Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘Ethics’

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

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 14, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIG KBR SEII via Michael Thomas appealed the decision.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PTSD, Ethics and Honor in the Warzone

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 27, 2011

General Petraeus’ Link to Troubling Suicide in Iraq: The Ted Westhusing Story

Before putting a bullet through his head, Westhusing had been deeply disturbed by abuses carried out by American contractors in Iraq, including allegations that they had witnessed or even participated in the murder of Iraqis.

See Also  Journey That Ended in Anguish by T Christian Miller

The scourge of suicides among American troops and reservists in Iraq and Afghanistan remains a serious and seriously underreported problem.

Last month they hit a new high in the US Army, despite intensive new efforts to prevent them. One of the few high-profile cases emerged six years ago this month, and it involves a much-admired Army colonel and ethicist named Ted Westhusing — who, in his suicide note, pointed a finger at a then little-known U.S. general named David Petraeus.

Westhusing’s widow, asked by a friend what killed this West Point scholar, replied simply: “Iraq.”

‘Something he saw [in Iraq] drove him to this,’ one Army officer who was close to Westhusing said in an interview. ‘The sum of what he saw going on drove him’ to take his own life.

‘It’s because he believed in duty, honor, country that he’s dead.'”

Please read the entire story at The Nation

Posted in AIG and CNA, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Insurance, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Melt Down, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, T Christian Miller | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a 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


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


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 »

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