In reviewing recent inquiries from both our existing clients as well as potential clients we are noticing more and more concerns regarding individuals who come home and are either being treated for or develop breathing problems. It is clear under the Defense Base Act that any type of exposure may be a compensable claim even though the individual is not aware of the difficulties until weeks or months later. Obviously if someone is sent home due to breathing or pulmonary concerns the Employer and its workers’ compensation carrier should be responsible for providing immediate medical care upon the employee returning home. As such, as word of warning to our existing clients as well as potential clients if upon return home if you notice that you are having difficulty in breathing or smelling do not hesitate to contact a doctor immediately and advise the doctor of your overseas work assignments and exposures. We are handling numerous claims regarding exposures to fire pits, dust, paint, and mold.
All too often the returning employee often shrugs off these symptoms as being related to a cold or allergies when in fact the overseas work environment could have caused permanent damage that requires immediate treatment.
If you have any concerns or questions feel free to contact one of our attorneys!