Great Time Had at Advanced Consulting’s Defense Base Act Conference

In my opinion, there are too few conferences focusing entirely on the administration and adjudication of Defense Base Act (“DBA”) claims.  Lucky for me, Advanced Consulting, Inc., hosted a great DBA conference in Dallas on January 16, 2013.  The conference, entitled “Managing Defense Base Act Claims: An Employer’s Guide” offered insight into a number of topics including dispute resolution at the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (“OWCP”), medical management, suitable alternative employment, DBA waivers, and burn pit litigation.

Some of the highlights:

  • The conference started with a presentation by Miranda Chiu and David Widener of the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation.  Director Chiu highlighted the OWCP’s dispute resolution process, and how it resolves many disputed cases.  To demonstrate the success of the process, Director Chiu and District Director Widener presented very interesting statistics about the number of disputes in existence, the number of disputes resolved by the informal conference (which is an impressive number), and the time it takes to resolve a dispute at the OWCP versus the Office of Administrative Law Judges (“OALJ”).  My hope is that Director Chiu and District Director Widener will publish their PowerPoint presentation on the DLHWC’s “Education and Outreach” web page.
  • Andrew Blauert and Jared Korte of Labor Management Services, Inc., discussed medical management concerns.  Their message was clear: employers and carriers need to be proactive with respect to an injured worker’s medical needs.  A proactive approach is a win-win for all parties.  The injured worker heals faster which allows them to return to the workforce.  In turn, an employer’s and carrier’s liability lessens because they pay less than they would if the injured worker’s recovery is delayed.
  • Shaun Mundy Aulita presented the vocational rehabilitation portion of the conference, discussing labor market surveys and how to use them appropriately.
  • Larry Nelligan had a great presentation about burn pit exposure and toxic inhalation hazards.   Mr. Nelligan’s slide show is online here.  Take a look–and get ready for the eventual explosion of burn pit cases.

Finally, Advanced Consulting was nice enough to post the various presentations online.  This link to Advanced Consulting’s website will take you to the presentations.