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Morning Muster: 12/10/2014

 

A search-and-rescue swimmer casts from a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Desert Hawks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, Detachment 1, during a SAR training evolution. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patrick W. Mullen III)

A search-and-rescue swimmer casts from a MH-60S Seahawk helicopter assigned to the “Desert Hawks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26, Detachment 1, during a SAR training evolution. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patrick W. Mullen III)

House passes suicide prevention bill; Colorado construction company quits work on VA hospital; low morale, job insecurity hitting troops; $40 million death-benefit lawsuit settled; House plans investigation into VA contracting irregularities; Rolling Stone mag takes on PTSD and pot; VA lists ways to reduce stress: ‘Learn to relax’

The House passed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention bill Tuesday, leaving a final decision to the Senate in the last weeks of the year, reports Military TimesLeo Shane.

A Colorado construction company has stopped work on a new Department of Veterans Affairs hospital after a court ruled VA was in breach of a contract with the company, reports the Denver Business Journal‘s Cathy Proctor. VA failed to provide a design to the contractor for the agreed-upon price, and “paid no heed” to expenses that would make the project more than the agreed-upon price. About 1,400 are employed for the project.

Marine Corps TimesHope Hodge Seck has a long-form series delving into how the country is failing veterans and service members. Vets say they doubt their leaders and their job security, which could lead to problems with national security.

A $40 million lawsuit between Prudential Insurance and the families of 67,000 fallen service members has been settled, reports The Republican‘s  Stephanie Barry. Plaintiffs said Prudential held back cash payments and paid “woefully low” interest rates. Prudential will pay $125 per plaintiff, donate $20 million to veterans organizations and pay $9.7 million in attorneys’ fees.

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee plans to investigate VA contracting irregularities next year, Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., said, reports The Washington Times‘ Jim McElhattan. Coffman said whistleblowers would likely push the investigation forward.

Rolling Stone‘s Thor Benson writes a quick take on veterans’ fight for medical marijuana to fight PTSD. He focuses on the plethora of medications available to veterans now—from opioids to Zoloft—as well as a $2 million grant recently awarded by a Colorado group to an Arizona researcher to study pot and PTSD. While some states allow the use of medical marijuana, the federal government—and the Department of Veterans Affairs—do not.

VA has issued a list of ways veterans can address stress during the holidays, advising that people “get physical” or “learn to relax.” If that fails, “Enjoy yourself.” Now, back to the backlog.

Bergmann & Moore, LLC, is a national law firm dedicated to serving the needs of veterans in compensation claims before and against the Department of Veterans Affairs. The firm’s partners are former VA attorneys who are very familiar with the VA system. Bergmann & Moore handles all kinds of cases, but has a concentration in claims involving PTSD, military sexual trauma and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at kkennedy@vetlawyers.com.

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