“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson
A DBA Linguist that has PTSD - Case Study
This is a case study of a Defense Base Act (DBA) linguist PTSD case study. I find that using case studies to demonstrate various legal points is an effective way to teach folks about the law. In this case study a discuss a recent case that was not published by the Benefits Review Board. This was not my office’s case, but I often will discuss various cases. This case is about Defense Base Act Linguist Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I have shortened the story/ facts in order more easily explain the important points. I am simplistic in order to achieve clarity.
Defense Base Act Linguist Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Claimant worked as a linguist/translator for Global Linguist Solutions, Inc. for several tours of duty in Iraq. Like most linguists that work in a war theater such as Afghanistan or Iraq, he saw and experienced a number of traumatic incidents during these deployments.
His treating psychologist diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression and stated that claimant cannot return to work in any war zone.
At the trial, the Judge found that claimant was not aware that his psychological injury was work-related until he received psychological treatment. This was important because he did not file his claim until a few years after he worked overseas. Thus, the claimant was able to overcome employer’s statute of limitations defense that the claim was not filed within a year of his last employment with Global.
An Explanation of the Law
In order to establish a prima facie case of total disability, a claimant must establish that he cannot return to his usual work due to a work injury. If the claimant establishes an inability to return to his usual work, the burden shifts to the Global Linguist Solutions, Inc. to demonstrate the availability of suitable alternate employment that the claimant is capable of performing and could secure if he diligently tried.
PTSD and The Ability to Return to Work
The Judge noted that claimant has attempted to work at some part-time positions, but he credited claimant’s testimony that claimant does not think he can hold a job because of his “frustration” and “anger” issues.
Global Linguist’s attorney put a vocational rehabilitation expert on at the the trial. The voc rehab expert had conducted a Labor Market Survey.
The Judge found that employer’s voc rehab expert did not fully address claimant’s psychological condition in assessing his employability. The Judge held that the voc rehab expert did not address claimant’s ability to obtain or maintain a job in view of his psychological difficulties.
In addition, when the voc rehab expert spoke with prospective employers (jobs that she said that were available and that claimant could perform), she did not mention claimant’s psychological condition.
Thus, the Judge concluded that Global Linguist Solutions, Inc. did not establish the availability of alternate employment that is suitable for claimant given his psychological condition.
Claimant Wins the Trial
Claimant was awarded permanent total disability benefits.
My Best Advice
My best advice to you is for you to always tell the truth. Always. When bringing a court case, nothing is more important than your credibility. Nothing else is even close. The DBA insurance company lawyer
is going to try and make you look like you are lying. If this happens, the Judge will rule against you and you will lose. Bank on it. I know I do.
My Second Best Advice
Which brings me to my second best advice. The problem is that in many instances folks get caught in traps left for them by the DBA insurance company. In other words, they don’t know that they are messing up their case. Happens all the time. Well meaning honest folks get caught in one of the DBA insurance company traps.
You don’t have to believe what I say about it - the book has dozens of 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com.
Win Your Defense Base Act Case is the best investment you are going to make. You can order it free here on this website or you can pay for it by ordering it from Amazon.com.
Need Help Right Now?
You can call us at 619-234-2833 or you can fill out the contact form on this web page.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley