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Thank You - A Sliver of Justice

Back in March of 2007, ePluribus Media published the first article in a three-part series which I wrote, Iraq, Contingency Contracting and the Defense Base Act. In part, the article highlighted the situation of the von Ackermann family and the lack of insurance benefits they received after Kirk von Ackermann, a civilian contractor, disappeared in Iraq in October of 2003. (Kirk von Ackermann is now the longest missing American in Iraq today.)

Von Ackermann's employer at the time, Ultra Services of Istanbul Turkey, did not carry Defense Base Act insurance, similar to workman's compensation for overseas contractors. The Defense Base Act pays benefits if a contractor is killed, injured or missing. Claims under the Defense Base Act are administered by the Department of Labor.

As a result of that series, an attorney retired from the Department of Labor contacted me with questions about the article and in particular, the plight of the von Ackermann family. I pointed him to the Missing in Iraq blog and as Megan has noted at her blog, he went on to eventually take on their case. 

Injured Iraq Contractors Struggle for Care

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2009-04-17 19:05:32 -0500. -- GH

A great new series of articles and investigations from T. Christian Miller, author of Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq, on the failure of the Defense Base Act to provide care for injured contractors after they return from Iraq.

Injured War Zone Contractors Fight to Get Care From AIG and Other Insurers
By T. Christian Miller, ProPublica and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times - April 16, 2009

Civilian contractors died like soldiers. They were injured like soldiers. But back home, the U.S. government consigned the wounded and their families to a private insurance system that shunted them to substandard treatment and delayed their care as they suffered from devastating injuries, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times, ABC News and ProPublica has found.

Injured war zone contractors fight to get care
By T. Christian Miller and Doug Smith Los Angeles Times, April 17, 2009

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.

Bailed-Out AIG Pampers Execs While Denying, Delaying Claims of Contractors Injured in Iraq
By Brian Ross and Avni Patel, ABC News, April 17, 2009

Insurance giant AIG, the same company that rewarded its executives with millions in bonuses and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a spa retreat at an exclusive California resort and private jets, has been nickel and diming employees of private contractors injured in Iraq, with a pattern of denying and delaying their claims, a joint investigation between 20/20, the Los Angeles Times and the non-profit group ProPublica has found.