Posts Tagged AIG

Legal News: Returning Wounded Contractors Face Second Battle, Against AIG

This is a good article in regards to the nitty gritty of dealing with DBA ‘potential’ pitfalls, if you get injured as a contractor. I say potential, because not all contractors have had these horror stories with DBA and their dealings with AIG.

But if you are having issues with DBA, then the cool thing about this story is it has identified one of the country’s best DBA claims lawyers–Gary Pitts. His firm would be a good resource if you are coming up against some problems with your claim. –Matt


After his rig bottomed out in a bomb crater, AIG made former KBR trucker David Boiles of Willis suffer through 14 months of agonizing back pain and sciatica before they authorized surgery.

Returning War Contractors Face Second Battle, Against AIG
Whatever your role in the U.S. war effort, if you were injured overseas, at least you’d be covered back home, right?
By John Nova Lomax
Wednesday, Nov 14 2012
Ever since that June day in 2010 when the roadside bomb detonated ten feet from the cab of his truck on a dusty road in Iraq, Terry Enzweiler has not been the same. He gets lost coming back from the same grocery store he’s shopped in hundreds of times; his daughter had to buy him a GPS to help him navigate his own neighborhood. He takes Xanax and Zoloft to combat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The Xanax stops me from jumping through the roof when a pencil falls on the floor,” he says.
Even medicated, his blood still curdles when he hears Arabic spoken on TV or drives through one of the Chicago area’s Muslim neighborhoods. He wore earplugs for much of the week leading up to and right through the Fourth of July. “Those half-sticks sound just like a .50-cal,” he says, referring to a type of heavy machine gun.
The chuck-chuck of helicopter blades terrifies him, as does the sight of his own 25-year-old son. In Iraq, 46-year-old Enzweiler, a recent client of Houston attorney Gary Pitts, saw a dead Iraqi child who looked just like his boy did 13 years ago. “My psychiatrist said it’s like a marriage where there’s been infidelity,” he says in a phone interview. “The wife forgives the husband. Two years later, she sees a blond woman in a blue dress. Two years prior, the other woman looked like that. So in the mind, the two images come together, and for absolutely no reason, you become furious, and your subconscious takes over. It’s the same thing now. When I see my son, I think of that kid. I saw some horribly gruesome stuff over there.”

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Industry Talk: Severely Injured as a Truck Driver in Iraq, Jeff Haysom Fights to Rebuild His Life

   I wanted to post this as a reminder to all of us, just what happens when you get injured in this kind of work.  There are no ‘how to’ manuals on this stuff, nor is your care guaranteed to be complete or even good.  The one thing you can do is prepare yourself mentally for the possible outcomes when injured.  And if you read through Jeff’s story, as well as the many other stories printed about the subject, you will find that it is no easy fight. Companies like AIG will fight tooth and nail to pay as little as possible to cover your injury.  One thing is for sure, either spend the money on a good insurance policy that covers war zones or get a good lawyer, or get both if you can afford it.  Also get a good CPA, because you will need it for all the financial headaches involved with this stuff. –Matt


Severely injured as a truck driver in Iraq, Jeff Haysom fights to rebuild his life


Yakima Herald-Republic

SARA GETTYS/Yakima Herald-Republic

Jeff Haysom sits with one of his family’s goats, Gizmo, at his home in Gleed. While he was working as a civilian contractor in Iraq, Haysom was injured by shrapnel from a bomb that tore into his shoulder and also left him with a traumatic brain injury. Haysom is still active around his home, but tires easily and has trouble remembering things — disabilities that have made it impossible for him to keep a job. Instead, he works around his home caring for his animals including turkeys, chickens and goats. Although he and his wife are still fighting for workers compensation benefits, he says that his injury has forced him to slow down. He says that although it might take him twice as long to complete a task as it did before his injury, he’s grateful for every day and the opportunity to spend time with his family and at his home.

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Industry Talk: Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

“The civilian contractors have played an indispensable role in the two conflicts, delivering fuel to frontline troops, guarding U.S. diplomats and translating for soldiers during dangerous raids. More than 1,400 civilian workers have died and 31,000 have been wounded or injured in the two war zones.”

     Wow, ‘indispensable’?  That is actually pretty kind, and for someone like me that follows quite a bit of copy about this industry, it is nice to actually see our group be recognized for once as ‘indispensable’.  It is far better than ‘liability’ or…gulp, ‘mercenaries’ (in the derogatory sense), and I will take that sly little complement.  I will not let up though, and I am sure Jake and the crew are the same way.  Kaizen all the way.

     This story was first introduced to me by Marcie, Don and then I saw it pop up in other forms over at PMH, COR, and Danger Zone Blog.  So this definitely deserves a look and thanks to all that gave me the heads up.    

     I am glad to see some main stream media attention put towards this, and I absolutely think it is important that we take care of our wounded warriors, no matter if they are private contractors or military.  Their sacrifice should mean the same to all of us, because they are the ones that stepped forward to do the job.  That is the least we can do.

   As for the on the job injury, I can understand that one.  I broke my femur on a fire jump when I was smokejumping.  The key with getting injured, and dealing with the government, is persistence and knowledge.  You have to know the system inside and out, and constantly fight it.  If you can find an advocate to help you through the process, that is extremely advisable.  There are so many programs and so many rules and codes and this and that, that you have to go through, on top of trying to heal up, that it is just a mess sometimes to get your stuff squared away.  One idea, is do your research online and find blogs or mentors online that can help.  There are groups that will help too, and just be persistent to get the care you need, and get the costs covered.  As an example, I was fighting with medical bills and trying to get the government to pay for that stuff 6 years after the fact.  What a headache and some guys just give up on it, and eat the costs or do without the care.  Just keep up the fight and hold the government, insurance companies, and your company accountable for the care you deserve. –Matt




Contractor Tim Newman, left; contractor Kevin Smith-Idol, middle; widow Rita Richardson, whose husband was killed by a roadside blast in Iraq. (Photos courtesy of Tim Newman, ABC News, Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers

by T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, the Los Angeles Times – April 16, 2009 10:25 pm EDT

Reporting from Los Angeles and Washington — Civilian workers who suffered devastating injuries while supporting the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan have come home to a grinding battle for basic medical care, artificial limbs, psychological counseling and other services.

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