Defense Base Act Claim for Benefits for Alleged Psychiatric Injury Denied by ALJ

September 26, 2019 by on News

Mark Eckels secured a decision in favor of the Employer/Carrier in a claim for benefits arising under the Defense Base Act arising from an alleged psychiatric injury.  The claimant had sustained a compensable knee injury for which benefits were provided.  At the same time, the claimant filed a claim for benefits alleging a psychiatric injury as well.  That claim was denied by the Employer/Carrier.  While the knee claim settled, the psychiatric claim proceeded to hearing.  The claimant presented medical records from a number of healthcare providers he treated with on his own, along with the reports of an IME physician.

The Employer/Carrier presented the report and deposition testimony of their expert.  The only witness to testify live at the hearing was the claimant.  Following the submission of post-trial briefs, the ALJ entered a 93-page order meticulously recounting the documentary evidence, the deposition testimony, and the live testimony of the claimant, highlighting the various consistencies and inconsistencies.  In the end, the ALJ concluded the claimant failed in his burden of establishing that a compensable psychiatric injury had occurred, and thus the claim for benefits was denied.

Mark K. Eckels
Direct: 904.353.6244

About Mark K. Eckels:

Mark Eckels defends employers and insurance carriers in workers’ compensation claims across Florida and Georgia. His Longshore and Defense Base Act practice extends nationwide.

He handles all facets of workers’ compensation and longshore claims from the initial reporting of an accident and its investigation, through the discovery process to trial, and any appellate proceedings thereafter.

Mark is Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation by The Florida Bar.

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