Showing posts with label law suit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label law suit. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paralyzed OEF Marine sues over deplorable treatment at airport

Paralyzed Veteran Sues Over Treatment at Airport
Nov 14, 2012
Chicago Tribune
by Jennifer Delgado

CHICAGO -- A former Marine Corps sergeant who was paralyzed while serving in Afghanistan claims he was mistreated at O'Hare International Airport almost two years ago when airline and airport-related employees allegedly injured him and let him sit in his own urine for nearly two hours.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, Sgt. Joseph Smith, of North Carolina, says United Airlines and Air Serv Corporation employees refused to help him to his seat during a layover in Chicago on Nov. 19, 2010. Smith, who requires a wheelchair to travel after being paralyzed in Operation Enduring Freedom, was headed to Colorado Springs, Colo., for training as part of a Paralympic shooting team, said his lawyer, Alexander Loftus.

The suit further alleges that Smith dragged his own "limp body" down the aisle, causing his catheter bag to break and spill urine.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Reservist sues over lost job because of military service

52 minutes ago
Reservist sues school, says he was fired because of his military service
Stars and Stripes
Published: October 22, 2012

An Army reservist and Afghanistan veteran alleges in a lawsuit that he lost his job as a North Carolina school administrator because of his military service.

Sgt. 1st Class Dwayne Coffer claims his contract at Warren County High School was not renewed after he was ordered to instruct at an Army leadership course for one month in March 2008, according to court documents filed Friday.

Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, it is illegal to terminate employment if a person misses work because of a military deployment.

Despite Coffer receiving positive performance reviews from the school’s outgoing principal, he was told by Superintendent Ray Spain in April 2008 that he would not recommend that his contract be renewed, and at first would not tell him why, according to the complaint.
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Philanthropist's death sparks unusual lawsuit

Philanthropist's death sparks unusual lawsuit
AP Special Correspondent
Published August 04, 2012

LOS ANGELES – When former model and philanthropist Phyllis Harvey died last year at the age of 59, little note was taken. Brief paid obituaries appeared in Los Angeles and her hometown paper in North Carolina.

There was no mention of how she died. Nothing was said about her struggle with alcoholism and mental illness. And there was no reference to one of the final projects she helped fund with nearly a half million dollars.

Those details now figure prominently in a medical board complaint and wrongful death lawsuit claiming her psychiatrist coaxed $490,000 in research funding from her while she was under powerful doses of psychotropic drugs that eventually killed her.

The suit filed on behalf of Brian Harvey by attorney Daniel M. Hodes accuses University of California, Los Angeles psychiatrist Dr. Alexander Bystritsky of causing Phyllis Harvey's death with a dangerous combination of drugs that altered her heart rhythm.

Hodes says that Mrs. Harvey was hospitalized several times for heart abnormalities associated with drugs, and that emergency room doctors discontinued her medications only to have Bystritsky resume giving them to her when she was discharged.

Brian Harvey earned a fortune by selling an invention for coating electronic wires with recycled metal from beer cans. Following the sale of his company, he and his wife formed the Brian and Phyllis Harvey foundation to fund scholarships and other donations. The lawsuit claims Bystritsky knew of the couple's wealth and charitable giving and insinuated himself into their lives with house calls, long chats and email with Phyllis Harvey while treating her undiagnosed mental illness. He allegedly touted his own credentials and convinced her to give large donations to research a device that might cure her.
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Judge says homeless veterans suit against VA will go on

Judge refuses to dismiss homeless veterans suit

Friday, March 16, 2012

Los Angeles, CA (AP) --

A federal judge says he won't dismiss a lawsuit brought against the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by homeless, mentally impaired veterans.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on behalf of three Southern California veterans who allege the department failed to provide proper housing.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Family of veteran with PTSD files suit against police

Family of man who died in police custody files suit


The Kansas City Star

The family of a man who died after he was restrained by Kansas City police in 2009 has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the department. The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City alleges that officers used “excessive and unreasonable force” when they encountered Gilbert Dixon after he was found without clothes and screaming in the street on Oct. 8, 2009. Dixon, 60, of Lexington, Mo., was experiencing a flashback related to post-traumatic stress disorder from his military service, the suit contends. After handcuffing Dixon and applying leg shackles while he was facedown on the ground, officers sat Dixon up but allowed his head to slump forward with his chin on his chest, according to the suit.
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Kentucky family sues over shooting death at Fort Bliss

Ky. family sues over shooting death at Fort Bliss
By BRETT BARROUQUERE Associated Press Writer © 2010 The Associated Press
Oct. 20, 2010, 4:10PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The family of a teenager killed during a shooting at a post in Texas is suing the U.S. government for $8.75 million, claiming the military was negligent in diagnosing and treating the alleged shooter.

Renee Richardson of Louisville, whose 18-year-old son, Ezra Gerald Smith, died in the April 24, 2009 shootings at Fort Bliss in Texas, claims the U.S. Army missed multiple warning signs that Spc. Gerald Polanco was suffering from numerous psychiatric disorders, including post traumatic stress disorder.

"This could have been prevented and that's what she's mad about," attorney Sheila Hiestand said of her client.

Richardson filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville.

Polanco was charged with murder, but ruled incompetent to stand trial by a military judge a few months later. Polanco's current condition was not immediately available. His attorney, John Convery of San Antonio, Texas, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Army Maj. Myles Caggins III, a spokesman for Fort Bliss, told The Associated Press that Polanco's court martial proceedings are ongoing and declined to comment.

"Our heart goes out to the family of Gerald Smith," Caggins said. "We are committed to fair and thorough legal proceedings in accordance with the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

In letters to Smith's family, the military denied liability for the shooting, saying Polanco's actions could not have been foreseen.

Smith was at Fort Bliss, where his stepfather was based at the time of the shooting.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Court rejects wife’s Halliburton suit

Court rejects wife’s Halliburton suit

The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Jun 28, 2010 12:18:12 EDT

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a woman who wants to sue Halliburton for the brain injury her husband suffered when a truck in a fuel convoy crashed in Iraq.

The justices, without comment Monday, let stand a federal appeals court ruling dismissing the lawsuit filed by Annette Carmichael of Atlanta, on behalf of her husband, Army Sgt. Keith Carmichael. The Obama administration recommended the denial of the appeal.
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Court rejects wife Halliburton suit

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Toyota Accused of Hiding Evidence of Rollovers

Toyota Accused of Hiding Evidence
Former Lawyer at Automaker Charges Evidence in Rollover Cases Was Concealed, Destroyed

(CBS) By CBS News Investigative Unit Contributor Myron Levin

A former attorney for Toyota has accused the automaker of illegally withholding evidence in hundreds of rollover death and injury cases, in a "ruthless conspiracy" to keep evidence "of its vehicles' structural shortcomings from becoming known."

The explosive allegations are contained in a federal racketeering suit filed in Los Angeles by Dimitrios P. Biller, former managing counsel for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., who claims his complaints about the company's legal misconduct cost him his job.

Toyota, which is second to General Motors in car and truck sales in the U.S., called Biller's charges "inaccurate and misleading," in a statement issued late Friday to CBS News. "Toyota takes its legal obligations seriously and works to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards," the company said.

Company lawyers have not filed an answer to Biller's lawsuit, but have brought a motion to seal the complaint, claiming it is "rife with privileged and confidential information" that Biller, as a former Toyota lawyer, has no right to divulge.

A hearing on the motion has been set for September 14.

Biller, who did not return phone calls, worked for Toyota Motor Sales, based in Torrance, Calif., from 2003 to 2007. He was involved in defending rollover lawsuits that blamed injuries and deaths on instability and weak roofs of the company's SUVs and pickups.
read more hereToyota Accused of Hiding Evidence

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sixteen Indiana National Guard soldiers sue over chemical exposure in Iraq

Ind. soldiers sue over chemical exposure in Iraq
The Associated Press
By CHARLES WILSON – 20 hours ago

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Sixteen Indiana National Guard soldiers sued the big defense contractor KBR Inc. on Wednesday, saying its employees knowingly allowed them to be exposed to a toxic chemical in Iraq five years ago.

The federal suit filed in U.S. District Court alleges the soldiers from a Tell City-based unit were exposed to a carcinogen while protecting an Iraqi water pumping plant shortly after the U.S. invasion in 2003.

The 23-page complaint claims that Houston-based KBR knew at least as early as May 2003 that the plant was contaminated with sodium dichromate, a known carcinogen, but concealed the danger from civilian workers and 139 soldiers from the Indiana Guard's 1st Battalion, 152nd Infantry.

"It's not right, what they done," said Mark McManaway, a 55-year-old truck driver from Cannelton who has since retired from the Guard. McManaway, the main plaintiff in the lawsuit, has suffered nosebleeds and rashes he believes are due to the chemical exposure.

The chemical, used to remove pipe corrosion, is especially dangerous because it contains hexavalent chromium, which is known to cause birth defects and cancer, particularly lung cancer, the lawsuit said. The cancer can take years to develop.

Some of the soldiers who served at the site now have respiratory system tumors associated with hexavalent chromium exposure, the lawsuit states.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Feds pay suicidal Air Force vet’s family

Feds pay suicidal Air Force vet’s family

The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Nov 6, 2008 16:14:02 EST

HONOLULU — The federal government has paid $800,000 to the family of a suicidal Air Force veteran who jumped to his death from Tripler Army Medical Center after his pleas to be admitted went unheeded.

Robert Roth died in January 2007 after he jumped from a 10th-floor balcony at Tripler. Roth suffered from a bipolar mood disorder and had a long history of depression.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

E-mails suggest Pfizer tried to suppress study on drug Neurontin

E-mails suggest Pfizer tried to suppress study on drug
Suits say company misled on Neurontin

By Liz Kowalczyk
Globe Staff / October 8, 2008

Top drug company marketing executives suppressed a large European study suggesting their blockbuster medication Neurontin was ineffective for chronic nerve pain, and they privately strategized about how to silence a British researcher who wanted to go public with the data, according to newly filed documents and e-mails that are part of a Boston court case.
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lawsuit claims unsafe working conditions in Iraq

Lawsuit claims unsafe working conditions in Iraq
By Jared Leone, Times Staff Writer
In print: Monday, September 15, 2008
TAMPA—Patricia Howard wanted to earn good money and serve her country. An Army reservist, she took a job with a Tampa-based company that dismantles explosives. She followed that company to war-torn Iraq.

Now she's suing USA Environmental in U.S. District Court, alleging its managers broke with company policy and federal law by exposing her to a hazard:

Pigeon droppings.

The 2006 lawsuit, sealed until recently under the Whistleblower Act, asks for a portion of the $120-million USA Environmental earned through a contract with the government. Under the False Claims Act, the government also could recoup 70 to 80 percent of the money.

"You had to be aware of your surroundings to be safe,'' said Howard, 39, who now lives in New York. "Going overseas to a war area, you accept that risk as well. ... The risk I did not accept was the one they felt they could expose us to."
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House Bill will allow Gulf War Vets to sue Iraq over torture

House gives go-ahead to sue Iraq over torture
By JIM ABRAMS – 1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former POWs and civilians who were tortured or held hostage during the 1991 Gulf War could pursue lawsuits against Iraq under legislation the House has approved.

The White House, saying the bill would threaten economic and political progress in Iraq, threatened to veto the measure if it reaches the president's desk. It still has to clear the Senate.

The legislation, passed by voice vote late Monday, could affect some 17 prisoners of war — all but one pilots of aircraft downed over Iraq or Kuwait — and more than 200 American civilians working in Iraq and Kuwait and held as "human shields" after then-President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, would take away the president's authority to exempt Iraq from lawsuits brought by Americans tortured by state sponsors of terrorism. The president could still grant immunity if he certifies that Iraq has adequately settled, or is making good-faith efforts to settle, claims against it from pending court cases.

Bush in December 2007 vetoed a defense policy bill because it contained a similar provision. He later signed the bill after reaching an agreement with Congress granting him waiver authority, which he exercised in January 2008.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Lawsuit filed over pregnant guards on post

Lawsuit filed over pregnant guards on post

By John Milburn - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Sep 12, 2008 13:07:12 EDT

TOPEKA, Kan. — A federal agency sued a New Mexico company Thursday in federal court, alleging the firm discriminated against pregnant employees it had hired as security guards on Army bases.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said the victims included two female employees each at Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; and Fort Hood, Texas. The EEOC also sued on behalf of all women in a similar situation.

By law, the commission automatically can file a class-action lawsuit, which is expected to be heard by a jury in Wichita.

A spokesman for the company, Akal Security Inc., did not return a telephone message.

The EEOC alleges that the company forced the women to take leaves of absence when they became pregnant, then fired them. The commission said that violates federal law. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., seeks an undisclosed amount of damages from Akal.

The suit was filed on behalf of Melissa Bell, Sahra Carter, Makeesha Delaney, Angela Garcia, Vernica Hutto, Rebecca Martinez, Elizabeth Parker, Tamara Ransom, Shannon Smith and unnamed others.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

AIG denies claim for dead Iraq vet

AIG gave Iraq Veteran a policy in 2006. A year later, he was diagnosed with PTSD. He died but AIG denied paying on the policy. This is not just about a man who was willing to lay down his life for this country and suffered for it, it's about a life insurance claim that has not been honored. Do you think it could happen to you as well? Imagine how you would feel if you trusted an insurance company to take care of your family when you were gone and then found out the policy was a worthless piece of paper.

August 18, 2008
Insurer denies claim for dead Iraq vet
Family's lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court says AIG's refusal reason is frivilous
The parents of an Iraq war veteran who died in his sleep in February while recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder have sued his insurance company after it refused to pay his life insurance.

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer
The parents of an Iraq war veteran who died in his sleep in February while recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder have sued his insurance company after it refused to pay his life insurance.

In a lawsuit filed in Kanawha Circuit Court in July, Stan and Shirley White of Cross Lanes maintain that Houston-based American General Life Insurance Co. wrongly denied them the proceeds from their youngest son's life insurance policy.

Andrew White joined the Marine Corps Reserve in July 2003, and served as a combat engineer, disarming "improvised explosive devices" and patrolling areas near Iraq's border with Syria.

Shortly after he returned home in September 2005, his older brother, Bob, who was serving in the Army in Afghanistan, was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Humvee in which he was riding.

In the wake of his brother's death, Andrew White took out a $50,000 policy with AIG, the lawsuit states.

"To preclude placing a financial burden on his family, who had already suffered through one tragedy, Andrew purchased a life insurance policy from AIG. Andrew chose to list his parents as sole beneficiaries, as he was unmarried, and did not have children," the lawsuit states.

After filling out an application, he was examined by a health professional of AIG's choosing on Oct. 31, 2006, the lawsuit maintains.

AIG issued his policy the following month.
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

PTSD Vietnam Vet wins $738,525 in employment case

Nielson wins $738525 against port
Curry County Reporter - Gold Beach,OR,USA
By Hannah Hoffman

A Curry County jury last Monday awarded former Port of Gold Beach manager Mike Nielson $738,525 in damages for a number of employment-related claims after a week-long trial.

The jury found the Port liable to Nielson for discrimination based on a disability, failure to reasonably accommodate said disability, discrimination based on filing for workman's compensation benefits, wrongful discharge, and intentionally inflicting severe emotional distress. The award was for $638,525 in economic damages and $100,000 in non-economic damages.

The lawsuit originally included two charges against Port Commissioner Bill McNair, individually, which were dropped when presiding Judge Cynthia Beaman ruled that there was no evidence to show McNair acted out of the boundaries of his role as a Port commissioner. Beaman ruled that the entire Board of Commissioners would stand trial as a single entity.

Nielson began his legal proceedings nearly as soon as he was terminated as port manager on November 23, 2004. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (incurred from Vietnam service) earlier that year following the commissioner recall election. Nielson began receiving 100 percent disability on October 6, 2004, and was on medical leave for the condition from that time until the date of termination.
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Monday, April 21, 2008

Veteran Reacts to Lawsuit Against VA

Local Veteran Reacts to Lawsuit Against VA

By: Ashley Ritchie

The lawsuit, filed by two non-profit agencies representing military veterans, comes in the midst of a recent study that finds one in five U.S. soldiers currently suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

It's an illness, which until the early 80's, didn't get much attention, but affects thousands; especially veterans.

And for one Fresno man, it nearly cost him his life.

Jim Doyle was just 19 when he set off to fight in the Vietnam War.

"I lost a lot of good buddies in Vietnam, had one of them die in my arms, watched people get blown up and lose limbs," Doyle said.

He came home in 1970. But his life was anything but the way he left it.

"Went on for almost 20 years, having problems with drinking, abusing alcohol and relationships were tenuous at best," Doyle said.

It wasn't until the early 90's when images from the first Iraq War infiltrated TV that Doyle's disease raged out of control.

"It really affected me dramatically because I could see the body bags and I could smell the smell of death again," he said.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can come upon in the throws of combat or even years after," Carolyn Hughes with the Veterans Hospital, said.

It's common for thousands of veterans, feelings of depression, suicide, anger and isolation often a direct result of war.

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is real. It's not phony. It's not people looking for an easy way out," Doyle said.
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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Government settles suit over wrongful death at VA's Haley

Government settles suit over wrongful death at VA's Haley
By Thomas Lake, Times Staff Writer
Published Monday, April 7, 2008 10:07 PM

TAMPA — Pancreatitis did not kill Hugh Morris. Nor did nausea, vomiting or the bacterial infection that put him in the hospital. What killed Morris was too much medicine: a dose 60 times larger than what the doctor prescribed.

This fact is undisputed. Dr. Edward Cutolo Jr., then the acting chief of staff at James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, admitted as much in a letter dated July 6, 2006, about two months after Morris died.

"Although Mr. Morris was gravely ill," he wrote, "we feel the incorrect dosage was responsible for his death."

The federal government filed court documents Friday stating it had settled a wrongful-death suit with Morris' widow, Elizabeth. Neither side would say how much money changed hands.

"I will say it was not a lot of money," Elizabeth Morris said Monday in her living room, as the smell of baked steak with brown gravy floated in from the kitchen. This was one of her husband's favorite dinners. They were married 62 years.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Veterans for Common Sense:VA fails at PTSD care

VA fails at PTSD care, lawsuit charges

By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Apr 2, 2008 14:06:14 EDT

Veterans for Common Sense is suing the Department of Veterans Affairs because, the group says, VA is so thoroughly bogged down with a backlog of 600,000 benefits claims that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder are not receiving the care they need.

The trial begins April 21 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The lawsuit, which names VA Secretary Dr. James Peake as defendant, — is a class action filed by a large group of veterans who allege “a system-wide breakdown” in the way the government treats veterans with PTSD. They say several suicidal veterans have unsuccessfully sought VA mental health care.

Representatives from veterans service organizations, VA and mental health experts are expected to testify.

According to Gordon Erspamer, an attorney representing the veterans pro bono, the lawsuit challenges a backlog in handling claims, “appellate delays of five to 10 years” for disability ratings, waiting lists and the “inadequacy of VA care for PTSD.”

The suit asks for immediate medical help, as well as screening for suicidal thoughts, for troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Sunday, March 30, 2008

KBR can be sued because of tax loophole they used

Iraq contractor fights suit over toxic exposure
Tax loophole may subject construction firm to damages
By Farah Stockman
Globe Staff / March 25, 2008

WASHINGTON - When the American team arrived in Iraq in the summer of 2003 to repair the Qarmat Ali water injection plant, supervisors told them the orange, sand-like substance strewn around the looted facility was just a "mild irritant," workers recall.

The workers got it on their hands and clothing every day while racing for 2 1/2 months to meet a deadline to get the plant, a crucial part of Iraq's oil infrastructure, up and running.

But the chemical turned out to be sodium dichromate, a substance so dangerous that even limited exposure greatly increases the risk of cancer. Soon, many of the 22 Americans and 100-plus Iraqis began to complain of nosebleeds, ulcers, and shortness of breath. Within weeks, nearly 60 percent exhibited symptoms of exposure, according to the minutes of a meeting of project managers from KBR, the Houston-based construction company in charge of the repairs.

Now, nine Americans are accusing KBR, then a subsidiary of the oil conglomerate Halliburton, of knowingly exposing them to the deadly substance and failing to provide them with the protective equipment needed to keep them safe.

But the workers, like all employees injured in Iraq, face an uphill struggle in their quest for damages. Under a World War II-era federal workers compensation law, employers are generally protected from employee lawsuits, except in rare cases in which it can be proven that the company intentionally harmed its employees or committed outright fraud.

KBR is citing the law, called the Defense Base Act, as grounds to reject the workers' request for damages.

But the company's own actions have undermined its case: To avoid payroll taxes for its American employees, KBR hired the workers through two subsidiaries registered in the Cayman Islands, part of a strategy that has allowed KBR to dodge hundreds of millions of dollars in Social Security and Medicare taxes.

That gives the workers' lawyer, Mike Doyle of Houston, a chance to argue to an arbitration board that KBR is not an employer protected by federal law, but a third-party that can be sued.

KBR's lawyers argued in a legal brief that the workers should be considered employees of KBR because they were part of a corporate subsidiary that was working on a KBR team. The company's spokeswoman, Heather Browne, pointed out that the company's projects in Iraq take place in a "dangerous, unpredictable environment," but said the firm maintains an "unwavering commitment to safety."

Like domestic workers' compensation plans, the Defense Base Act entitles employees in Iraq to medical care, disability, and death benefits, regardless of who is at fault for the injury. In exchange, it generally prohibits employees from seeking any further compensation, even if the employer is at fault.
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