Lawmakers Outraged by AIG's Treatment of Its Injured Workers

Executive says his firm "did everything" it could for blind amputee.

ByABC News
June 18, 2009, 10:36 AM

June 19, 2009— -- Members of Congress expressed outrage Thursday at AIG 's treatment of war-injured civilian workers under a government -funded insurance system.

"We've heard story after story of injured workers coming home minus a limb, or traumatized by war experiences seared into their psyche, only to face the fight of their lives with their company's insurance carrier," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), the chairman of the House government oversight and reform subcommittee on domestic policy during a hearing examining the issue.

Lawmakers were particularly alarmed that AIG, which handles the vast majority of claims under the program, and other insurance carriers, were allegedly delaying and denying legitimate claims while profiting on the taxpayers' dime.

"They get our money…then they are supposed to take care of you, and if they don't, they don't, then you suffer, and they get rich. Boy, what a game," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a member of the subcommittee who initially called for the hearing following a joint investigation by ABC News, the Los Angeles Times and the non-profit group ProPublica. "We have got to turn this around."

Civilian workers employed by U.S. contractors who are injured overseas are entitled to medical and disability benefits under a little-known, World War II-era law called the Defense Base Act.

Charles Schader, AIG's president for World Wide Claims, told the subcommittee that the company was "proud" of its record under the program, and blamed the system for any deficiencies.

"What we did was right with the rules and benefit levels we have to deal with," Schader told the subcommittee, specifically responding to the testimony of Kevin Smith , a former truck driver who told lawmakers that AIG had refused to approve medical treatments ordered by his doctors, and cut off his disability payments while he was still recovering.

Charles Schader, AIG's president for World Wide Claims, told the subcommittee that the company was \"proud\" of its record under the program, and blamed the system for any deficiencies.

\"What we did was right with the rules and benefit levels we have to deal with,\" Schader told the subcommittee, specifically responding to the testimony of Kevin Smith , a former truck driver who told lawmakers that AIG had refused to approve medical treatments ordered by his doctors, and cut off his disability payments while he was still recovering.

","publishedDate":"2009-06-18T14:36:37Z","contributors":[{"name":"ABC News","url":"","role":"","logo":"","logoAlt":""}],"modifiedDate":"2009-06-19T16:41:46Z","section":"Blotter","wordCount":307,"relatedTags":{"heading":"Related Topics","tags":[]},"lead":{"ratio":"16x9","disableForMobile":false,"type":"xl","mediaType":"image","alignCaptionToBody":true},"ads":{"Sticky":{"kvps":{"test":true}},"RightRail":{"kvps":{"test":true}},"InlineBox":{},"InlineOutstream":{"disabled":false},"Taboola":{"position":"bottom","pageType":"article","config":{"network":"abcnews-abcnews","mode":"thumbnails-a","container":"taboola-below-article-thumbnails","type":"article","targetType":"mix","placement":"Below Article Thumbnails"}}},"featuredVideo":null,"featuredImage":{},"dateline":"June 19, 2009—","seo":{},"LivePromotion":{},"isShared":false},"autoUpdate":{"enabled":false,"topics":["general-elections-2020-balance-of-power"]}},"upw":{"balanceOfPower":{"electoral":{"header":"Biden Projected to be President-Elect","winningParty":"democrats","candidates":{"democrats":{"id":1036,"displayName":"Joe Biden","shortDisplayName":"J. Biden","firstName":"Joe","lastName":"Biden","party":"democrats","major":true,"incumbent":false,"winner":true,"votes":306},"republicans":{"id":8639,"displayName":"Donald Trump","shortDisplayName":"D. Trump","firstName":"Donald","lastName":"Trump","party":"republicans","major":true,"incumbent":true,"winner":false,"votes":232},"other":{"displayName":"Other","lastName":"Independent","votes":0}},"parties":{"democrats":"democrats","republicans":"republicans","other":"other"},"type":"electoral","votes":{"democrats":{"available":{},"total":306,"difference":{},"popular":{"displayValue":"81,283,098","value":81283098}},"republicans":{"available":{},"total":232,"difference":{},"popular":{"displayValue":"74,222,958","value":74222958}},"other":{"available":{},"total":0,"popular":{}},"total":538},"needed":{"displayText":"270 to win","displayValue":"270","value":270},"lastUpdated":{"value":"2020-12-18T21:15:13.850Z","displayValue":"December 18, 4:15:13PM ET"},"reporting":"99% of Expected Vote Reporting","rawReporting":"99%","typeDisplay":"President"},"senate":{"header":"Senate Seat Results","winningParty":null,"candidates":{"democrats":{"displayName":"Democrat","icon":"party-democrats","votes":46,"winner":false},"republicans":{"displayName":"Republican","icon":"party-republicans","votes":50,"winner":false},"other":{"displayName":"Other","lastName":"Independent","votes":2}},"parties":{"democrats":"democrats","republicans":"republicans","other":"other"},"type":"senate","votes":{"democrats":{"available":{"displayText":"12 Democrats up for election","shortDisplayText":"12 Dems. up for election","displayValue":"12","value":12},"total":46,"difference":{"displayText":"Gained 1 seat","displayValue":"1","value":1},"popular":{}},"republicans":{"available":{"displayText":"23 Republicans up for election","shortDisplayText":"23 Reps. up for election","displayValue":"23","value":23},"total":50,"difference":{"displayText":"Lost 1 seat","displayValue":"-1","value":-1},"popular":{}},"other":{"available":{"displayText":"0 Others up for election","shortDisplayText":"0 Others up for election","displayValue":"0","value":0},"total":2,"popular":{}},"total":100},"needed":{"displayText":"51 for control","displayValue":"51","value":51},"lastUpdated":{"value":"2020-12-17T18:22:05.390Z","displayValue":"December 17, 1:22:05PM ET"},"typeDisplay":"Senate"},"house":{"header":"House Results: Dems Retain Control","winningParty":"democrats","candidates":{"democrats":{"displayName":"Democrat","icon":"party-democrats","votes":222,"winner":true},"republicans":{"displayName":"Republican","icon":"party-republicans","votes":210,"winner":false},"other":{"displayName":"Other","lastName":"Independent","votes":0}},"parties":{"democrats":"democrats","republicans":"republicans","other":"other"},"type":"house","votes":{"democrats":{"available":{"displayText":"233 Democrats up for election","shortDisplayText":"233 Dems. up for election","displayValue":"233","value":233},"total":222,"difference":{"displayText":"Lost 10 seats","displayValue":"-10","value":-10},"popular":{}},"republicans":{"available":{"displayText":"201 Republicans up for election","shortDisplayText":"201 Reps. up for election","displayValue":"201","value":201},"total":210,"difference":{"displayText":"Gained 10 seats","displayValue":"10","value":10},"popular":{}},"other":{"available":{"displayText":"1 Others up for election","shortDisplayText":"1 Others up for election","displayValue":"1","value":1},"total":0,"popular":{}},"total":435},"needed":{"displayText":"218 for control","displayValue":"218","value":218},"lastUpdated":{"value":"2020-12-17T18:22:02.900Z","displayValue":"December 17, 1:22:02PM ET"},"typeDisplay":"House"},"lastUpdated":{"value":"2020-12-18T21:15:13.850Z","displayValue":"December 18, 4:15:13PM ET"},"autoUpdate":{"enabled":false,"topics":["general-elections-2020-balance-of-power"]},"electionsConfig":{}},"types":["electoral","senate","house"]}},"analytics":{"accountID":"wdgnewabcnews,wdgasec,wdgnewabcnweb,wdgnewabcnewsrollup","ns":"abcnews","pageName":"abcn:blotter:story","pageType":"story","pageUrl":"abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=7880619&page=1&userab=shop_ui_series-247*variant_d_cta-pink-942","globalSpecVersion":"v1.08","siteDifferentiator":"abcn:site","tagID":"apage_news01","userABCookie":"shop_ui_series-247*variant_d_cta-pink-942","alertTag":"none","authors":"ABC News","authorsBureau":"none","authorsUnit":"none","dateline":"June 19, 2009—","id":"7880619","modDate":"2009-06-19","mediaOnPage":"image","modTime":"12:41","provider":"ABC News","pubDate":"2009-06-18","pubTime":"10:36","section":"Blotter","subBrand":"none","title":"Lawmakers Outraged by AIG's Treatment of Its Injured Workers","videoId":"none","videoName":"none","wordCount":307},"taboola":{"config":{"network":"abcnews-abcnews","mode":"thumbnails-a","type":"other","targetType":"mix","placement":null,"pageTypeOverrides":{"story":{"mode":"thumbnails-a","type":"article","targetType":"mix","placement":"Below Article Thumbnails"},"home":{"mode":"thumbnails-b","container":"taboola-homepage-thumbnails","type":"home","targetType":"mix","placement":"Homepage Thumbnails"},"section":{"mode":"thumbnails-b","type":"category","targetType":"mix","placement":"Section Front Thumbnails"},"liveBlog":{"mode":"thumbnails-d","type":"other","targetType":"mix","placement":"Blog"}}}}},"request":{"headers":{},"httpVersion":"1.1","method":"GET","url":"/Blotter/story?id=7880619&page=1&userab=shop_ui_series-247*variant_d_cta-pink-942","vary":{"host":"abcnews.go.com","cached":true,"path":"/Blotter/story","forwarded-proto":"https","device":"desktop","country":"us","userab":"shop_ui_series-247*variant_d_cta-pink-942","region":"gdpr"}},"viewport":{"width":1260,"height":0},"user":{}};