If you are a contractor who has been injured on the job while working overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan or on any military base across the world, your case is covered by the Defense Base Act which is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.  At the Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A., we have a combination of over 43 years of experience in representing injured workers covered by the Defense Base Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.   Let us put our years of experience and our reputation to work for you today!  Contact us today at mail@gmpcomplaw.com, or go on our website at www.dbalawyers.com and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.

Here are some very interesting facts and case summaries regarding permanency and permanent disability benefits in a DBA or Longshore case coming directly from the Longshore Deskbook from the Benefits Review Board.  The Longshore Desk Book is a searchable website which is a public record.  According to the Longshore Deskbook:

The date that a claimant’s disability reaches permanency is a question of fact determined solely by medical evidence. SGS Control Services v. Director, OWCP, 86 F.3d 438, 30 BRBS 57CRT) (5th Cir. 1996); Louisiana Ins. Guaranty Ass’n v. Abbott, 40 F.3d 122, 29 BRBS 22(CRT) (5th Cir. 1994); Trask v. Lockheed Shipbuilding & Constr. Co., 17 BRBS 56 (1980). Two tests have been established for addressing permanency.

In an early case, the Fifth Circuit stated that a permanent disability exists when a “condition has continued for a lengthy period, and it appears to be of lasting or indefinite duration, as distinguished from one in which recovery merely awaits a normal healing period.” Watson v. Gulf Stevedore Corp., 400 F.2d 649, 854 (5th Cir. 1968), cert. denied, 394 U.S. 976 (1969). Under the Watson test, a “determination that a disability is temporary rather than permanent need not be reached merely because the medical prognosis is that the employee is likely at some indefinite future date to get better and to be able to return to work. The statute neither requires that a longshoreman be bed-ridden before he is considered totally disabled nor that he be pronounced medically incurable before his condition is permanent.” Id.

In addition to the Watson test, permanency is established as of the date the employee reaches “maximum medical improvement.” See, e.g, Trask, 17 BRBS 56; Luce v. Bath Iron Works Corp., 12 BRBS 162 (1979); Williams v. General Dynamics Corp., 10 BRBS 915 (1979); McCray v. Ceco Steel Co., 5 BRBS 537 (1977). An employee is considered permanently disabled if he has any residual disability after reaching maximum medical improvement, the date of which is determined solely by medical evidence. Id.

If you have a question about permanency and/or permanent disability benefits in your DBA or Longshore case, Contact Us today at mail@gmpcomplaw.com, or go on our website at www.dbalawyers.com and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.

Clifford R. Mermell, Esq.

Clifford R. Mermell, Esq., created the law firm of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. on March 1, 1996. Mr. Mermell has been the senior and managing partner of the firm since its creation. The firm was created to champion the rights of injured workers nationwide. It represents cases under the Worker’s Compensation, Wrongful Termination, Personal Injury, Admiralty and Maritime, Defense Base Act, and Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act Laws.


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