Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Sisters of Bingley former soldier demand answers over Afghan disaster

The family has also been told that Global Security, the company he was working for at the time, had refused to pay out his life insurance

Telegraph and Argus  August 20, 2012

The family of a soldier turned bodyguard who was killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan more than two years ago is still battling for a full explanation as to what led to the disaster.

Rebecca Lake, said her family was being “kept in the dark” despite an on-going fight for justice for her brother Daniel Saville, 40, a former Coldstream guard, who was among three Britons who perished when Pamir Airways Flight 1102 crashed north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 17, 2010.

Mr Saville, who grew up in Wilsden , Haworth and Allerton , Bradford, had been only a few weeks away from his return to Britain from working as a private security contractor for a US government agency trying to combat the cultivation of heroin.

A damning official report blaming the failure of the aircraft’s captain and Afghan air traffic control for causing the disaster has been obtained from the Foreign Office by the Telegraph & Argus using the Freedom of Information Act.

But Mrs Lake, 45, of Clayton Heights , Bradford, has made a fresh plea to the authorities to keep her family fully informed of developments as lawyers continue a compensation battle in the US for the British victims of the doomed plane which had been flying on false documents.

She said that, despite investigations in the war-torn country, it had been “difficult” for the Afghan authorities to fully investigate and bring to justice those who were to blame for causing her brother’s death.

The family has also been told that Global Security, the company he was working for at the time, had refused to pay out his life insurance.

Mrs Lake said: “We really have no idea about what is going on. As far as we are concerned, everything is at a standstill.

“We really do not think that we are going to get any answers. There has been fault admitted somewhere, just not to us. We have not even had an apology or explanation.

Please read the entire article here

August 20, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Follow the Money, Legal Jurisdictions, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Procurement Process for DBA Insurance State Department Contracts

Clements Worldwide Cautions Contractors about New Procurement Process for DBA Insurance

See also Defense Base Act Insurance State Department Solicitation (Cancelled)

See also Documents showed that CNA reported the highest profits margins, taking in nearly 50 percent more in premiums than it paid out in benefits.

Clements Worldwide, leading provider of international insurance solutions, reports the U.S. State Department’s pre-negotiated agreement with insurer CNA for the provision of Defense Base Act (DBA) coverage has been suspended. As a result, all DBA policies with renewal dates of July 22, 2012 or later must be placed on an open market basis. Consequently, contractors may be subject to:
• Higher rates: o Minimum premiums now apply, which could be significantly more expensive for
contractors with operations in Iraq or Afghanistan.

• More complex procurement: o Brokers must now present risk in order to obtain quotes.
o Insurers will now require claims experience information in order to rate individual
accounts.

• Varying limits: o Although basic coverage will remain the same, certain extensions (such as evacuation)
may have varying limits depending on the insurer.

“Failure to obtain DBA insurance for all covered employees not only subjects an organization to the risk of potential lawsuits by its employees, it also exposes the company and its officers individually to possible Labor Department fines and criminal actions,” says Smita Malik, assistant vice president at Clements. “DBA cover is therefore not only an important requirement of any robust compliance program, but also an important step in mitigating potential liability arising from covered employee activities.”

Malik urges all U .S. government contractors and subcontractors to promptly consult with an authorized DBA insurance expert to ensure proper compliance with the State Department’s new requirements.

August 7, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Iraq, State Department, USAID | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Department of Labor and Supreme Group, A Cover Up?

In the second quarter of 2010 The Department of Labor reports that the Supreme Group had 192 employee death claims filed

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbaallemployer6-30-10.htm

The Supreme Group shows no prior death claims filed dating back to September of 2001.

While no single insurer shows death claims filed amounting to this number for this time period

CNA shows 46 death claims filed

Zurich shows 105 death claims filed

And the DoL lists 103 death claims to an uninsured employer (there were previously none listed)

http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/dbaallcarrier6-30-10.htm

See Also Failure to Secure DBA Coverage, Failure to Report Claims

.

We filed FOIA’s on February 22, 2012 and again on March 8, 2012

Which included the following:

    1.    Any and all complaints, statements, or reports to U.S. Dept. of Labor (DoL) concerning the activities of Supreme Group, Supreme Food Service, and their subcontractors

    2.    Any and all letters, reports, e mail, memoranda or other record showing communications with people regarding the activities of and/or the filing of DBA claims by Supreme Group, Supreme Food Service, and their subcontractors

             3.        Any and all report(s) of investigation or other memoranda or record concerning results of investigation conducted by DoL or any person working for DoL concerning the activities of  and/or the filing of DBA claims by Supreme Group, Supreme Food Services, and their subcontractors

.

We understand that when filing FOIA requests they must be worded properly

But are we to believe that there were 192 Death Claims filed in one quarter by one company and that during this same quarter over 100 Death Claims were filed to an uninsured employer,

AND NO ONE HAD ANYTHING TO SAY ABOUT IT AT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR?

July 16, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, War Hazards Act, Wartime Contracting | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civilian Contractors Death Sentence by Cancer due to KBR/AIG denial of medical

Injured War Zone Contractor Dan Hoagland shares his story of medical treatment denied by KBR/AIG, resulting in a death sentence by Cancer, with Sean Calleb.

Scott Bloch, Defense Base Act Attorney tells the truth about the Defense Base Act Insurance Scandal and our Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit.

Join our Defense Base Act Class Action Lawsuit here

July 4, 2012 Posted by | AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Iraq, KBR | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Base Act Class Action

Statement concerning filing of class action for fraud and bad faith against KBR, DynCorp, Blackwater, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting, CNA Insurance, AIG Insurance and others who conspired to deny benefits to severely injured contractors and to harm them further

Scott Bloch  files complaint for $2 billion against major government contractors like

KBR, Blackwater.XE,  DynCorp, G4S/Wackenhut/Ronco Consulting and the global insurance carriers AIG, CNA, ACE and Zurich, on behalf of thousands of former employees, for unlawful, fraudulent and bad-faith mistreatment of injured employees and their families   

WASHINGTON, DC (September 26, 2011)

Since 2003, top government contractors like Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, CSA/AECOM and ITT have been perpetrating a fraud on their employees and on the American public. 

The silent warriors who work for these companies, many of them decorated former military service members, have been injured, mistreated and abandoned by the contracting companies and their insurance carriers who have been paid hundreds of millions of dollars in premiums.

“It is a grave injustice,” Bloch said, “to those who rode alongside American soldiers, including Iraqi and Afghani Nationals, to be case aside without the benefits of the law.  We are supposedly trying to bring them the rule of law.  We are supposedly trying to encourage them in democratic institutions. 

We are the ones asking them to believe in justice and individual rights. 

This is a travesty to all Americans and those around the world who look to America for an example of humanitarian aid and proper treatment of workers.”

This is a lawsuit for damages in the amount of $2 billion to remedy the injuries and destruction caused to the lives, finances and mental and physical well being of thousands of American families and others whose loved ones were injured while serving America under contracts with the United States. 

It seeks an additional unspecified amount to punish the companies who made massive profits while causing this harm to people unlawfully and maliciously and working a fraud on the American public who paid them.  
“This abusive and illegal scheme by the defendants has been allowed to go on for too long. 

We are talking about loss of life, suicide, loss of homes, marriages, families split up, “ Bloch said, “and the culprits are the large government contractors who should have treated their employees better, and the mega-insurance companies who were paid a hefty sum to make sure the employees were taken care of with uninterrupted benefits in the event of injuries in these war zones.”
This complaint is filed due to actions and omissions of defendants, in conspiracy with others, and individually, to defeat the right of American citizens and foreign nationals to receive their lawful benefits and compensation under the Defense Base Act (“DBA”),  as it adopts the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”).  
The lawsuit explains that those sued engaged under the RICO statute in an enterprise of fraudulent and or criminal acts to further their scheme to defeat the rights of individuals who have been injured or suffered occupational diseases, and death, while on foreign soil in support of defense activities under the DBA.  

These acts were perpetrated repeatedly through bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, using telephones, faxes, and United States mail .
 “These are heroes, decorated by America’s Armed Services,” said Bloch. 

“Some of the foreign contractors were decorated special forces soldiers from their countries who assisted the United States in combating threats.  The sheer disregard for human dignity and law is reprehensible and deserves punishment. 

These families and many others who have been harmed need treatment, need compensation, need redress of the wrongs that have been perpetrated by these huge companies and insurance carriers for the last 10 years. 

They have earned $100 billion per year on the backs of these people, with the blood of these plaintiffs and those whom they represent.”
The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and covers individuals from all over the United States, South Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and other counties.  

Contact Scott J. Bloch, PA:
Scott Bloch, 202-496-1290
scott@scottblochlaw.com

September 26, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Blackwater, Civilian Casualties, Civilian Contractors, Civilian Police, Contractor Corruption, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, DynCorp, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Interpreters, Iraq, KBR, L-3, Legal Jurisdictions, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Ronco, Ronco Consulting Corporation, State Department, Traumatic Brain Injury, USACE, USAID, Veterans, Wackenhut, War Hazards Act, Whistleblower | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

After Injury, The Battle Begins

Attorney Gary Pitts is pictured here only by circumstance.  We would never endorse using him as an attorney.

September 21, 2011 Posted by | AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Iraq, Politics, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, State Department, War Hazards Act | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Defense Base Act Insurance Company CNA may owe US Gov $58.5 million

An alarming story of greed, negligence, and a lack of government oversight

Starring the DBA Insurance company that most ruthlessly denies the medical care and benefits to Injured Contractors and the Widows and families of those who are killed.

July 28, 2011

SIGAR Audit-11-15 Contract Performance and Oversight / Defense Base Act Insurance

SIGAR audited a pilot program in which CNA was contracted to provide DBA Insurance for US Army Corps of Engineers contracts.

So this $58.5 million was overcharged in a very small portion of the DBA business that CNA carries.

Basically CNA overcharged, didn’t reimburse USACE and contractors for labor charges that turned out not to be justified,  did not have proper paperwork in place and accounting procedures to allow DCAA to be able to look at their books and determine who was owed what.

CNA also commingled funds meant to be segregated for different contracts, lumping them all into one account.

The workers’ compensation program is so riddled with problems as a result of using a third-party insurer that the inspector general’s office suggests it may be worthwhile to dump the insurer altogether, the audit reads.

Audit finds numerous problems in workers’ comp program for US contractors in Afghanistan

Problems abound in US government insurance program

Army Corps Overpaid CNA $10 Million on War Insurance: Audit

More to come

July 28, 2011 Posted by | AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, SIGAR, USACE | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At least 132 Overseas Civilian Contractors Killed in second quarter of 2011

Defense Base Act Case Summary Reports through June 30, 2011

Defense Base Act Death Claims filed from April 1 though June 30      132

Defense Base Act Injury Claims over four days lost                                   1,204

At least 80 Contractors killed in first quarter of 2011

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Defense Base Act, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, War Hazards Act | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Class Action filed against Blackwater Xe based on fraudulent misclassification as independent contractors

Scott Bloch blasts Blackwater on behalf of thousands of former employees who were mistreated and denied employee benefits, unemployment and other withholding based on a fraudulent misclassification as independent contractors.

Mercadante et al vs Xe Services et al

Statement Concerning Filing of Class Action Tax  Misclassification Against Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) on  Behalf of Personal Security Specialists for Loss of Benefits and Withholding

WASHINGTON, DC (June 7, 2011) –

Since 2007, Blackwater Industries, which has changed its name to Xe Services, has employed over 10,000 personal security specialists to perform operations in Iraq and Afghanistan under lucrative contracts with departments of the United States Government including the State Department and CIA.

While employing these individuals, many of whom are decorated veterans of the armed services including Special Forces, Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Blackwater sought to avoid millions of dollars in taxes, withholding, and payments of benefits to these employees by classifying them improperly as independent contractors.

Yesterday, Scott Bloch filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of four former security specialists, who were injured while working for Blackwater, in order to recover their payment of social security, unemployment insurance, and unpaid benefits and state and local withholding and unemployment insurance, and other unspecified damages.  The action is brought on their own behalf and thousands of others who have worked for Blackwater and its newly named Xe Services.

The action seeks $60,000,000 in damages and punitive damages, as well as additional amounts as proved for the class of specialists.

“These brave individuals who worked in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghani Enduring Freedom, deserve better than to be turned away without health insurance, pension benefits, unemployment benefits, and other withholding afforded to Blackwater’s other employees,” said Scott Bloch.

According to the lawsuit, the United States treasury loses billions of dollars annually to misclassified employees.     Under the commonlaw and the IRS 20 questions put out in 1987 pursuant to a regulation, Blackwater was obliged to classify these individuals as employees if Blackwater had the right to control the employees’ actions, manner of performing duties,  hours, training, equipment, whether the duties of the employees go to a core function of the employer or are duties that are consider ancillary to the main purpose of the company, and other factors.

The lawsuit states that Blackwater provided their equipment, including weapons issued by the government, training, and control over employees’ duties, manner of performing their security  duties, operations they went on, protection details and other duties.

“These veterans were actually given diplomatic passports and classified as employees of Blackwater to the United States government in the contracts as they procured insurance required for employees, and also represented to the State Department that they were employees,” said Bloch in a statement upon filing, “yet when it came to paying taxes, paying  their employer portion of social security and Medicare taxes that all Americans expect their employers to pay, they simply claimed they were independent contractors.”

The suit also states that one of the representative plaintiffs already had a determination from the IRS that Blackwater misclassified him as an independent contractor.  “The IRS already  determined in the case of one of my clients that he should have been classified as an employee,“ said Bloch.  “Now thousands of people will have to file amended returns.   Thousands of people will likely be entitled to benefits they were denied due to the misclassification, including payment of their employer share of pension, health and disability insurance premiums, and other plans that Blackwater filed with the government for its employees, promising it would not discriminate against those employees as they did here.”

In addition, claims the suit, the United States Congress previously held hearings under the Oversight and Government Reform committee, Rep. Henry Waxman, Chair, which determined that Blackwater and its related companies misclassified employees in order to avoid millions of dollars in taxes. In addition, the IRS prior to making the determination on the plaintiff in this suit, had ruled on behalf of other Blackwater security specialists, and related job titles, that Blackwater had misclassified these employees who performed services under contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Blackwater made hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers and hired thousands of former veterans of military service and police officers.  They also had in their ranks Federal Agents, such as current employees of the FBI on leave of absence. They were hired as security specialists in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Bloch. “It is a grave injustice to them who were  mistreated and left without any health insurance or other benefits for their families, and left to fend for themselves in paying into Social Security and Medicare.  They laid down their lives to protect dignitaries and carry out duties in support of wars for America, and they deserve better than this. Many of these same men risked their lives to protect everyone from the President of the United States to U.S. Senators, Congressman, U.S. Diplomats, to Foreign Presidential & Diplomatic Figures in one of the most dangerous places on the planet.”

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and covers individuals from all over the United States and some Americans living abroad, including all former and current Blackwater and Xe employees and so-called independent contractors.

Contact Scott J. Bloch, PA:
Scott Bloch, 202-496-1290   Law Offices of Scott Bloch Website

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Private Security Contractor, State Department, Xe | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raytheon cannot read contract requirements? Fails to report Injuries to Department of Labor

I am at the Mercy of Liberty Mutual says Pacheco

Hundreds of injuries have occurred in Antarctica since 2001, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, but only three cases have been reported to the U.S. Department of Labor. This, despite the fact that Antarctic contract employees are entitled to special insurance benefits under the Defense Base Act laws and contract companies are required to report all injuries to the Department of Labor. But Raytheon Polar Services (RPSC), the company hired to run the U.S. Antarctic program, failed to comply with the law.

When they do report an injury Liberty Mutual refuses to pay.

Why would Raytheon jeoparadize their quals to bid on further work to help the insurance company?

US Fails to Protect Workers in Antartica

Talk about on the job, our ever vigilant  MsSparky was there in person

MsSparky keeping an eye on Raytheon at Palmer Station Antarctica

I worked (wintered over) for at the ’s (NSF) Palmer Station, Antarctica in 2002. I know first hand the unique working conditions and safety hazards faced daily by employees at these U.S. stations. There is no hardware store or supply house down the street to get your parts and material from. If the person ordering parts for your job isn’t clear about the scope of the work, you may find yourself improvising. I also believe the NSF lacks in the oversight capabilities necessary to ensure all work is done to applicable codes and in a safe manner. Raytheon basically inspects themselves. Nothing independent about that!! They’ve gone unchecked for years. I know I brought several safety concerns to the attention of the Station Manager (a Raytheon employee) and was told “I just didn’t know how things were done down here!” (I think I worked for that same guy in Iraq!) I haven’t been following the Antarctica work much so I want to thank our friends at Defense Base Act Compensation Blog for bringing this story to my attention.

Rumor has it KBR is bidding on this contract.

Please read MsSparky’s post here



March 31, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Follow the Money, KBR, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Defense Base Act Coverage for US Government Contractors Working in Japan

OWCP News Release March 24, 2011

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011, various agencies of the United States may utilize the services of private contractors to provide humanitarian and other assistance as part of the global relief effort there. Workers for such private contractors are covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA) (except for certain specified instances where the Department of Labor has granted a waiver). Agency contracting personnel and private contractors should ensure that the proper DBA insurance is in place before workers are deployed overseas.

DoD and DoS contracts have been granted a waiver for non US employees.

Please keep in mind that while you must purchase this insurance it cannot be depended on to provide the stated benefits.  The Department of Labor administrates the program but has no authority over the insurance companies.  Employees may go for many years or forever without medical care and compensation.

As this insurance is normally cost reimbursable to the contract, not an expense to the contract company,  we highly recommend no one go on one of these contracts without supplemental insurance being provided. 

See our Defense Base Act Compensation Blog to read about the battle injured contractors and widows must fight for the most basic benefits as stated in the Act.

March 25, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Department of Defense, Government Contractor, Japan, State Department | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Contractor Companies Misclassifying Employees for Tax and Defense Base Act Insurance Purposes

Some Contract Companies avoid paying Medicare and Social Security Taxes on their employees by classifying them as independent contractors or consultants.  The IRS considers this to be Fraud.

These same companies claim these same independent contractors/consultants to be employee’s for the purposes of acquiring the mandated Defense Base Act Worker’s Compensation Insurance.  Even going so far as to have workers sign and back date employment contracts after they have been injured so they will be covered.

See more on Misclassification of Employee’s as Contractors at Overseas Contractors Tax Information where you will also find a link to the IRS Form SS-8 that you will need to fill out if you have been misclassified.

Following is a recent SS-8 Determination which confirms the Misclassification and opens up the company to an investigation of Tax and Insurance Fraud and US Labor Law Violations.


February 24, 2011 Posted by | Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Defense Base Act, Follow the Money, Government Contractor, Private Military Contractors, Private Security Contractor, Taxes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment