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The Department of Defense may be pondering changes in Defense Base Act coverage March 11, 2009

Posted by Aaron Walter in Uncategorized.
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12 comments

According to a recent Department of Defense posting, it is seeking comments concerning the future of the Defense Base Act insurance system, which in case you are new to this blog, is a workers’ compensation that covers civilian employees working for companies contracting overseas through the Department of Defense.

For now they are seeking input from the insurance industry and from major defense contractors. Eight possibilities for the future of the Defense Base Act have been proposed, but the DoD is open to other alternative recommendations:

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AIG in financial crisis, will this effect my Workers’ Compensation benefits under the Defense Base Act? – Part 2 September 17, 2008

Posted by Herb Chestnut in Uncategorized.
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3 comments

We have been receiving numerous emails in response to our previous posting on the AIG crisis and its effect on Defense Base Act claims. While it appears that a potential government bailout will keep AIG’s daily operations and claims management moving normally, we have been asked a lot of “What ifs?”

What if AIG Worldsource, the DBA insurance arm of AIG, declared bankruptcy? Who would pay for claimant’s medical care? Who would pay their weekly benefits?

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AIG in financial crisis, will this effect my Workers’ Compensation benefits under the Defense Base Act? September 15, 2008

Posted by Aaron Walter in Uncategorized.
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3 comments

On news of a potential downgrading of its debt rating, AIG’s stock fell 31% Friday and another 50% as of lunch time on Monday September 15. AIG has asked the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank to help raise $40 billion to avoid such a downgrading and is attempting to sell off its domestic automobile businesses and aircraft leasing business.

AIG insurers approximately 90% of Defense Base Act Workers’ Compensation claims. The questions we have been asked several times today are – will this effect my weekly benefits? Will AIG keep paying my doctors?

The answer is that there should not be any immediate disruption in these benefits.  It appears that AIG should have enough cash to continue to pay claims. In fact, the division handling these claims has made record profits  for AIG over the past few years.

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The Defense Base Act does not apply to KBR? Be careful what you wish for April 14, 2008

Posted by Aaron Walter in Uncategorized.
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15 comments

I have been reading a lot of comments throughout the internet cheering the recent tort suits against KBR regarding the Good Friday Massacre and also potential sodium dichromate exposures.

See  – “Hoist by their own petard” and “Suing the crap out of KBR.”

Part of their argument is that KBR should not be able to “hide behind” what has been described by many bloggers as the “archaic World War II-era law” protecting KBR from liability for injuries to their employees in Iraq. That law, of course, is the Defense Base Act (as an extension to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act).

It has recently come to light that KBR was running a bit a tax scam on the United States. Some surmise that this means KBR is admitting they are not a US Corporation and are therefore not entitled to “hide behind” the Defense Base Act. Several bloggers appear to figuratively point their fingers and laugh at KBR for their arrogance in trying to both benefit from US law and foreign tax benefits.

I have no love for KBR. I have already been critical of their unique tax accounting. Additionally, I have been critical of AIG, the insurer in 90% of DBA cases. They overcharged contractors for DBA insurance, at least for the first couple years of the war. Those bills were passed directly to US taxpayers, who essentially pay these premiums for every contractor over in Iraq/Afghanistan. 

But, back to the topic at hand –  lets say KBR, now a foreign corporation, should be found unable to claim refuge from negligence based personal injury actions by its employees. (NOTE: Even under the DBA, KBR could be sued in a personal injury/tort action if the injury were due to intentional actions by KBR). This would mean that the Defense Base Act does not protect KBR. Yeah! Lets all cheer and rejoice!

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AIG may have overcharged KBR and other contractors for Defense Base Act Coverage February 29, 2008

Posted by Aaron Walter in Uncategorized.
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1 comment so far

This comes as no surprise to many, but AIG may have been lining its pockets at the expense U.S. taxpayers. AIG is currently under investigation for overcharging KBR Inc., the Army’s largest contractor in Iraq, possibly by tens of millions. The money paying for these overpriced premiums comes from tax payers as part of the $23+ Billion contract KBR has with the Department of Defense.  AIG actually gets to charge the American tax payer twice, because your tax dollars not only pay the premiems, but also reimburse AIG for what it pays out on the 15,000+ Defense Base Act claims filed with AIG since 2003.

In case you missed this story, read more about it below in an article from Bloomberg.com by Tony Capaccio:   

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