Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘OALJ’

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 »

ALJ Stephen L Purcell appointed Chief Administrative Law Judge

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 27, 2011

On January 16, 2011, Stephen L. Purcell was appointed Chief Administrative Law Judge.

Judge Purcell served as the Department’s Acting Chief Judge beginning March 4, 2010, and was the Associate Chief Judge for DOL’s Longshore and Traditional programs from 2007 to 2010.

Congratulations ALJ Purcell  and  Thank you for taking the job on permanently

Posted in Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, OALJ | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

BRB Overturn’s X Files Case ALJ Paul C Johnson and Dr John Dorland Griffith

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 27, 2010

“Rather, the administrative law judge was to assess the weight to be accorded to the medical evidence of record, without substituting his judgment for that of the physicians”

Congratulations to Claimants Attorney
Ralph R. Lorberbaum
Zipperer, Lorberbaum & Beauvais
Savannah, Georgia
on a job well done.



BRB Decision 09-0573

The Benefit Review Board has overturned the ALJ’s denial of benefits in a noteworthy decision that mirrored many of the arguments made in an earlier analysis on the DBA X-files. The decision also reflects a deeper understanding of war-related trauma absent in the Board’s earlier decisions. Better late than never, although this is of little consolation to those who had to pave the way.

1. In this regard, it is undisputed that all of the physicians of record diagnosed claimant with some sort of psychological disorder. Specifically, Drs. van Holla, Reppuhn, Oram and Marshall all diagnosed claimant with PTSD. In addition, Drs. Marshall, Oram, and Reppuhn diagnosed claimant with depression. These are clinical, Axis I, disorders that may respond to medication.

Dr. Griffith, employer’s expert, diagnosed claimant with “personality disorder, not otherwise stated,” which is an Axis II disorder, and malingering. Thus, while Dr. Griffith sctated claimant does not have PTSD or depression, his diagnosis of a personality disorder may support a finding that claimant established a harm for purposes of Section 20(a), 33 U.S.C. §920(a). See generally Wheatley v. Adler, 407 F.2d 307, 313 (D.C. Cir. 1968) (en banc) (a harm occurs when “something unexpectedly goes wrong within the human frame”).

[Goes without saying that Dr Griffith also “diagnosed” TW with malingering (Ed)]

2. The Board’s decision in S.K. [Kamal] v. ITT Industries, Inc., 43 BRBS 78 (2009), is instructive in this regard. In Kamal, the employer contended that, as no doctor had diagnosed the claimant with PTSD or other psychological condition in a manner consistent with the criteria set forth in the DSM-IV, the claimant did not suffer a psychological harm sufficient to invoke the Section 20(a) presumption. The Board rejected the employer’s contention, stating first that the Act does not require use of the DSM-IV in assessing whether a claimant has suffered a psychological harm. Id. at 79-80.

Rather, the administrative law judge was to assess the weight to be accorded to the medical evidence of record, without substituting his judgment for that of the physicians.

Special Thanks to X Files crew at American Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan


See also Dr John Dorland Griffith Exposed

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Medical Examinations, Department of Labor, Misjudgements, OALJ, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Defense Base Act DoL OALJ Case Look Up

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 13, 2010

The Department of Labor OALJ claim look up is a valuable resource for researching Defense Base Act Claims status and outcomes at the ALJ level.

For DBA Claims enter LDA in the drop down under Option 2

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

Stranded DBA Claimants

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 8, 2010

Due to the suspension of a DBA Attorney by the OALJ’s office some claimants have been receiving notices from their assigned ALJ’s that they must retain another attorney or represent themselves at their hearing.

If you retained this attorney it is he who should have notified you of his suspension.  The ALJ’s are only able to notify the claimants they had been assigned.

Here we have ALJ Romero, true to form, treating the client as if she is somehow at fault for this and sends her a notice on the 17th of August requiring a response by September 1st.  Looks like she did not make the cut.  If anyone knows this claimant please let her know the status of her claim.

Other claimants have received these notices with barely concealed contempt inferred in the wordage.

c/o Chartis Property Casualty
On August 17, 2010, an Order issued to Claimant advising that Attorney Dennis Nalick had been suspended from appearing in a representative capacity before this office until such time as his suspension from practicing law in the State of Illinois is lifted and he is re-admitted to practice.
Claimant was ordered to notify the undersigned whether she wishes to proceed to hearing with alternate counsel or without representation. In the event Claimant did not notify the undersigned by September 1, 2010, she was informed that her claim would be remanded to the District Director for further
appropriate handling. Claimant has not responded to the Order.
– 2 –
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this case be remanded to the
District Director for further handling.
ORDERED this 20th day of September, 2010, at Covington,
Administrative Law Judge

Posted in Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

US Independence Day 2010 Injured War Zone Contractors in Extreme Distress

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 3, 2010

We fly our  flag upside down today as a signal of the

Dire Distress and  Extreme Danger to Life and Property

We Injured Overseas Contractors and our families find ourselves in.

Many of you  have lost your health far past your original injuries due to a lack of health care,

your homes due to denial of financial benefits,

and your families  to the stress these hardships put upon everyone

despite the DBA insurance premiums that were  paid by the taxpayer

to assure this would not happen.

The Executive Branch of our government , both current and past,   sold us out to the

Defense Base Act Insurance Companies.

The  Department of Labor and it’s Administrative Law System

boldly defy the law and regulations and aid the insurance companies in their efforts to deny us.

Our  Judicial Branch is no longer  ours to utilize

Our Legislative Branch is missing in action

Would our forebearers who fought so hard to gain the Independence

Declared July 4, two hundred and thirty  four years ago  today,

have done so just to be pawns to AIG, CNA, ACE, Zurich….. ?

We are no longer Independent

This is not Freedom from Tyranny

Our lives are  controlled by Corporate interests who value no life beyond their own

Who cast off our Veterans, Our Patriots,  Our Allies

their children

Delay, Deny, Hope that we die

The upside down U.S. flag is an official signal of distress. It is not meant to be, and is not officially recognized as any type of disrespect when so displayed for the right reasons. To the contrary, here is the relevant part of the US Code of Laws regarding how to fly the flag when in distress:

Title 36, U.S.C., Chapter 10
As amended by P.L. 344, 94th Congress
Approved July 7, 1976

§ 176. Respect for flag: No disrespect should be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag should not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.

(a) The flag should never be displayed with the union down,

except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to

life or property.

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Exclusive Remedy, Political Watch, Zurich | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

2010 Annual Longshore Conference

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 20, 2010

The BRBS Longshore Reporter Staff provides a summary of the recent LHWCA/DBA 2010 Conference in New Orleans.  For a reminder of how heavily biased toward the defense this Department of Labor sponsored  Conference was  AGAIN see:

Loyola Annual Longshore Conference 2010- Overwhelmingly for the Defense again

From the Summary

“On March 18 and 19, 2010, the Annual Longshore Conference put on by Loyola University and the United States Department of Labor was held in New Orleans. Despite the current state of the economy in the United States, a record turnout of over 310 people attended.  Included in the attendees were Acting Chief Judge Stephen Purcell and Acting Associate Chief Judge Daniel Sutton. Also attending were judges from California to Covington as well as several District Directors of the OWCP. The conference was dedicated to the Honorable John M. Vittone, who retired recently as Chief Judge of the United States Department of Labor, and conference planners also thanked him for his years of service and dedication to the conference.”

Apparently times are good for all involved in the DBA except the claimant.

You won’t find any answers but you can read what topics were deemed most noteworthy here.

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another weekend with no access to Department of Labor website…..

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 16, 2010

What is it they do there at the Department of Labor that takes so long that we are denied access to the website or to specific pages?

Is Public Access only during the DoL’s working hours?

This page had been down for two days.

Update:  as of 10:50 am

Monday we are able to access this page.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Department of Labor, OALJ | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sit Rep April 23, 2009 The Defense Base Act and the Injured War Zone Contractor

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 23, 2009

Injured Contractors have been in the news again over the last week.

Injured Contractors were on Good Morning America and 20/20.

The LA Times and ProPublica published a story that the LA Times sat on for a year.

Representative Elijah E Cummings on Tuesday asked for another hearing by Congress, this time by the Domestic Policy Committee.  He is outraged at what he has just read about.

In the meantime the abuse of the Injured War Zone Contractor continues with no intervention.

AIG continues to get away with having claims hearings post poned to keep important information that would help other injured contractors  out of public record.

AIG gets away with not showing up for hearings.

CNA continues to deny Traumatic Brain Injury screening to bomb blast victims.

The Department of Labor OALJ is not assigning claims for hearings, at least not for the last three months.

The Department of Labor is AWOL.

DBA cases are lingering in the twilight zone for as long as six years while the injured contractors are denied medical benefits and financial compensation that the Defense Base Act put in place for them and the taxpayer already paid for.  They continue to have their credit ruined,  lose their homes, lose their families, lose their lives.

Injured Contractors and their families join forces to ensure their voices are heard.

They are not going away.

You can join them by using the contact information at

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

The Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 26, 2008

Welcome to the Defense Base Act

$$$$   We are the Best Kept Secret of the Wars   $$$$

DoL Jacksonville District Office and CNA

Blood on their Hands

 Is the Department of Labor covering up for companies who fail to provide DBA Insurance and those who fail to file claims, late or never?

and how should the taxpayer feel about them hiring “Reputation Management” Firms to cover up their cover ups?

CNA Lies to the DoL

Civilian Contractor Casualty Count

Our Fallen Contractors Memorial

At Least 121 Civilian Contractor Deaths in Third Quarter of 2012

At Least 59 Civilian Contractor Deaths in Second Quarter of 2012

At Least 49 Civilian Contractor Deaths filed on in First Quarter of 2012

At Least 418 Civilian Contractor Deaths in 2011

After Injury, The Battle Begins House Oversight Committee

“Something cruel, heartless and cynical took place in the back rooms of carriers with responsibility for civilian claims. If you like Edgar Alan Poe, you’ll love the claims files of AIG and CNA.”

War Hazards Act pays Insurance Companies

more for expenses

than to Claimants for compensation

Class Action Tax Misclassification filed against Xe, Formerly Blackwater

CNA May Finally Face Criminal Charges

Eysslinck Vs Ronco Consulting Injustice Prevails

CNA’s Double Agent in South Africa




Contact us at

All comments made here are solely the opinion of the person commenting and not necessarily the opinion of this blog.

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, OALJ, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

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