Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘Lawyers’

Who Owns John Boehner?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 29, 2011

We only discuss politics as it pertains to our battle with the insurance companies and the Department of Labor so that you can make up your own mind about who is or is not looking out for our cause.  Only a very very few truly are.

Today we bring you John Boehner  from The Center for Responsive Politics

Over the years, Boehner has received many millions of dollars from industry. For the next campaign, Boehner has already raised almost $8 million dollars from industry and their PACs. The average Congressman has picked up less than a million.

The top  industries that purchased shares of Boehner during the last campaign cycle (2009-2010 campaign season) are:

  • Insurance $609,290
  • Securities & Investment $509,520
  • Retired $394,649
  • Electric Utilities $363,372
  • Lobbyists $353,814
  • Health Professionals $332,865
  • Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $329,350
  • Real Estate $285,400
  • Lawyers/Law Firms $264,050

Also according to The Center For Responsive Politics , Johnny’s top twenty individual shareholders during the 2009-2010 campaign year were:

Some of this was taken from an article by Jillian Barclay at OpEd News

Posted in Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Defense Medical Examinations, Follow the Money, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Johnny doesn’t come cheap, but there is a lot to win for his contributors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 11, 2011

Smiling all the way to the bank

Senator 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.

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 Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Follow the Money, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Misjudgements, Political Watch, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Corrupt Legal System sounds familiar

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 5, 2011

So what have you learned as a legal intern?

Posted in Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

In desperation KBR attorneys attempted to “encourage” Army to reconsider

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 4, 2010

June 2, 2010 — Ms Sparky

On February 23, 2010 the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge sent a letter to the Army on behalf of their client KBR. The letter was entitled:

Re:  Request for Reconsideration of Denial of Use of LGEN (Ret.) Ricardo S. Sanchez as Expert Witness

Apparently the Army’s recent decision to not allow LGEN (Ret.) Ricardo S. Sanchez to supply expert testimony on KBR’s behalf didn’t sit well.

I first blogged about LGEN Sanchez testimony in March but didn’t have the letter at that time. I have it now and am disturbed at the sheer level of arrogance of KBR’s attorneys.

I am not going reprint the entire three page letter in this post. If you want to read it in it’s entirety click HERE. I am going to highlight what I consider to be the most disturbing and desperate statements in the letter followed by my Ms Sparky (snarky) interpretation.

Read this post at MsSparky’s

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, KBR, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Labor Day Message to Hilda Solis, Secretary, US Department of Labor

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 6, 2009

Having just read your  Labor Day Statement,  we are convinced that Injured Overseas Contractors and their imagesfamilies are nowhere on your radar screen.

You say that over the last seven months you have met with many individuals and organizations.   We were disappointed that you did not respond to our requests to meet with you.   We had asked to discuss, in a helpful and positive way, the inequities these Injured Contractors suffer under the Defense Base Act which your department oversees.

You ask us in your statement to personally commit to play a role in the recovery of our economy and our nation. To reach out to those needing help.  To do the work that will keep America Working.

Hilda Solis we ask you to personally commit that your/our Department of Labor allow us the opportunity to recover physically, mentally, and economically as the law provides under the Defense Base Act.

Reach out to your Department of Labor who is charged with ensuring that Defense Base Act Workers’ Compensation benefits are provided for covered employees promptly and correctly.

Do the work, get to know your OWCP/DHWLC/DBA,  your OALJ’s, and BRB’s.

Open your eyes to who is standing in the way of ensuring that DBA benefits are provided for covered Injured Contractors promptly and correctly.

Read some of the decisions your ALJ’s make based on the testimony of questionable doctors, witnesses, and evidence.

Question  the person who was put in charge of Policy, Regulations and Procedures for the Defense Base Act who cut her teeth with AIG and CNA’s defense lawyers and helped promote their biased book via this position of public service.

Look into the knee jerk, biased recommendations that come from some of your District Directors and some of their Claims Examiners.

Do they work for you, the injured contractor, the taxpayer or do they serve their own purpose?

Ask why CNA and AIG are never fined as the law requires for multitudes of blatant infractions of the law year after year.

Ask why CNA, AIG and the lawyers get away with relentlessly continuing hearings, thus dragging claims out for six years and longer while refusing to pay for medical and disability to the injured worker but buffing up their own financial award.

Some of these hearings will make public record of damning information vital to many other claims, including many that were already denied and will have to be re-examined.

Is your DoL helping to keep this information in the dark?

Will your legacy be the continued abuse of thousands of Injured Americans and Foreigners working on US Contracts when you personally could have stepped in and made this CHANGE?

What a stimulus to the economy it would be to get Injured Overseas Contractors and/or their families back to being the contributing members of America that they were working on behalf of when they were injured or killed working in countries all over the world.

The only stimulus the DBA currently provides is to insurance companies like  AIG and CNA, hordes of lawyers,  and your department facilitates it.

You came to us with the promise that there was a new sheriff in town and that you would be heard.

Make our Labor Day, be heard, speak up about these abuses to Injured Contractors and demand that they stop.

Maybe then, hopefully together, we can assure that the Defense Base Act is implemented as Congress intended.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The DBA’s Exclusive Remedy: Why Danny Fitzsimons’ PTSD was a Non Issue?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 16, 2009

The Defense Base Act includes a clause called the “Exclusive Remedy” making the DBA the employers exclusive liability and the employees’s exclusive remedy.

When the contract company  purchases the cost reimbursable DBA insurance for it’s employees it has just been released of all liability for any reason.   It is relieved from  litigation by the employee or his/her family members.  Many employees have never heard of the DBA or know that it is their exclusive remedy.  There is no “policy” delivered to them for their perusal or signature.

There is no financial gain to the employer by screening for PTSD and no financial loss to them when an employee snaps.  Even worse, when an employee files a claim for PTSD they most often are denied diagnoses and treatment by the DBA insurance companies AIG and CNA.

When the employee is forced into years of litigation in the Department of Labors’ Administrative Law System they will be pitted against their employer.   AIG and CNA will subpeona the employers representatives and fellow employees to testify against them at their hearing.  They may lie and blame this mental illness on the wife, or stepchildren,  anything but the stress of working and living in a war zone.

Many of the deaths and injuries to civilian contractors in the war zones were due to negligence on the part of the employer.     Employers often failed to provide necessary safety equipment, security,  and/or to implement, or allow to be implemented,  the most basic Safety and Standard Operating Procedures that would normally be followed.   So far there has been no consequence to bear on the companies or individuals who were negligent.

Paul McGuigan and Darren Hoare are dead.   Young children have lost their fathers and their own financial futures as the DBA will little if anything, reimburse them for this loss.  It’s possible these families will never see a dime from the DBA insurance company.  Hopefully there were supplemental policies in place.

Danny Fitzsimons was lost to this world years ago when his mental instability was not properly addressed.

He now stands in the eyes of the Iraqi’s as representative of all those who have abused them over these years.  He is being fast tracked through their legal system to a possible hanging.

As the facts of this tragedy come to light we see clearly how many times the opportunity to prevent it were overlooked.

The only ones who will pay the price are the dead, injured, incarcerated, their families and the US taxpayer who paid for the insurance policies and may reimburse the insurance companies for the claims, to include their attorneys,  under the War Hazards Act.

The DBA and it’s Exclusive Remedy clause are a free pass to unmitigated negligence.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

CNA and lawyers

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 5, 2009

OK injured war zone contractors CNA in Chicago has been all over this blog for the last 24 hours.

A law firm that specializes in corporate law and has on occasion represented  them has joined them.  LAUGHLIN, FALBO, LEVY, &  MORESI LLP  has picked up the rear.

Are they actually thinking of suing the injured war zone contractors, their family members and widows because we have the nerve to talk about what they have been doing to us?

Or are they just concerned about our participation in the Congressional Investigations of their stalling and denying tactics?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 14 Comments »

Injured Contractors, AIG in the news?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 18, 2009

 Where was the news?

On Friday the LA Times, Pro Publica, and ABC via Good Morning America and 20/20 all reported on the difficulties injured contractors are dealing with trying to get the benefits afforded them under the Defense Base Act. 

Injured contractors and their families provided these journalists with some pretty incriminating information on AIG, CNA, dirty doctors and lawyers losing DBA claims, benefits, for their clients by not working in their best interests.  We’re not talking hearsay, we’re talking about documented facts.

What we got was a tabloid like rehash of the same issues, though they admittedly have not improved in the years that they’ve been covering this.
For ABC this was an opportunity to jump on the AIG bashing bandwagon. Good job at that for sure.

The LA TImes was sitting on this story for the last year. They were likely hoping to cash in on the AIG bashing bandwagon or we may not have seen it still.

So when does the public get to hear the rest of the news of how the injured contractors and the taxpayer are getting screwed?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Defense Base Act Workmans Compensation is No Guarantee

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 13, 2009

Most employees assume that the Defense Base Act coverage will provide medical care, lost wages, and/or death benefits in the event they are injured and/or killed working overseas in a war zone.

Those that know they are covered by it that is.

The intent of the Defense Base Act was just that.

The Defense Base Act has been put in the hands of insurance companies, mainly AIG, CNA, and their ruthless lawyers.

The Department of Labor, who is tasked with implementation and oversight of the DBA, has been out to lunch.

Your employer is not required to provide as safe a workplace as possible under this act.

The injured employee is guaranteed nothing. They may file a claim with the insurance company. They may hire a lawyer who is supposed to be covered by the insurance company. There is some effort as of late to push this responsibility onto the injured employee.

The Defense Base Act though written in black and white is “interpreted” by judges to mean whatever they think it should at any given time. There is a constant evolution of what is considered to be the Defense Base Act even though neither the Defense Base Act itself, or it’s intention, has been changed by Congress as would be required.

If your thinking of going to work in a war zone please think of how your going to take care of yourself and your family for the many years it may take you to get anything out of the insurance company.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is your DBA Attorney working in your best interest?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 19, 2009

According to the Defense Base Act your attorney does not get paid unless they get you something more than the insurance company was providing, just because they said they would.
Considering that in 70% of all DBA claims the insurance company files an LS 207 immediately denying benefits of any kind despite the amount of blood on the ground, getting something more is hardly a  risk.
In one recent claim an attorney who was fired for not even reading the claimants file was paid.

So where is the incentive for them to work in your best interest if they are going to get paid whether you do or not?

It might be easy for a lawyer who doesn’t care to walk your case right through to a stipulation agreement or settlement that is not in your best interest.  Would you know the difference?

If you do not  research the complicated DBA/WHA, and LHWCA
laws in detail you will have no idea what to expect.
Even then these Acts are interpreted by lawyers, judges who are  appointed from within, the Department of Labor claims examiners,  benefits review boards, which means there is a considerable amount of OPINION attached to your claim, your future.

On the other hand the defense lawyers are well seasoned DBA attorneys who know all the tricks to keep the insurance companies from having to pay the medical and lost wages the DBA was put in place to provide you.  You will be pitted against your employer even if you still work for them.  Your fellow workers may be asked to testify against you. 
Some of the defense lawyers for the insurance companies have been working with the Department of Labor appointees and employees, the Administrative Law Judges, the Benefits Review Boards  members, the third party medical providers and attending seminars with them for years now.

Look for a lawyers track record before you jump on board.
If the company you were working for when you were injured suggests one you probably don’t want to go there.

AIG, CNA, and ACE are going to be repeat customers.

You are going to be a closed file.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
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