August 16, 2018, Law360, Daniel Wilson
The full Federal Circuit on Thursday agreed to consider whether the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has wrongly excluded “blue water” Navy veterans from benefits related to exposure to the notorious defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, roughly a decade after a court panel had backed the agency’s stance. The court’s active judges — barring Judge Todd M. Hughes, who did not participate in the decision — agreed in a precedential order to consider en banc Navy veteran Alfred Procopio Jr.’s challenge to the VA’s policy toward blue water Navy veterans who served offshore during the Vietnam War. The [VA] policy denies [Veterans] any presumption of a service connection for medical conditions tied to Agent Orange.
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