When a vet has to go the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to fight for his appeal, a win almost always results in a remand. A remand occurs when the Court tells the VA it made a mistake and that it has to reconsider it reasoning and issue a new decision. What a remand doesn’t do, however, is result in an outright win.
It takes a REVERSAL to do that.
Army vet James Bell reached out to Brown & Curry after the Board of Veterans’ Appeals had denied his claim for Hepatitis C. He had argued that the air gun injections he had received when the Army inoculated him was the likely source. But the VA’s compensation and pensioner examiner stated that she could not offer an opinion without resort to speculation. Despite a favorable letter from his own doctor, the BVA denied Mr. Bell.
In the Court of Appeals, Brown & Curry argued that the only valid evidence on the matter was the favorable opinion of Mr. Bell’s private doctor. The VA examiner’s opinion, which was that it could not offer an opinion, was not worth anything. Therefore, the Board should have granted Mr. Bell’s claim.
The Court of Appeals agreed and issued a rare reversal of the Board’s decision, and actually granted him service connection.
We are very proud of Mr. Bell and happy he achieved this fine result.
You can read the case here.