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Morning Muster: 1/21/2015: SC ruling could help burn pit benefits; B&M analyzes DoD health reports; Gulf War gene increases illness risk

U.S. Marine Cpl. Kaden Prickett, machine gunner and team leader with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, fires a .50 caliber Special Applications Scoped Rifle at a target 1,200 meters away, in the Central Command area of operations, Jan. 6. Marines and sailors of Golf Company spent time on the range getting acquainted with various weapons systems and cross-training one another in their respective areas of expertise. (U.S. Marine Corps /Cpl. Carson A. Gramley)

U.S. Marine Cpl. Kaden Prickett, machine gunner and team leader with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, fires a .50 caliber Special Applications Scoped Rifle at a target 1,200 meters away, in the Central Command area of operations, Jan. 6. Marines and sailors of Golf Company spent time on the range getting acquainted with various weapons systems and cross-training one another in their respective areas of expertise. (U.S. Marine Corps /Cpl. Carson A. Gramley)

Supreme Court allows burn-pit suits to move forward; B&M looks at 13 years of DoD health records; VA hopes to decommission nuclear reactor; Gulf War vets may have genetic predisposition toward illness; vets more likely to have arthritis; VA settles with whistleblowers; Joe Mantegna talks vets; Canada offers vapor room for vets; VA officials in hospital snafu get bonuses; benefits’ claims backlog processing slows

The Supreme Court will allow veterans and contractors who believe they were injured by burn-pit smoke or family members whose loved ones were electrocuted in showers to sue the company who operated those facilities for the military, Stars and Stripes’ Heath Druzin reports. Halliburton Co. attorneys argued that, because it was doing the work for the military, it could not be sued. The court offered no reasoning for the decision. Bergmann & Moore is quoted.

Bergmann & Moore analyzed 13 years of Defense Department morbidity reports to show cardiovascular, respiratory and neurological issues are going up. The data set is here. We also talk about the possible benefits for veterans of lawsuits focused on environmental injuries.

VA has applied for a license change in today’s Federal Register to decommission a nuclear reactor it operates in Omaha. The lab was created in the 1950s for “neutron activation of biological samples,” as well as for training Fort Calhoun Station nuclear power reactor operators. Morning Muster bites its tongue.

New research shows that service members with a particular gene were 40 times more likely to have Gulf War illness if they took anti-nerve agent pills (pyridosgtigmine bromide) than if they didn’t, reports Baylor University’s Tonya Lewis. The researcher, Lea Steele, is well-known in the Gulf War community.

A new report from JAMA finds that more veterans than civilians have arthritis, especially among young men and middle-aged women.

Veterans Affairs has settled with more than two dozen whistleblowers reprimanded after reporting bad behavior, reports The Associated Press’s Matthew Daly

TV show Criminal MindsJoe Mantegna tells We are the Mighty’s Blake Stilwell why homeless vets are highlighted in the show, and why they are important to him.

Canada has opened a new vapor room to help veterans cope with their post-traumatic stress, reports CBCNEWS. Marijuana for Trauma says hanging out in the room provides an informal “support group” for vets. Morning Muster knows it’s Canada; we just wanted to say “vapor room” in a blog.

VA officials in charge of four above-budget hospital projects, including the Aurora, Colorado, hospital, received $22 million in bonuses last year, reports Fox31’s Tak Landrock.

IAVA’s Jackie Maffucci reports a significant slowdown in the pace of processing veterans’ benefits claims—not enough to diminish the pile by the end of 2015, as is VA’s goal. This does not include the appeals’ backlog, which continues to grow.

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, Gulf War illness and complex medical issues, such as brain cancer or degenerative issues, veterans exposed to Agent Orange often face. For more information, to submit news or to sign up for an email version of this blog, contact Kelly Kennedy at kkennedy@vetlawyers.com

 

 

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