Truczinskas v. Dir., Office of Workers' Comp. Programs, No. 11-2503 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Petitioner's husband was employed by GD Arabia, Ltd. as a military trainer in Saudi Arabia. After he was found dead by asphyxiation by hanging, Petitioner filed a claim for death benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA). Pursuant to agency policy and as authorized by statute, the matter was transferred to the district director's office in Boston and adjudicated there. An ALJ denied Petitioner's claim, and the Department of Labor's Benefits Review Board affirmed. Petitioner sought direct review in the First Circuit Court of Appeals, raising an issue of jurisdiction on which the circuit courts were divided. The First Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that the Review Board acted reasonably in upholding the ALJ's denial of compensation, as the record supported the inference of suicide and none of Petitioner's suggested hypotheses might entail coverage under the DBA.