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The Defense Base Act: Covering Overseas Civilian Contractors Worldwide - Case Studies

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Defense Base Act Case Studies - DBA cases around the world
“When I seek out professional advice, I want honesty, I want frankness, I want advice straight-up. So should you.” 
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley
 

Don't miss this article - Defense Base Act Case Studies: 

In this article we discuss overseas civilian contractors that are covered under the Defense Base Act. I discuss various job types and provide Defense Base Act Case studies that illustrate the type of cases under the DBA, the location of cases and the types of employment covered under the DBA. These case studies demonstrate that Defense Base Act cases occur around the world with workers from the U.S. and many other countries. 
 
This article addresses there issues regarding overseas civilian contractors that are injured around the world. The case studies are in the sections related to the various types of employment by overseas civilian contractors (security, logistics/ maintenance, base support, linguists, translators and interpreters and construction)
 
 
What is the Defense Base Act?

Overseas Civilian Contractors Worldwide

Your credibility and why it’s so important to tell the truth

The Defense Base Act insurance company

Win Your Defense Base Act Case

Avoiding the DBA insurance company tricks and traps

Insider information

Overseas Civilian Contractors Covered by the Defense Base act Around the World (by Nation)

The nature of some of the work that falls under the Defense Base Act

You need to know where you stand

More ambiguities with the Case Summaries by Nation
 
What are the nations listed by the U.S. Department of Labor - Case Summary Reports by Nation - for Defense Base Act cases?

An example - Djibouti -  Camp Lemonnier

Am I covered by the Defense Base Act if I am not a U.S. Citizen?

What kind of work to civilian overseas contractors perform that are covered by the Defense Base Act?

Security: Patrols outside the wire, training, guards, etc.

I suggest that you don't miss this article on the Top 10 Defense Base Act questions. 

Logistics / Maintenance

Base Support

Linguists, translators and interpreters

Construction

Transportation

History of the Defense Base Act

Need help right now?
 

What is the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act is supposed to provide workers' compensation benefits to civilian employees working outside the United States on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense.
 
I say “supposed” to because the Defense Base Act insurance companies regularly deny legitimate claims. This is why you need to be prepared in order to win your DBA case.
 
Hopefully, you will be able to settle your DBA case and get a lump sum settlement. You will be able to do this if you negotiate from a position of strength.  Being ready, willing and able to win your case in court is how you are able to do this. 
 

Overseas Civilian Contractors Worldwide

Contractors supply a wide variety of services and products—including base support, construction, security, training local security forces, and transportation—to assist DOD operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, surrounding countries and around the world.
 
Civilian contractors work in every imaginable field – security, engineering, maintenance, education, health care, construction, transportation, interpreters, advising, truck drivers, food prep, lodging, telecommunications, accounting, and other jobs.
 
According to a Military Times article on civilian contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq, " as security contractors comprise just 10 to 20 percent of DOD contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq. The rest provide mission essential functions, such as engineering, communication and transportation and many others. Those roles take place in conflict areas and place those contractors at similar risk level as the soldiers." 
 
"Among those contractors... many are former officers and about half of them are Special Forces veterans."

"Most contractors are not Westerners, but rather third country nationals, recruits from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many others are veterans from other countries, such as Peru, Colombia, Fiji and Uganda." 
 
If you are a civilian contractor and you were injured while working overseas on US military bases or under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or for national defense - then you have a potential Defense Base Act case.
 

Your credibility and why it’s so important to tell the truth

A Defense Base Act (DBA) case is a court case. At the end of the day, if you are unable to settle your case, you will have to go to court and persuade a Judge that you are entitled to DBA benefits.  The DBA has two benefits - medical treatment and weekly disability benefits - temporary and permanent disability benefits.
The most important thing that determines whether you win or lose your DBA case is your credibility. When you bring a court case, nothing is more important than whether the Judge believes you or not.
 
Nothing else is even close. You have to be ready to win your case with the truth. You have to be truthful about everything.
 

The Defense Base Act insurance company

The DBA insurance company lawyers and adjusters are trained to take advantage of you. Good, well-meaning, honest folks with legitimate claims fall for their tricks and traps every day. Know this: at every step the DBA insurance company is looking for reasons and excuses to deny your claim.
Don't think for a minute that just because you have a legitimate injury and a legitimate case that they are going to treat you any different.
 

Win Your Defense Base Act Case

This is why I wrote the 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
 
Win Your Defense Base Act Case
You can order your free copy here or you can buy it on amazon.com. I strongly suggest you read my book before you sign any forms, give a recorded or written statement, talk to the adjuster or even hire the WRONG lawyer
 
Call us at 619-304-1000  - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.

Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new DBA case" in your text.

Or leave us a message on this webpage
 

Avoiding the DBA insurance company tricks and traps

I strongly suggest that you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case before you talk to the DBA insurance adjuster, sign any documents, give a recorded statement or even hire the wrong lawyer. My book covers all of these topics in depth. And most importantly, it will help you avoid all of the DBA insurance company tricks and traps that folks like you fall for every day that will tank your case.

 

Insider information

What you are going to see is that the book Win Your Defense Base Act Case is packed with insider information that will help you win your case. The big picture here is that now that you are injured you have a court case. You can depend on the DBA insurance company attacking you, your character and credibility. It's how they roll. They will do all of that in order to keep from paying you the money benefits that you are entitled to under the law.

 

5 Stars on Amazon.com

 
 

 

Overseas Civilian Contractors Covered by the Defense Base act Around the World (by Nation)

Most overseas civilian contractors that are covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA) work in Afghanistan or Iraq. The U.S. Department of Labor Defense Base Act Case Summary by Nation lists the “number of cases created under the DBA.”  The Summary by Nation states:
 
“These reports do not constitute the complete or official casualty statistics of civilian contractor injuries and deaths. They are offered as general information to the public who may be interested in the scope of civilian government contracting overseas.”
 
The Summary by Nation has been criticized by myself and others as under-reporting injuries to overseas civilian contractors.
 
The U.S. Department of Labor provides the following disclaimer:
 
Defense Base Act Case Summary Reports (DBA Case Summaries) are compiled from data maintained by the Department of Labor... These reports do not constitute the complete or official casualty statistics of civilian contractor injuries and deaths. They are offered as general information to the public who may be interested in the scope of civilian government contracting overseas.
 

The nature of some of the work that falls under the Defense Base Act

One doesn’t have to wonder why the reports are not “complete or official.”
 
First, let me give you a example. I have seen Judges decisions under the Defense Base Act, where the claimant’s name was provided in a “John Doe” type manner. The details of whom the claimant was working for, where they were and what they were doing, etc. was all provided in cryptic manner. Meaning, none of these details (which are almost always provided in Judges decisions) were provided.
 
What I just described is the nature of some work that follows under the Defense Base Act. I’m not suggesting that this is the norm for DBA cases - but, it happens.
 
Second, many injuries are simply not reported and there are no claims filed. The workers do not want to file a claim, don’t know how to file a claim or don’t know about the Defense Base Act system.
 
Third, the DBA insurance companies regularly deny legitimate claims and regularly defeat legitimate claims. Meaning, if the claimant (the overseas civilian contractor that is injured and is bringing a claim under the Defense Base Act) does not prevail in their DBA case in convincing the Judge that they were injured - then according to the Department of Labor reports - a DBA injury did not occur.
 
Nevertheless, the Defense Base Act Case Summary Reports  are informative.
 

You need to know where you stand

 
Don’t lose sight of the importance of this last point. Over 50% (and much higher for some Judges) of the Defense Base Act cases that go to trial (called a Hearing) the Judge issues a Decision Denying Benefits. Thus, if your case goes to trial - you need to know what the history of your Judge is in Awarding or Denying Benefits in DBA cases.
 
Further, you need to realize that the statistics are usually not in your favor.
 
Thus getting back to the point - you need to be prepared, with strong persuasive evidence to win your case at trial.
 
I’m all about being straight with you about your case. You need to know the relative strengths and weaknesses of your case.


More on the Case Summaries by Nation

 
Back to the Defense Base Act Case Summary Reports.
 
The Case Summary by Nation state,  "The Nation indicates the country where the injury or death occurred."
 
We have represented overseas civilian contractors covered by the Defense Base Act that are from all over the world and that have occurred all over the world. 
 

What are the nations listed by the U.S. Department of Labor - Case Summary Reports by Nation - for Defense Base Act cases?

 
According to the U.S. Department of Labor , overseas civilian contractor / Defense Base Act injuries and/or deaths are listed as having occurred in following Nations:
 
Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Puerto Rico, Marshall Islands, Germany, Qatar, In-flight (meaning you were injured on an airplane or helicopter while traveling overseas), United Arab Emirate, Columbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Japan, Djibouti, Antarctica, Korea, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bahamas, Kosovo, Bahrain, Macedonia, Israel, Ascension Island, United Kingdom, Honduras, Cuba, Haiti, Sudan, Oman, Italy, China, Liberia, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Taiwan, Turkey, Kenya, Ireland, Uganda, India, Thailand, Niger, South Sudan, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Indonesia, Chad, Central African Republic, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Antigua, Barbuda, Guam, El Salvador, Somalia, Peru (here is an interesting article on Peru Defense Base Act workers), Syrian, Australia, Korea, Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, Greece, Nigeria, Greenland, Guatemala, Panama. (There are many other countries listed on the Summary Reports by Nation;   but we stopped at ones in the Cumulative Report that had less than 10 injuries/ deaths by country).
 
As you can see, Defense Base Act injuries/ deaths occur around the world. 
 
 

An example - Djibouti -  Camp Lemonnier

One example of overseas civilian contractors working around the world is Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

Djibouti is located on the Horn of Africa. Camp Lemonnier is a United States Naval Expeditionary Base,situated next to Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti City, and home to the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) of the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM). It is the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa.
 
According to one source on Camp Lemonnier, "there are 4000 U.S. soldiers and contractors based there." According to KBR, its "global government services business, KBRwyle, has been awarded two contract modifications to continue providing base operating support services (BOSS) to the U.S. Navy in Djibouti and the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC),
 

Am I covered by the Defense Base Act if I am not a U.S. Citizen?

 
Yes.
 
You do not have to be a U.S. Citizen in order to be able to bring a claim for benefits under the Defense Base Act. We regularly represent citizens from all over the world in Defense Base Act cases.  You can be a citizen from any country and still bring a Defense Base Act claim.


What kind of work to civilian overseas contractors perform that are covered by the Defense Base Act?

The following are short case studies of Defense Base Act cases. These are brief and illustrative of the type of cases under the DBA, the location of cases and the types of employment covered under the DBA. 
 
There are many different jobs or roles that overseas civilian contractors perform. Here are some of the types of work or jobs that we see overseas civilian contractors performing.

 

Security: Patrols outside the wire, training, guards, etc.

 
We have represented former U.S. Navy Seals, Rangers, Special Forces, and other former U.S. military workers in all types of serious injuries and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
 
In addition, we have seen overseas civilian contractors that have worked in security in Afghanistan and Iraq from other countries such the United Kingdom, Uganda, Israel, Australia, South Africa, Macedonia, Peru, and other countries. 
 
“Security” can mean many different things. From working outside the wire and/or working alongside military forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and other war theaters, to providing security at FOB’s and other military installations, to training Iraqi forces and Afghanistan forces, to providing guard or security at United States embassies and consulates around the world and everything in between.
 
Overseas civilian contractors provide security under DOD contracts and/or State Department contracts or other U.S. Government contracts in countries all over the world, including - Israel, Syria, Uganda, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Marshall Islands, Kosovo, Qatar, Turkey, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico, Colombia and other countries.
 
Some of the companies that we have seen providing security with workers that are covered by the Defense Base Act include: Blackwater, Academi, Constellis, Edinburgh International, SOC, Aegis Defense Services, Triple Canopy, Dyncorp, G4S Security, GardaWorld, Osen Hunter Group, Janus Global, Armor Group, and ITT Corporation other contracting companies.
 
Case Study: injured on mission in Afghanistan 
 
Claimant was a security consultant that usually worked missions outside the wire in Afghanistan.  Claimant's shoulder was injured when he was taking an equipment bag out of a vehicle. 
 
The DBA insurance carrier was providing both weekly compensation benefits and medical benefits. 
 
Unfortunately,  Claimant didn't read the book -Win Your Defense Base Act Case - and he fell for one of the insurance company tricks when he was examined by the insurance company doctor. 
 
The DBA insurance company filed an LS-207 - Notice of Controversion and stopped all of his benefits. 
 
Things got bad. Real bad. Claimant had to sell his house and he had to move in with relatives. 
 
Claimant changed lawyers and with the help of new counsel started to marshal evidence to establish his credibility.  Witness statements were obtained of  several co-workers and supervisors from Afghanistan that all vouched for Claimant's character. In addition, they all said that Claimant was able to perform his duties overseas before his shoulder injury. They further all described his problems after his shoulder injury in Afghanistan. 
 
With the newly acquired evidence, Claimant was able to get his case settled for a lump sum just before trial. 
 
 
 
Case study: Private Security contractor from Peru injured in Iraq - PTSD
 
In this case study the injured overseas civilian contractor was working for Sallyport Global and AWAC was the Defense Base Act insurance carrier. He was in the Peruvian Army and worked for various federal contractors (including Triple Canopy and SOC) providing high-threat protection in Iraq.
 
He worked at one of the Camps in Iraq at the gate. He performed patrol, tower duty and searched people. He was injured by a rocket explosion.  He has disabling internal physical injuries  and his doctor diagnosed him with PTSD.
 
He is unable to return to work overseas as a security guard. 
 
The DBA insurance carrier denied the claim because there was not "proof" supporting his claim.  The workers hired a DBA lawyer that was able to obtain medical reports and have them translated that supported his claim. 
 
Based upon the medical evidence he was able to settle his claim. 
 
Case study:  providing security in Africa
 
Claimant was working in Africa, providing security to engineers that were working on a project. Claimant was seriously injured while picking up some equipment. He was injured after being overseas for 2 months. 
 
One of the big issues in the case was based upon "average weekly wage." 
 
Under the DBA the amount of your compensation is based upon your average weekly wage. The DBA insurance carrier contended that only two months of earning should be used in order to calculate his average weekly wage. Which would seriously lower his compensation rate. Then, the claimant hired a good DBA lawyer. 
 
He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case study: Ex Australian Special Forces - Aegis Defense Services - Neck Injury
 
In this case study an Ex Special Forces from Australia, while working for Aegis Defense Services, suffered a neck injury while deployed as a security specialist in a war theater in the middle east. He was seriously injured during hand to hand combat, where he suffered cutting injuries along with a serious neck injury.
 
In spite of the serious injuries, the DBA insurance carrier sent the worker to a defense medical examination (DME) with an insurance company doctor that said Claimant was fine and able to return back to work. 
 
He was able to get his case settled just before a hearing (trial). 
 
Case study: United Kingdom - Edinburgh International/ AWAC - back injury
 
A citizen of the United Kingdom fell and suffered a back injury while working as a consultant in Afghanistan. The Defense Base Act insurance carrier was Allied World National Assurance Company. The consultant was permanently disabled and unable to return to work as an overseas civilian contractor. AWAC disputed almost everything in the case.
 
The DBA insurance company hired a doctor in the U.K. to provide a defense medical examination (DME).  The insurance company doctor's report stated that Claimant was injured, but his injury was pre-existing. Meaning, Claimant was injured before he went to work in Afghanistan. 
 
Claimant was able to rebut the insurance company doctor by showing that Claimant passed the pre-employment physical examination given by one of the company doctors and by getting statements and videos of Claimant working overseas wearing full-kit and obviously, not being injured pre-injury incident in Afghanistan. 
 
Based on this evidence, he was able to get his case settled successfully.
 
Case study: Claimant injured in Kosovo - G4S Global Risks Ltd.
 
An overseas civilian contractor was injured in Kosovo, while working for G4S Global Risks Ltd. The DBA insurance carrier was AIG.
 
The civilian contractor was able to get his case settled for a significant lump sum settlement.
 
Case study - IED explosion - Afghanistan - with a prior auto-accident and sub-rosa videos of Claimant
 
Claimant was on patrol with the military police in Afghanistan. An IED exploded. Claimant suffered catastrophic injuries and required attendant care.
 
At first weekly disability benefits were provided and medical treatment was provided. However, once the orthopedic doctor cleared Claimant to return to work for his back injuries, the DBA insurance company filed a Notice of Controversion LS-207 for the head injuries, internal injuries and PTSD.  
 
All DBA benefits were stopped.  The Claimant's wife contacted counsel.  Once all of the medical reports were obtained, it was apparent that all of Claimant's doctors were supporting that Claimant was injured overseas and he could not work due to his injuries. 
 
Nevertheless, the DBA insurance carrier continued to deny the claim. The DBA insurance company was contending that Claimant's injuries were from a car accident that he had been in a few years before his DBA injury. Apparently, the chiropractor that treated Claimant in the auto-injury listed his back injuries and him hitting his head on the car's airbag.  The DBA insurance adjuster was pointing to this car accident as proof that Claimant was not credible because Claimant had put on some forms that he didn't have an prior injuries to his back or head.  
 
The insurance company sent Claimant to some doctors that all agreed that Claimant was injured and could not work.  Nevertheless, the DBA insurance company was pointing to sub-rosa videos that showed Claimant in his yard and not looking as injured as his doctors suggested (in the insurance company's opinion).  The videos showed Claimant doing gardening. 
 
Reports were then obtained by Claimant's doctor that stated that Claimant's wife had previously reported to the doctor that Claimant was trying to do light gardening and that the doctor had actually encouraged the light gardening in order to help Claimant with his PTSD. The orthopedic doctor viewed the sub-rosa videos and said that they were consistent with Claimant's light work restriction. 
 
The case was taken to trial and the Judge awarded continuing weekly disability benefits and medical treatment. 
 
Case study - injured shoulder lifting weights
 
Claimant was an ex-U.S. military type working in the Middle East outside the wire. While at a Camp, he was lifting weights and injured his shoulder.
 
The DBA insurance company denied his claim because claimant wasn't working when he was "allegedly" injured.
 
After retaining counsel, witness statements were obtained of co-workers that worked with Claimant. All of the co-workers (and supervisors) said that Claimant was honest, a good worker and they talked about observing Claimant before and after the shoulder injury. 
 
His claim fell under the Zone of Special Danger doctrine and he was able to get his case settled once the DBA insurance adjuster was provided the witness statements. 
 
Case study - injured in vehicle in Afghanistan 
 
Claimant was ex military from the U.S. While riding in a vehicle in Afghanistan he bounced up and hit his head and landed hard on the seat. He had a neck injury. 
 
From the beginning, the DBA insurance company attacked the contractor's credibility. They said he wasn't injured and he was faking it. 
 
The claim was controverted from the beginning. The DBA insurance company hired doctors that said Claimant wasn't injured and that he was malingering. 
 
Fortunately, Claimant read the book Win Your Defense Base Act Case and did all of the things suggested in it in order to protect his credibility. 
 
Claimant retained counsel and statements were gathered from co-workers which demonstrated that Claimant was actually injured in Afghanistan.
 
Claimant went to a local orthopedic surgeon that provided a strong report that explained how the injury was caused due to the vehicle incident.
 
Claimant was able to get persuasive witness statements from folks on his softball team, local church and neighbors that all provided evidence that indicated that Claimant was fine before his work overseas and when he came home, he was injured and not doing the activities that he had pre-injury. 
 
Claimant was able to get his case settled for a substantial lump-sum. 
 
Case study - fell out of a vehicle - Israel
 
Claimant was working as a security consultant. While on a mission in the West Bank, Israel - he fell from a vehicle and injured his shoulder.  
 
Claimant's case was controverted due to a lack of medical evidence. New counsel was able to gather the necessary incident report, witness statements and medical evidence.  The case was settled. 
 
Case study - Security worker - Peru - PTSD
 
During Claimant’s employment  in Iraq,  he experienced rocket, mortar, and car bombings from terrorists.  As a result he has PTSD.
 
Like many PTSD cases the case was initially denied.  Counsel was able to obtain a medical report from a local psychologist and have it translated, that supported his PTSD claim.  
 
He was able to settle his DBA claim.
 
Case study - security worker - held hostage - Middle East
 
A security worker in the Middle East was abducted and held hostage. He suffered multiple injuries - head, neck, back, arms, legs, and PTSD. 
 
The security worker was able to settle his DBA case. 
 
 
I suggest that you don't miss this article on the Top 10 Defense Base Act questions. 


Logistics / Maintenance

Logistics can vary from moving materials, to personnel, etc. Maintenance is keeping the equipment and bases, etc. in usable condition. While many of these workers are U.S. Citizens, there are also folks from countries such as Columbia, Kenya, Turkey, Philippines, Peru and Romania and other countries.
 
Some of the overseas civilian contracting companies that provide logistics / maintenance support include KBR, ESP, Dyncorp, AECOM, PAE, L3, CACI, Mantech, SAIC, Framaco Int’l,  Danubia Global, and many other companies.
       
In regards to military installations - there are often people performing these jobs from the country where the base is located. That is, the host country.
 
Case study: Warehouse worker - Afghanistan
 
A warehouse worker in Afghanistan at a camp injured his back while lifting. The worker was from the U.S. 
Claimant tried to gut it out and continued to work overseas. He aggravated his shoulder injury when he was lifting his gear two months later. The employer had changed DBA insurance carriers. In the meantime, his pain got so bad that he had to return home. 
 
The two DBA insurance carriers each pointed at each other and said the other was responsible for his back disability. This is called the "last responsible employer" rule, when a claimant has two injuries to the same part of the body and the employers (read: DBA insurance carriers) each point to the other as being the cause of the disability. 
 
In this instance, it falls under the "last responsible carrier" rule. Meaning, the last responsible insurance carrier for an injury has to pay the entire permanent disability award. Either way, both DBS insurance carriers filed a LS-207 - Notice of Controversion. Each pointing at the other DBA insurance carrier as being on the hook for the medical treatment, temporary total disability and permanent disability. Not good when you have mortgage payments and kids to feed. 
 
Claimant hired a good, honest DBA attorney, who filed an request for emergency informal conference, got recommendations and then filed an LS-18 for a formal hearing. 
 
Claimant was able to get his claim settled before the hearing (trial). 
 
 
Case study: logistics manager - Germany
 
Claimant was working as a logistics manager in Germany and had a back injury. She was able to settle her DBA claim.   
 
Case study: death case - light engineer killed on flight from the U.S. to overseas military base
 
The worker was a flight engineer that was killed when a plane crashed when it was landing for refueling. The plane was contracted by the U.S. government to take cargo to a base overseas. The court held that the family was entitled to Defense Base Act benefits.
 
Case study: maintenance worker - injured in rocket attack
 
Claimant was working in a Camp in Iraq. There was a rocket attack and he fell down while running to get to safety. He injured his back. Claimant had only been working overseas for three weeks when he was injured. The DBA insurance carrier began paying temporary total disability benefits at a really low rate (read: amount). They basically took the Claimant's  three weeks of earning and added it to the sporadic few months that claimant had been working in the 52 weeks prior to the injury in order to calculate his average weekly wage and compensation rate. 
 
Your average weekly wage (AWW) determines your compensation rate under the Defense Base Act. Thus, the low AWW meant that Claimant got very little money each week in temporary total disability monies.
 
Claimant hired a good honest DBA lawyer that was able to use the one year contract and the fact that Claimant was injured to to being in a war zone in order to get his case settled.
  
Case study: logistics inventory - injured lower extremity - Iraq
 
Claimant slipped and fell in and injured her lower extremity (this is what a leg injury is called under the DBA) while inventorying vehicles.
 
The DBA insurance company offered a small settlement amount. She hired a lawyer. 
 
The DBA insurance carrier contested the extent of her leg injuries. Her doctor was stating that her AMA Impairment rating was almost twice as high as the insurance company doctor said it was.  
 
She was awarded benefits at a hearing (read: trial). The Judge agreed with her doctors AMA Impairment rating. 
 
Case study - aircraft mechanic in Korea - neck injury
 
Claimant was an aircraft mechanic in Korea. He suffered neck injuries when he was lifting.
 
The claimant returned to work in the U.S. and had an episode of back pain when he got into an automobile accident. The DBA insurance carrier denied the claim and contended that the “new injury” was a supervening cause that would allow the DBA carrier to deny the claim. Thus, the DBA insurance carrier filed an LS-207 Notice of Controversion and stopped providing benefits. 
 
The Claimant hire a good, honest DBA lawyer and he was able to settle his DBA claim.
 

Base Support

Base support jobs can vary from operations, warehouses, communications, lodging, mess halls, to commissaries, medical, education, etc. While many of these workers are U.S. Citizens, there are also folks from countries such as Columbia, Kenya, Turkey, Philippines, Peru and Romania. In addition, many of these jobs are performed by personnel from the host country.
 
Some of the overseas civilian contracting companies that provide base support are AECOM, Dyncorp, IAP, Mantech, Supreme Group, SAIC, Vectrus, Flour, KBR, SOC- SMG,  Sallyport Global, Framaco Int’l, Exelis and other companies. 
 
Case study -food services specialist from Bosnia Herzegovina injured in Afghanistan
 
A citizen of Bosnia Herzegovina worked as a food services specialist in Afghanistan and suffered head, neck and arm injuries while working for a well known federal global contracting company. The insurance company was AIG. The parties were able to settle the case.
 
 
Case Study: Base Support worker in Iraq: "I can't go back to work in a war theater." 
 
This is a case study that is in my article on PTSD and the Defense Base Act.  If you have PTSD and a DBA claim, there are two things you must read. First, my PTSD article and second my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. 
     
Those of you that follow this website, know that I try and stay on top of the recent court decisions that may affect overseas civilian contractors and the Defense Base Act. Here, I am talking about a recent DBA case ruling. It wasn’t our case, but it’s illustrative of the point I’m trying to make here.
 
Claimant was working in a FOB in Iraq. The base was subject daily to enemy fire, including rockets, mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and car bombs. She would have to run like her life depended on it, because it did, to bunkers for shelter. One night a wounded soldier died to due shrapnel wounds, while she was performing CPR on the soldier.
 
All of these are compelling “overseas stressors.” You can easily understand how someone would be stressed after living through this. 
 
She had documented sleeping problems, poor appetite, poor concentration, flashback when awake, nightmares, anger issues, etc. She had medical records diagnosing her with PTSD that said it was caused due to her working in a war zone.
 
In order to establish a prima facia case of total disability under the DBA, the claimant has to show she cannot return to her regular and usual employment due to her work related injury.
 
Yet, with all of this....
 
Here is a direct quote from the Judge in the case:
 
 Often a claimant will prove she cannot return to her usual work by her own direct testimony to that effect.  To my surprise, I search the record in vain for any unequivocal statement from Ms. Landry, under oath, that she herself believes her PTSD prevents her from returning to the work she did in Iraq.
 
 Claimant  herself did not testify she cannot, by reason of her post-traumatic stress disorder, perform the work she did in Iraq......
 
 In this case, I conclude the evidence does not show Claimant is unable to return to her regular or usual employment....
 
There were two reasons why the Judge concluded this. First, as described above, she didn’t testify that she herself believes that her PTSD prevents from going back to work in a war zone.
 
Let this be a lesson to you. 
 
From reading the Judge’s decision, I can’t really fault her attorney for this. The Judge seems to suggest that the attorney asked questions of her at the trial (called a Hearing), that would of allowed her to say, “I can’t go back to work in a war zone.” But, she just, for whatever reason, wouldn’t say it.
 
A quick lesson here. If your PTSD case goes to trial, you need to be able to say truthfully, that you can’t go back to work in a war zone because of your PTSD symptoms. And importantly, why you feel this way.
 
In this case, it sure seems like she could have tied this declaration into her other testimony about her recurring nightmares, sleeplessness, mood problems, anger, etc. it would not have been difficult. It was all there. She just didn’t tie it together.

You need current medical reports saying you can't work in a war zone due to your PTSD

The second reason why the Judge ruled against her was that her medical reports were too old and dated. She introduced medical reports that said she was unable to return to work in a war zone due to her PTSD.
 
The Judge ruled that Claimant must prove that she can’t work in a war zone today due to PTSD, not many years ago when she saw the doctor. In other words, she needed an updated medical report that said that at the present, she was unable to return to work in a war zone due to her PTSD.
 
Based upon all of this, the Judge ruled that she had not made her prima facia case that she was unable to return to her usual and customary work in Iraq due to PTSD. So, she was not awarded permanent disability benefits. She received no money.
 
I suggest that you learn from the mistakes made in her case.
 
My book Win Your Defense Base Act Case is a good place for you to start.... You can get a free copy of the book here
 
 
 
Case study - communications worker - Pacific  - botched medical procedure
 
Claimant was a communications worker, working in the Pacific. He had a routine medical issue and flew to a nearby location to have a medical procedure. The medical procedure was botched by the local doctor and claimant was severely injured. The Defense Base Act insurance carrier contested the claim on the basis that the medical procedure was not employment related.
 
Claimant took his case to trial and was awarded benefits under the Zone of Special Danger doctrine.
 
Case study: Filipino national working in Iraq as a janitor
    
Claimant, from the Philippines, was injured when he fell down while walking to his living quarters. He suffered back and neck injuries.
 
The DBA insurance adjuster took a statement of the Claimant and based upon the statement - concluded that the Claimant was lying about his injury incident. 
 
Claimant retained counsel. Counsel was able to get statements from co-workers that witnessed the fall. Claimant's supervisors provided statements describing Claimant as a hard worker pre-injury and how stiff and injured he looked post-injury. 
 
In addition, Claimant's supervisor helped get a medical report from the base medical clinic showing that Claimant had sought medical care while in Iraq. 
 
He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case Study - automobile accident - severe head and spinal injuries

A tech worker in Kuwait sustained catastrophic injuries in an automobile accident. In spite of the obviousness of the injury and the fact that the worker could not work - the DBA insurance carrier refused to provide temporary total weekly disability benefits. This case is illustrative of DBA insurance carriers denying legitimate DBA claims.

Following an emergency telephonic informal conference, the DBA carrier final started to provide weekly disability benefits. This was a year after the injury incident. Which also demonstrates why you should hire an attorney as soon as possible.

The Defense Base Act insurance carrier was still refusing to provide badly needed home attendant care. The case went to hearing (trial) and the Judge Ordered the DBA insurance carrier to provide home attendant care and reimburse the worker’s wife for the previous attendant care that she was forced to provide.
 
Intelligence analyst - Middle East -taxi accident
 
Claimant was working as an intelligence analyst in an undisclosed location in the Middle East when he was injured in a taxi cab accident. Claimant was able to get his claim settled.
 
Case study: mess hall worker from Peru - PTSD - Iraq
   
A mess hall worker in Iraq that is from Peru, was assigned to a Camp in Iraq. The Camp had regular rocket, mortar, and gunfire attacks. Claimant was diagnosed with PTSD.  He was able to get his DBA case settled.
 
Case study: laundry attendant - internal injuries - Kenya
 
Claimant was a laundry attendant in Afghanistan from Kenya. She suffered disabling internal injuries due to her employment.
 
The DBA insurance carrier disputed that Claimant was even working overseas. Claimant hired counsel. Counsel was able to provide pay records to the DBA insurance which proved that Claimant worked overseas. In addition, Claimant's co-workers in Afghanistan had taken photos on their phones of Claimant outside the laundry at the base in Afghanistan.
 
Medical records from her local doctors were obtained and translated that supported her internal injuries. 
 
She was able to get her case settled.
 
Case study: medical trainer - slip and fall injury - back - Germany
 
Claimant was working in Germany providing medical training to U.S. military. Claimant fell and she injured her back. Weekly disability benefits and medical benefits were initially provided. 
 
However, Claimant was sent to a local doctor by the DBA insurance company that said that she was injured, but it was due to a slip and fall at a grocery store after she returned to the U.S. 
 
Claimant was stuck because the DBA insurance company would not authorize her to go back to her doctor to get a report to rebut the insurance company doctor. She was unable to pay for the doctor examination because her benefits had been cut off and she was literally barely making it week to week. 
 
Claimant retained counsel and counsel provided the payment for Claimant to be examined by her treating doctor and had her treating doctor comment on the DBA insurance company's doctor report. Her treating doctor provided a well reasoned medical report explaining how Claimant had a short-term increase in pain due to the grocery store slip and fall and that her pain and disability now was the same as it was when he released her from treatment for her injury overseas. 
 
She was able to settle her claim.
 
Case study: maintenance worker - Death case - vehicle accident - Bahamas
 
A maintenance worker at a military base in the Bahamas was killed in a vehicle accident. The widow brought a successful claim for death benefits under the Defense Base Act.
 
You can Call us at 619-304-1000  - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.

Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new DBA case" in your text.

Or leave us a message on this webpage
 
 

Linguists, translators and interpreters

These overseas civilian contractors provide the translations for military forces to be able to communicate with the locals.  Many of these workers face the dangers of being outside the wire in a war zone.
 
In addition, we have represented translators that sit inside of military installations and monitor hostile communications and/or local communications and everything in between. Most of these have been U.S citizens whose families are from Iraq or Afghanistan or locals from Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
However, with U.S. forces and/or military bases around the world, these overseas civilian contractors can be from just about anywhere.
 
Some of the overseas civilian contractor employers we have seen for linguist, interpreters and translators are Mission Essential Personnel, Global Linguist Solutions, Valiant Integrated, WWLR, Atlas, and other companies. 
 
Case Study: Veritiss, LLC - Linguist from Pakistan injured while in combat zone in Afghanistan  
 
A linguist from Pakistan was working as a linguist for Veritiss LLC in Afghanistan. The DBA insurance carrier is ACE American Insurance Company. The linguist was working outside the wire in combat zones. He went on missions with U.S. Marines. He has to wear full kit while outside the wire. He has a serious back injury due to fall. He was unable to return back to work as a linguist because he could no longer wear full kit and due to his back injury.
 
Case Study: Mission Essential Personnel - Linguist - IED explosion - Afghanistan
 
Claimant worked as a Linguist is Afghanistan for Mission Essential Personnel as a Cat I linguist. He worked outside the wire and went on patrol with U.S. Marines. He was in a vehicle in a Marine convoy when an IED explosion caused the vehicle to slam into a ditch. He had a back injury and was unable to return to work for MEP. He was able to settle his Defense Base Act claim.
 
Case study: Linguist - Worldwide Language Resources, Inc. - PTSD - Case lost at trial
 
Claimant was a Linguist working for Worldwide Language Resources, Inc. Claimant was originally from Afghanistan and he moved to the U.S.  Then he got a job working as a linguist in Afghanistan. Claimant brought a claim for PTSD. The case went to trial (called a Hearing) and the Judge ruled against the Claimant.
 
The case was Denied for three reasons, based upon my review of the Decision and Order Denying Benefits (this was not our case).
 
First, the Judge did not believe the Claimant. The Judge stated the Claimant was not credible. Second, the Judge did not believe the Claimant’s doctor that stated that Claimant has PTSD.  Third, the DBA insurance company attorney impeached Claimant by showing that Claimant did not return to work in Afghanistan due to having family problems in the United States.
 
This case illustrates that when you bring a DBA case, nothing is more important than your credibility.
 
Case Study: MEP - Linguist - Roadside explosion
 
Claimant was a linguist that was injured in a roadside explosion in Afghanistan. He suffered arm, back and PTSD. The carrier denied that Claimant had disability due to the PTSD. Claimant took his case to trial (called a Hearing) and was awarded benefits.
 
Case Study - Linguist - PTSD due to rockets and mortars
 
Claimant was a linguist working in a Camp in Afghanistan.  There were regular rocket attacks and mortar attacks on the base. Claimant had PTSD. He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case study - Linguist - Mission Essential Personnel - Afghanistan
 
Claimant was a linguist in Afghanistan, working for MEP as a CAT-1 level translator. A rocket exploded close to Claimant and Claimant suffered head, neck, back and leg injuries.  The case went to trial (Hearing) and the Judge Awarded medical benefits, temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits.
 
Case study - Linguist - injured playing soccer
 
Claimant was a linguist working in the Middle East. During some down time he was kicking a soccer ball around with some other linguists and had a back injury. His claim fell under the Zone of Special Danger and he was able to get his case settled.
 
Case study - Linguist hit by car crossing street in Saudi Arabia
 
Claimant was a linguist who was in Saudi Arabia. He was crossing the street and was hit by a car. Under the Zone of Special Danger doctrine he was able to settle his claim.
 
Case study - Linguist - SOS International, LLC - Iraq - Benefits Denied
 
Claimant was from Iraq and moved to the U.S. He was working in Iraq as a linguist for SOS International, LLC.
 
The case went to trial (called a Hearing) and the Judge ruled against the Claimant. The case was Denied because the Judge did not believe the Claimant. This is based upon my review of the Decision and Order Denying Benefits (this was not our case).
 
The Judge found that Claimant gave inconsistent statements, exaggerated his symptoms and the psychological testing confirmed this and also showed that he was malingering (faking his PTSD symptoms in order to get DBA benefits).
 
Again, this is why it is so important to always tell the truth and to not fall for the DBA insurance company’s tricks and traps.


Construction

On every base,  locations, Camp, FOB, embassy, consulat, etc. there is construction needed for the infrastructure. We see many of these workers from the USA, and in addition there are many construction workers from all over the world and the host country.
 
Some of the construction contractors we have seen are Fluor, KBR, Service Employers, Janis Construction, Caddell, Bechtel, Dyncorp Aerospace Operations, Pacific Architects and Engineers and other companies. 
 
Case Study - Construction Support Afghanistan
 
The claimant was working at Bagram, Afghanistan as a construction support worker.  He had injuries to arm and low back. He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case Study - Air conditioner technician - Mexico
 
Claimant was working in Mexico and was installing an air conditioner system and injured his back working in a tight space. He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case Study - construction worker - injured leaving mess hall
 
A construction worker that was at a base building gun racks was injured while he was leaving a mess hall when he stepped into a hole and fell down. He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case study - Engineer from India - injured slipped and fell in shower
 
An engineer from India suffered back injuries when he slipped and fell in a shower in Afghanistan. He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case Study - electrical worker - vehicle accident
 
Claimant was a journeyman electrical inspector working in the Middle East. He was injured in a vehicle accident. He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case study - Egypt - construction worker
 
Claimant was working on an upgrade to the security system as an installation technician in Egypt and suffered a neck injury. He was able to get his case settled.
 
Case study - India - electrician pulling wires - back injury - Iraq
 
Claimant was an electrician from India and suffered a back injury while pulling some wires in Iraq. There was a settlement in the case.
        
Case study - vehicle accident Saudi Arabia - serious injuries
 
Claimant, a citizen of Saudi Arabia, was injured in a vehicle accident in Saudi Arabia and sustained serious injuries. The insurance carrier stopped paying DBA benefits because they claim a credit for benefits paid to Claimant under Saudi Arabia insurance. There were serious delays in the case. The court allowed the DBA insurance company to claim a credit for the Saudi Arabia insurance benefits.
 

Transportation

In war-theaters, transportation can be one of the most dangerous jobs.  And these can be concerns with transportation in countries that are not considered war-theaters.
 
We have seen truck drivers from the United States, Turkey, Kuwai, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan and other countries. 
 
Some of the transportation contractors are KBR, Service Employers International Inc. (SEII), ITT Corporation and other companies. 
 
Case Study - Uganda citizen injured vehicle accident in Iraq

In this case study, a Uganda citizen was injured in a vehicle accident in Iraq.  He suffered very serious injuries to his arm.
 
Case study: Truck driver - Kuwait - arm injury
 
Claimant was a truck driver and suffered injuries to his arm and shoulder when his hand slipped off a wrench. Shoulder injuries are unscheduled injuries under the DBA. Meaning, disability is a wage loss concept. After proving you are unable to return to your usual and customary work overseas, you are presumed to be permanently and totally disabled.
 
The DBA insurance company then has to show proof of specific jobs you can perform.
 
This is done with a Labor Market Survey.
 
The battle in this case was two-fold. First, the DBA insurance company hired a doctor to say that Claimant was faking his injury and could work if he wanted to. This is fairly routine. And, the DBA insurance company contended that there are a lot of jobs that Claimant can perform, making close to what he was making overseas. 
Claimant took his case to trial (read: Hearing) and was awarded benefits. The Judge believed the Claimant’s doctor and Claimant.
 
Case Study - Aircraft mechanic - Chad
 
Claimant was an aircraft mechanic injured in Chad. The employer/ carrier disputed that he as covered by the Defense Base Act. Nevertheless, he was able to get his case settled.
 
Case study - aircraft - death - Columbia
 
And employee was killed in Columbia while servicing an aircraft during a drug eradication effort that was part of a Department of State involved program. The court held that his case was covered under the Defense Base Act.
 
Case study: Truck driver - Kuwait - arm injury
 
Claimant was a truck driver and suffered injuries to his arm and shoulder when his hand slipped off a wrench. Claimant took his case to trial (read: Hearing) and was awarded benefits. Claimant took his case to trial and was awarded benefits.
 
Case study: Truck driver - Iraq 
 
Claimant was driving a truck in Iraq. There was a roadside explosion and then small arms fire. While jumping out of the truck and trying to take cover, his back was injured.
 
Case study: Djibouti, Africa - truck driver
 
Claimant injured his shoulder while bowling. Claimant was able to use the Zone of Special Danger doctrine to get his case resolved.
 
Case study: in flight injury - flight to Afghanistan - back injuries 
 
Worker was a flight attendant on a civilian flight into Afghanistan. During turbulence on the flight the flight attendant suffered back injuries. She was able to get her case settled.
 
Case study: transportation coordinator - Bahrain - leg injury
 
Claimant was working in Bahrain as a transportation coordinator and suffered a leg injury.  Claimant settled his DBA case.
 

History of the Defense Base Act

 
The Defense Base Act was passed in 1941, while the U.S. was gearing up for war with Japan and Germany. The DBA is actually an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. 
 
The DBA was originally intended to cover civilians employed at overseas U.S. military bases, but later it was extended to cover civilians working on overseas construction projects for the United States Government or its allies, and finally it was extended to protect employees fulfilling service contracts tied to such construction projects or to national defense activities.
 
With the war in Iraq and then Afghanistan, there have been well over hundred thousand overseas civilian contractors that have suffered injuries that are covered by the Defense Base Act. In essence, these wars were privatized. Meaning, many of the jobs in these war theaters were contracted to companies hiring overseas civilian contractors. In wars past, most of these jobs were performed by the military.
 
Hence, the huge increase in Defense Base Act cases.
 
 

Need help right now?


 Call us at 619-304-1000  - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.
 
Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new wage case" in your text.
 
Or leave us a message on this webpage
 
 
 

This article isn't legal advice


 
These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, photos, case studies and/or discussions do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, or your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why Defense Base Act cases are lost and/or are not successful.
 
Just because we have gotten great results in so many other DBA  cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Including, your DBA case. Every case is different.
 
The case studies here are for illustrative purposes only. Any resemblance to actual cases is purely coincidental. That being said, we have handled hundreds of DBA cases over the years and these case studies are taken from those experiences, situations and/or analysis.
 
 
William Turley
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“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
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