fees in that DO’s jurisdiction.
    4. If the requested fee is reduced, the DD must advise the attorney or representative in writing of the reduction, and state the reason(s) for the reduction. This may be stated in the compensation order approving the fee or in a letter accompanying the compensation order; however, any change must be justified. The recipient of a fee for representation of a claimant, if dissatisfied with the amount awarded, may appeal to the Benefits Review Board (BRB) for a review of the award.
    5. In the absence of collusion, when the parties in arm’s length settlement negotiation have reached an agreement on the amount of the fee which is the responsibility of the employer/carrier, the DD should approve the fee unless it is clearly excessive (Ballard v General Dynamics, 12 BRBS 966 (1980) and Watkins v Ingalls, 26 BRBS 179 (1993)).

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who Pays Your Defense Base Act Attorneys Fees ?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 15, 2011

Alert:  We have received a report that a DBA Attorney is taking part of a claimants compensation checks.  This is  very low tactic and we hope this attorney is soon exposed.

When a Defense Base Act Attorney or Law Firm advertises “no money upfront, or no fees upfront”, or that all fees must be approved, or that their fee is contingent, it means that they plan to have you pay their fees out whatever lost wages or medical you may be awarded.  Never ever hire one of these lawyers who would take  money from you when the insurance company is supposed to pay.  Ask them how this benefits them because it sure as hell does not benefit you !!

“The way the Defense Base Act is set up in terms of attorneys fees (no up front attorney fee is required, all lawyer fees must be approved and an attorney fee is contingent and will only be owed if we are able to collect funds for you”  Clever, how would you know they mean that YOU will be owing these fees

The Defense Base Act provides for your attorney fees to be paid for by the Insurance Company.

9th Circuit Court Upholds LHWCA/DBA Attorney’s fees

In disputed claims, the attorney fee frequently is assessed against the employer and is paid in addition to compensation

You would probably not be at this blog  nor would you need an attorney if your claim were not disputed.

Your DBA Attorney is required  to keep track of their hours and expenses (receipts) for the duration of the legal process and turn them in to the ALJ or DD for approval and subsequent payment by the DBA Insurance Company when they have in fact succeeded in securing an award in your favor.

It is not illegal for a Defense Base Act Attorney to charge Injured Contractors and Widows these fees.

The fees do have to be approved by an ALJ or DD and we do not know why an ALJ or DD would allow this.

But it might just be illegal for a Defense Base Act Attorney to have Injured Contractors and Widows sign on to pay as much 40%  without ever disclosing to them that they are not required to do so under the Act.

We’d love to hear what excuses these attorneys are using to bleed more money out of the Injured Contractors and Widows, many of them foreign and more susceptible to this treatment.

Please let us know in the comment section below if you have been asked to pay your attorneys legal  fees.

From the Longshore Manual

Fee When Carrier Declines to Pay Compensation. Under section 28(a), if an EC does not pay any compensation within thirty days after receiving written notification of a claim being filed, and the case is later settled at the informal level in favor of the claimant, the DD/CE must assess the fee for an attorney against the EC

Fee Where Voluntary Payment Made, But Controversy Arises Over Amount of Additional Compensation.

  1. If the EC voluntarily pays compensation without an award and a controversy develops over the amount of additional compensation (if any) to which the claimant may be entitled, the DD/CE shall, within ten days of knowledge of the controversy, set the case for an informal conference. Either at the conference or afterwards, the DD/CE is to recommend in writing the disposition of the matter. If the claimant has utilized the services of an attorney during this period to obtain additional compensation, any additional legal fee (based on efforts to obtain additional compensation) is to be assessed against the EC.

Continue reading here to learn why your informal conference is so important to you which we will soon post on.

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, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

Why Thar’s Gold in Them Injured Contractor’s DBA Claims

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 29, 2011

Or So You’d Think……..

Seems like just yesterday one  Houston Attorney was bragging to the media

that he was one of only a few attorneys across the country who even handled

Defense Base Act Claims

-for better or worse-

For too many of  us here it proved to be for worse

As of late there are a rash of new websites up for Attorneys

who want to represent you in your DBA claim

In the words of one Attorney

“there is so much money, just there for the taking”

He was not referring to the claimants award

We welcome new untainted blood to the DBA Attorney gene pool

We are pleased to have more attorneys advocating for the injured contractor

when indeed that is their intention

But please do not do further harm to the injured and widowed by taking on claims

you are ill prepared or inclined to put up a tenacious and timely fight for

To those of you who know the law and will advocate for the claimant

Welcome to the Wild Wild West

but it’s no gold mine

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Why does the question of whether DBA attorneys take kickbacks come up so often?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 15, 2010

We’ll start this with our disclaimer:

We do not know if any Defense Base Act Plaintiff’s  attorneys  take financial kickbacks or any other possible kickback  from DBA insurance companies.  We just see the question come up often.

These are our own plaintiff’s attorneys that this question is being asked about.

Financial reward is likely the driving force behind the DBA insurance company defense attorney, though we suspect it is more a sport for a few of them.

But offering, or taking, a bribe to throw an injured contractor’s claim at a hearing or talk him into taking a much smaller settlement than he is entitled too,  would have disastrous legal implications for any attorney who were caught.  The insurance company would probably not miss a profit.

Never the less, this question remains a very hot topic.  One that many would be compelled to ask when researching the outcomes of claims of Injured War Zone Contractors and the Death Benefit Claims of those who did not survive.

If not for financial reward then what would drive an Attorney/Lawyer  to allow an insurance company to deny benefits to clearly maimed and/or mentally disabled persons without putting up the best fight possible utilizing every resource available to them?

The Reasonable costs of representing a claimant must also be paid by the insurance company and it is not the Insurance companies’ attorney who decides what legal costs will be paid, it is the Judge.

The lack of effort and resources put into most DBA Claimants cases saves the insurance companies billions of dollars without ever an outright exchange of dirty money necessary.

Posted in Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, Misjudgements, Political Watch, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Danger: Never attend an Insurance Company Second Opinion Unarmed

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 27, 2010

Never attend any medical or psychiatric evaluation on behalf of the DBA insurance company without your lawyer or an advocate that your attorney provides and

Never attend one of these without a videographer.

NEVER

The Insurance Company may have you see a doctor of their choice for a second opinion.  While you must attend these you are afforded many rights under the DBA that are being ignored at your expense by YOUR attorneys, the DoL, and the ALJ”s.   Ask your attorney what your rights are.

This is especially important if you are a TBI or PTSD patient.  You will need an advocate with you at all times who is able to protect you from inappropriate questioning and intimidation tactics.

You are required to attend, you must cooperate within the “scope and purpose” of the examination as it relates to the aspect of your claim you are being examined for.

Your lawyer, your advocate, and your video of the examination are your only defense against manipulative and deceitful Doctors who are paid by insurance companies to help deny your claim.

Shame on you DBA attorneys who send your unsuspecting clients into these ambushes blind, far from their geographic area, without the scope and purpose of the examination clearly defined, on short notice and without even checking the credentials and backgrounds of these insurance company whores.

And even more worrisome are the ALJ’s who set aside the rights afforded the claimant under the very rules and regulations used to set up these deceitful exams on behalf of the insurance company.

Never attend an Insurance Company Second Opinion Unarmed

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

A Day with the Covington Cabal

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 4, 2010

Another opportunity to join the Insurance Companies and their legal firms and cohorts in Covington, if you can afford it.

Save the Date !!

A Day with the Department of Labor
September 29, 2010
Pan American Life Center
New Orleans, LA

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, OALJ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Department of Labor and The Carrier/Employer Collaborate Again

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 21, 2010

Signal/NAWE Maritime Conference June 3-4  2010   Chicago

Signal Mutual Indemnity Association Ltd. and National Association of Waterfront Employers

Representatives from the Department of Labor will join long-time practitioners in spirited discussions on how to create innovative opportunities to improve current practices and procedures

Acting Chief Judge Stephen Purcell,

Retired Judge John Vittone, and

Janice Ulan; U.S. Department of Labor, Benefits Review Board

The Longshore Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act  and The Defense Base Act Administrative System is adversarial enough without high ranking DoL Officials spending taxpayer money to attend a conference designed purely to help the insurance companies and their attorney’s to create even more

“Innovative Opportunities to improve current practices and procedures”

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, OALJ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Loyola Annual Longshore Conference 2010- Overwhelmingly for the Defense again

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 19, 2010

Time  for the Annual Department of Labor Sponsored Junket to New Orleans

Again we have a Conference which is Overwhelmingly for the Defense and supported by the DoL

Are there no ethics violations here?


There will be     13      speakers who work for the defense

There will be      7      speakers who represent the injured contractor

There will be      4      speakers who are ALJ’s

There will be       1     speaker is a rehab specialist who claims neutrality but prepares opinions regarding injured workers employability and wage earning capacity.

There will be       1      speaker who is listed as an arbitrator, previously part of a defense firm

_______________________________________________

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
In conjunction with the
United States Department of Labor
Present the

Updated Program

Loyola Annual Longshore Conference
March 18 – 19, 2010
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

Program Schedule

Thursday, March 18, 2010
Introduction – Lana A. Corll, Director, Continuing Legal Education

Alan G. Brackett, Esq. Advisory Board Chair

Alan G. Brackett is a managing member of the New Orleans law firm of Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett, L.L.C. He earned his B.A. degree in history from Tulane University in 1982 and graduated from Tulane Law School with a J.D. in 1984. Alan is a member of the American, Louisiana, and New Orleans Bar Associations, the Louisiana and New Orleans Associations of Defense Counsel, The Maritime Law Association of the United States, in which he is a Proctor Member, and the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute. He is a fellow in the Louisiana Bar Foundation and an Assistant Bar Examiner for the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Named by New Orleans CityBusiness as one of New Orleans’ top 50 lawyers in 2005, he practices extensively in the field of longshore compensation defense and in his over twenty years of practice in this area, has represented employers and carriers before the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, the Office of Administrative Law Judges, the Benefits Review Board, United States Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He has handled longshore claims literally across the United States and is a contributing author to The Longshore Textbook. Since 1998, he has served as both Seminar Moderator and Chairman of the Advisory Board for Loyola Law School’s Annual Longshore Conference and has also spoken at numerous other seminars in the field of longshore compensation.

____________________________________________________________
Handling Claims from Inception to the Informal Conference
• Investigation and Development of Claims
• Dealing with Unrepresented Claimants
• Communicating with Health Care Providers
• Medical Case Management
• Presentation of Positions at the Informal Conference


James W. Case

McTeague, Higbee, Case, Cohen, Whitney & Toker, P.A.

He also represents people injured under the Defense Base Act and works extensively before the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.  Jim served in Washington, D.C. from 1974 through 1981 as chief legislative counsel and administrative assistant to Senator Edmund S. Muskie and Senator George J. Mitchell.

Pat Benfield

Benfield and Company

Insurance Adjusters in Houma, LA
Insurance Agent/Broker*, Claims Adjusting

Katherine Theofel

Ms. Theofel is an active member of the maritime community, specializing in the defense of employers and carriers in Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims, as well as its extensions.  Her background in federal practice and maritime law allows her to handle cross-over claims and subrogation cases.

Focusing on Longshore issues, Ms. Theofel is a regular panelist at seminars including the Longshore Claims Association, the Industrial Claims Association, and Signal Administration.  She is frequently asked to conduct training seminars for claims people new to the Longshore industry.

Finnegan, Marks, Theofel & Desmond San Francisco, CA

Throughout its history, the firm has specialized in litigation representing employer interests before California and Federal Courts and administrative forums, including general insurance defense, workers’ compensation, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act


William J. Scheffler, IV

Branch Manager, FARA—ALMA Claims Office,

AERS Metairie, LA

In July, 2009 the AEU dedicated claims unit formerly known as the FARA ALMA Branch became American Equity Risk Services, LLC (AERS). AERS is a new joint venture company owned by The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (AEU) and F. A. Richard & Associates, Inc. (FARA).

AERS gives AEU and FARA a more direct connection as it relates to our claims adjusting and further enhances our team approach which is designed to further reduce claims, drive down premiums and ultimately retain long-term clients

__________________________________________________________

Why is the War Hazards Compensation Act Important to a Claimant?
• What the Act provides
• The Impact of the WHCA on Settlement Negotiations

Roger A. Levy
Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi, LLP
San Francisco, CA

Partner, Laughlin Falbo Levy & Moresi

Roger A. Levy is a founding partner of Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi, San Francisco, CA, where he is presently Of Counsel. His primary area of specialization is the defense of cases brought under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, including its extensions, particularly the Defense Base Act.  Mr. Levy has been a program speaker at numerous Longshore seminars over the years, and has written newsletter articles, legal updates, and guidebooks published by his firm. He currently serves on the LexisNexis Benefits Review Board Service—Longshore Reporter Advisory Board, and is also a member of the Larson’s National Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board.

Roger A. Levy’s Expert Commentary on the Challenges of Using the Defense Base Act to Civilian Employees Injured Overseas

Mr. Levy was editor in chief of the biased “Defense Base Act and War Hazards Compensation Act Handbook” which the Department of Labor actually promoted at the 2008 DBA Conference in Washington DC.  It was free with attendance.  We call it “How to Screw Over the Modern Day DBA Casualty” and so do many people in the industry


Nina H. Thiele

Freedman & Lorry, P.C.
Philadelphia, PA

This firm handles DBA Claims for the Plaintiffs

_________________________________________________

Vocational Rehabilitation under the Defense Base Act
• Determining Residual Wage Earning Capacity
• OWCP Vocational Services for U.S. Citizens
• Identifying Alternate Employment in a Depressed Economy

_____

Hon. Jennifer Gee, Chief Judge
U. S. Depart. of Labor – OALJ
San Francisco, CA  Gee is a regular at defense conferences and you can review her decisions at the X Files

E. Paul Gibson
Riesen Law Firm North Charleston, SC

Paul Gibson is a presence on this legal waterfront. He has over 25 years of experience in representing longshore and harbor workers. With so much experience, Paul Gibson knows the intricacies of the special laws and regulations that affect longshore workers when they must seek legal help.


Carla Seyler

Seyler Favaloro New Orleans, LA

This rehabilitation services company claims to work for both sides:

Seyler Favaloro is neither a plaintiff nor a defense firm — we offer credibility that can only come from having worked in all aspects of vocational rehabilitation and case management. Our referral sources include employers, insurers, plaintiffs, defendants and governmental agencies

We prepare opinions regarding employability and wage earning capacity in all jurisdictions.

Michael Quinn
Thomas, Quinn & Krieger

Law firm specializing in maritime law, including cargo casualties, Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act and extension Acts, Jones Act personal injury defense, and trademark
______________________________________________________
Ethical Concerns in Claims Under the Act
• Ethical Problems the Court Sees
• Penalties for Misrepresentation and Fraudulent Claims
• Concerns Under Sections 31 and 48

Hon. Larry Price
U. S. Dept. of Labor – OALJ
Covington, LA

Amie C. Peters
Law Office of William Hockberg Edmonds, WA

Our Law Office is dedicated to helping injured people with Washington State Workers’ Compensation, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation, Defense Base Act, Social Security Disability, and Personal Injury claims.

Kathleen K Charvet

…also worked as an attorney with the United States Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Kathleen practices extensively in defending claims brought pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Outer-Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act and the Defense Base Act.

McGlinchey Stafford

McGlinchey Stafford serves the national business community New Orleans, LA

_______________________________________________________

Section 7 and Oversight of Medical Care
• OWCP’s Role in Oversight
• Rights of the Parties in Contested Claims
• Choice of Physicians, SMO’s and IME’s
• Role of Medical Case Management

David A. Duhon, District Director
U. S. Department of Labor – OWCP
New Orleans, LA

Tommy Dulin
Dulin & Dulin Gulfport, MS

Donald Moore
Franke & Salloum, PLLC   Gulfport MS

Franke & Salloum is one of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s most prestigious law firms.  Known primarily as trial attorneys, the firm provides a full range of litigation services to its business and corporate clients.

___________________________________________________________
Interplay of Benefits Schemes
• Social Security Benefits
• Unemployment Benefits
• Private Disability Insurance and Accident Policies

Terrence J. Lestelle
Lestelle & Lestelle Metairie, LA

We were not able to find a website for this firm but they are listed as a personal injury firm.

______________________________________________________

Longshore Jeopardy!

Hon. Patrick Rosenow      Rosenow also has some interesting decisions at the X Files
U. S. Dept. of Labor – OALJ
Covington, LA

_____________________________________________________


Cocktail Reception

_____________________________________________________
Friday, March 19, 2010
What is Malingering and How is it Proven?
• Who can Diagnose Malingering?

Dr. Roberta Bell Metairie, LA

We have nothing yet on Dr. Bell
Frank J. Towers
Blue Williams, LLP

Blue Williams, L.L.P., with offices in Southeast Louisiana, and servicing the Gulf South Region, has established a formidable reputation as a full-service firm, providing quality representation of our clients in business matters and commercial litigation.
_______________________________________________________

Situs, Status and Who is an “Employee?”

• Changes from the Stimulus Legislation
• Construction Workers, Dock Workers, and Specialty Occupations

Yelena Zaslavskaya
U. S. Dept. of Labor – OALJ
Washington, DC

Mike Huey
Huey Law Firm, LLC Mobile, AL Plaintiff’s

Doug Brown

Doug Brown specializes in defense of workers’ compensation and professional and general liability claims against employers, premises owners, pharmacists, product manufacturers and others in jury trials and non-jury proceedings throughout Alabama and the Southeast.  He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America in both Workers’ Compensation and Admiralty and Maritime Law for over ten years.  A member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute, he has been a speaker at continuing education programs sponsored by bar associations and law schools on topics concerning developments in trial practice, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act.

Brady Radcliff & Brown, LLP Mobile, AL

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Alternative Dispute Resolution
• Private Mediation
• Settlement Judge Conferences

Paul A. Herman, P.A. Boca Raton, FL

Former equity partner in one of the largest and most prestigious Workers’ Compensation insurance defense firms in the state of Florida.
James W. McCready, III

Mr. McCready  has represented, among others, American International Group


Seipp & Flick, LLP Miami, FL
Hon. Richard D. Mills
U. S. Dept. of Labor – OALJ
Covington, LA

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What to do When a Party Becomes Insolvent
• What is the Impact of the Payment of Benefits?
• What are the Rights of Injured Workers?
• Involvement of Guaranty Associations

Scott R. Hymel

Engaged in general civil litigation practice concentrating on insurance defense, insurance coverage litigation, admiralty and LHWCA

Christopher M. Landry

Mr. Landry is primarily engaged in the defense of Louisiana State Workers’ Compensation and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (including Defense Base Act) claims. He is also engaged in insurance defense and the defense of, products liability, medical malpractice, nursing home, and employment claims. Mr. Landry has tried numerous cases in Louisiana Judicial District Courts throughout the State of Louisiana and Louisiana Federal Courts. He also has extensive experience trying numerous State Workers’ Compensation claims and Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation claims before Administrative Law Judges. He also has experience litigating cases before the Social Security Administration, and other administrative agencies. Mr. Landry has been a speaker at many seminars over the years on varying subjects, including seminars in Louisiana Workers’ Compensation law, United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation law, and other general casualty issues. He is also co-authored several informative publications on both the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.


Pugh, Accardo, Haas, Radecker, Carey & Hymel, LLC

New Orleans, LA and Mandeville, LA

Posted in AIG and CNA, Department of Labor | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Defense Base Act Compensation Blog Most viewed posts in 2009

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 1, 2010

These are based on statistics from Jan 1 2009 through Dec 31 2009

Tangiers International Updates

And still awaiting the outcome of the Department of Labor and the Department of Justice investigations into Tangiers International.

We’ll report on our own findings at the same time.

More on this below     On your toes Tacticor

DBA CNA Casualty Anniversary

Is it just the photo of these really good looking guys or do people have a problem with CNA  and ‘He who must not be named’  tactics used for dragging claims out for six and more years while denying medical and cutting off payments?

KBR has blocked MsSparky from their Servers

Tag Teaming to keep the info train rolling

The Defense Base Act Compensation Blog was soon blocked as well !!

Fluor did not waste anytime following suite

Danny Fitzsimons Discharged From Army with PTSD

This is a tragic tale of two dead contractors, Darren Hoare and Paul McGuigan,  at the hand of a third contractor who was fighting a “War within his head”.   He was hired by several different security companies despite his diagnoses of PTSD and known drug and legal problems.

It took the publicity and outrage of the world but the company who last hired him has since starting doing background checks.   And yet, due to the DBA sanctioned right to deadly negligence, the burden will be borne only by the dead, injured, their families, and what’s left of Danny Fitzsimons tortured mind.  Danny awaits trial in Baghdad.

Civilian Contractors Toll in Iraq and Afghanistan Ignored by Defense Dept

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica – October 9, 2009

Despite the importance of civilian contractors to its mission, the Defense Department hasn’t been measuring their sacrifice. More than 5,200 soldiers have died in the two war zones, meaning that one civilian contractor has died for every three soldiers.

Dropping the DBA Ball
CYA Statement of the year from the one in charge of the ball

“The problem that we see a lot is where injuries occur overseas the knee-jerk reaction is the insurance company says,‘I can’t pay right now. I don’t have documentation,’ ” said Miranda Chiu, Labor’s director of policy for Defense Base Act claims.“They drop the ball.”

AIG Faces Hearing on Denial of Medical Claims by Contractors Injured in Iraq and Afghanistan

Kucinich, the chair of the committee’s domestic policy panel, said earlier that he was “alarmed” by a joint investigation [4] by ProPublica [5], ABC News [6] and the Los Angeles Times [7], which found that the troubled insurance giant routinely denied medical care to civilians injured in the war zones. Rep. Elijah Cummings [8], D-Md., first requested [9] a hearing after the reports aired earlier this year. Kucinich’s panel will be joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders [10], I-Vt.,

Independent Medical Evaluations AIG and CNA

Dispelling the Myth that insurance company Defense Medical Evaluations are in someway unbiased Indpendent Medical Evaluations.   Only the DoL can arrange for an Independent Medical Examination under the DBA.    The insurance company is entitled to have you see a doctor of their choice, under certain restrictions,  but this is a Defense Medical Evaluation.

Tangiers International DBA “Medical Providers

Tangiers International , AIG’s Medical Provider/Spy Kids Caught Lying

Tangiers Vice President a Dept of Labor Employee


Remember Them Too

Don’t Contractors Count When we Calculate the Cost of War? By Steven Schooner

Despite the light that Memorial Day will shine, briefly, on the U.S. death tolls in Iraq and Afghanistan, don’t expect an accurate accounting of the real human cost of our military actions abroad. The numbers you’ll see — mostly likely just under 5,000 fatalities — won’t tell the whole story.

How CNA Treats Foreign Claimants

“I arranged for a meeting with CNA Global and Donna Sprags. The nursecase manager Jody Mcewan arranged the meeting In Chicago at the offices of CNA Global. I left South Africa with a Medic, a Nurse and my wife.

When  I arrived at the building of CNA I was told that “she will not see me and was thrown out of the building by security”. The trip cost me $15 000 and I have outstanding medical debts of $150 000.

AIG their IME, PTSE, The Saga Continues

The Infamous Dr. Griffith and those who enable him

In Memory of Tim Eysslinck

We lost Tim to PTSD five years ago April 23.  Tim’s wife and children have been denied DBA benefits in a most disturbing series of events replete with fraudulent statements.  And his widow paid the original lawyer who allowed this to happen.

Texas District Court Rules Iraq War not Life Threatening

Casualties not Counted

Eysslinck Files



Posted in AIG and CNA, KBR, Misjudgements, PTSD and TBI, spykids, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Help Wanted: Top Ten Worst DBA offenses of 2009

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on December 30, 2009

While there was no shortage of fraud, criminal intent,  negligence, or just plain meanness and disrespect  carried out against  injured contractors this year we’d like your help in remembering them here.

Recommended categories:

AIG and CNA and looks like Zurich needs to buck up, DBA Insurance Company Defense Lawyers, Our own DBA Lawyers, Claims Adjusters, Claims Examiners, ALJ’s, Dirty Tricks by Defense Lawyers.   Name names only if you have documentation but feel free to tell your story so everyone else will know what to look out for.

Include previous years offenses up to this point as this is our first edition.

Add your entries as a comment here.

Posted in AIG and CNA, KBR, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Labor Dept., Congress Plan Improvements to System to Care for Injured War Contractors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 14, 2009

contractor-truck-dept-labor-275by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica – October 13, 2009 10:15 am EDT

The Labor Department has launched a series of changes to improve the controversial federal system designed to provide medical care and disability benefits to civilian contractors injured in war zones, department officials say.

The agency has stepped up enforcement, set new goals to speed delivery of benefits and begun tracking the performance of the insurance carriers that sell the highly lucrative policies for war zone workers, a senior official said.

The department is “reaching out to the carriers who are on the front lines to get them to perform at a higher level,” said the official, who declined to be named because he was discussing internal issues. The department will “start collecting data so we can show who’s doing well and who’s doing not so well.”

A joint investigation [1] we did with ABC News and the Los Angeles Times showed that civilian contractors’ claims for medical care and disability payments were routinely denied by insurers. Another investigation [2] by us showed that foreign workers often received no payments at all, though taxpayers had paid premiums to cover their injuries.

The Labor Department oversees the system, which requires defense contractors to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for employees in war zones. The insurance giant AIG dominates the market for such policies, which earn as much as 40 percent profit in some cases. Taxpayers have paid more than $1.6 billion for the policies, which are required by a law known as the Defense Base Act.

Labor officials plan to hold informal meetings to settle disputes between insurers and injured contractors  within 14 days of a request; it takes about 45 days now.  But it remains unclear whether speeding the process will quickly resolve disputes. The meetings hold no legal weight, and the insurers and the contractors  are free to ignore recommendations made by Labor Department examiners.

The department will also begin collecting data on how quickly insurers pay out claims. Without that information, the department has been unable to measure their  performance.

Labor and Defense Department officials also met late last month to discuss broader reforms to the system, the Labor official said. The discussions follow a Pentagon report [3] in September that suggested [4] the government provide its own insurance to cover contractors, at a potential annual savings of $250 million. The system has ballooned in size and cost as civilian contractors have flooded into Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We believe there’s a need for reform,” the official said. “DOD has indicated they believe so as well. Now it’s a matter of getting together and figuring out how to build something.”

The Labor Department’s efforts come as legislators consider new legislation to address flaws in the system.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., held a hearing on the system this summer and had planned to introduce fixes in a bill this year. But he now plans a larger effort to include the Defense Department suggestions, a major legislative undertaking that will probably not take place until next year, according to a Hill staffer.

“I read the report from the Department of Defense with great interest, and I have directed my staff to alter the bill, taking into account this new information.” Cummings said. “The opportunity to keep our civilian contractors protected, while saving the government hundreds of millions of dollars, is one we cannot ignore.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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