Showing posts with label lawsuit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lawsuit. Show all posts

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Not doing what was needed cost company $450,000

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 16, 2022

The headline on WLKY News "Kentucky man sues employer for throwing him birthday party, and now they owe him $450K" was a bad choice. Given the fact that an employee told his supervisor he needed her to skip honoring his birthday, she decided to do it anyway. Why? Why would someone want to do something for someone that was clearly going to hurt them? Was she so oblivious to the fact that even telling her he had a problem with it was not enough to get her to change her mind?

The employee found out about the party and was so stressed out about it that he went to his car instead of going to the lunchroom. He ended up being fired!
 
A Kentucky man took his employer to court after they threw him a birthday party he didn't want, and the jurors sided with him.

Now, his employer owes him $450,000.

The verdict was handed down this week in Kenton County Circuit Court in Northern Kentucky. The plaintiff, an employee of Gravity Diagnostics, sued his employer after he was fired following a birthday party they threw for him in August.
The employee asked the office manager days before his birthday in August to not arrange a birthday celebration as they did for other employees.

Then on Aug. 7, the employee's birthday, the office arranged for a lunchtime birthday party in the lunchroom, according to the lawsuit. The employee said that he found out about the party as he was headed to his lunch break, which triggered a panic attack.
read more here


This goes to show that not doing what was needed was not intended to be a good thing to the recipient. How many times have you told someone what you needed help with, but they ignored what you needed and did only what they wanted to do "for you" that you didn't want or need in the first place?

It happens all the time. It means they are doing it to make themselves feel good about themselves and not making your life any easier.

When you have a mental illness, you know what your triggers are and you do all you can to avoid them. You know what they will cause you to go through. This employee was caused to suffer for this "gift" given to him he didn't want. He must have had to explain it to his coworkers, causing even more emotional pain, and then had to face more with his supervisor, topped off with higher-ups who then fired him.

All the avoidable distress caused should be a lesson to everyone out there, especially in the workplace. How many of us have been in a forced situation like that? You tell family you don't want parties but they do it anyone because they think you deserve to have some fun. You tell them you don't want to go to a party or movie or in large crowds, and then they get angry because you won't go with them. 

You need to be left out of it without being punished for it. It is a no-win situation for you. Most of us cringe when it comes to the approaching event someone is talking about because we know it will cause us pain to go and more pain if we don't because the people who are supposed to know us don't understand us.

If you are going through something like this and need to let people know how much harm they are doing by doing what they want instead of what you need, show them this article so they will understand how much pain they can inflict instead of making you feel the way they want you to feel.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Stolen Valor: Phony Marine hit by $1.7 million judgment

Veteran Duped by Phony Marine Awarded $1.7 Million in Stolen Valor Case


Military.com
By Patricia Kime
14 May 2020

"The District Court was provided with proof that Mr. Shannon had fabricated many of the newly produced 'Top Secret' redacted documents in his 'VA file' ... and was presented with proof that Mr. Shannon had forged what he claimed was his DD214," an appellee brief to the Montana Supreme Court states.

A man holds an Eagle, Globe and Anchor pin in his hand.
(Photo: U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Timothy Lenzo)

Montana's highest court has upheld a judgment against a Lynchburg, Virginia, man who solicited at least one investor in his business dealings by claiming to have been a U.S. Marine.

The Montana Supreme Court last month upheld a lower court's decision ordering Laron Shannon, formerly of Kalispell, Montana, to pay $1.7 million in damages to Donald Kaltschmidt, of Whitefish. Kaltschmidt, according to the court, gave Shannon $250,000 to invest in a company Shannon said would hire veterans to clean oil rigs in eastern Montana and North Dakota.

But Shannon, who often wore Marine apparel such as caps and knit shirts with the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and portrayed himself as a former Marine officer, never served on active duty as a commissioned Marine, according to court documents. When asked early during the court proceedings to produce a DD-214 record of service document, he did not immediately produce it.

read it here

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Veterans forced to sue because military has failed to meet deadlines on disability claims

Veteran Group Sues Military Leaders, Claiming Yearslong Delays on Benefits Decisions


Military.com
By Richard Sisk
14 Jan 2020
Stichman said the class-action suit represents a mix of veterans either requesting upgrades of discharges to entitle them to benefits or requests from honorably discharged veterans for corrections to their records.
A group of veterans watches the Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, November 11, 2016. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Cody W. Torkelson)
The military has failed to meet deadlines set by Congress for rulings on veterans' requests to correct records blocking them from receiving benefits, according to a federal class-action lawsuit filed last month.

The suit brought by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) charges that delays in processing the requests by the Boards for Correction of Military Records of the service branches amount to a denial of the due process rights of thousands of veterans.

In an interview and in statements, Bart Stichman, executive director of NVLSP, said that rulings on "lifetime benefits" for disability and retirement are at stake in the lawsuit, which names Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett and acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly as defendants.

"Veterans who seek a correction of an erroneous less-than-honorable discharge or a wrongful denial of disability retirement benefits are paying a high price for the ongoing delays at the Correction Boards," he said.
read it here

To avoid hiring someone with PTSD because of the jobs they took to save lives, is reprehensible, as well as stupid.

UPDATE

Civilian woman with PTSD hired then fired because of PTSD


City of Fargo approves settlement agreement in discrimination suit filed by former firefighter


KFGO News
by Don Haney
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
He claimed in his federal lawsuit, his disability, post-traumatic stress disorder, was revealed during one of his appeals to the city and he was unable to find a permanent job after that information was made public.
Scott Kelsh Photo: KFGO News
FARGO, N.D. (KFGO) - A settlement agreement has been approved on a unanimous vote by the Fargo City Commission, awarding a former Fargo firefighter and state lawmaker $63,000 in a discrimination lawsuit.
read it here

Why are employers still avoiding the elephant in the room?

Facts seem to be missing in the decision to hire people known to have PTSD. In the case of Scott Kelsh, his PTSD was known, although not by his own decision. Yet, with over 7 million Americans with PTSD, companies do not know if the person they are interviewing...or already working for them, have PTSD or not.

To avoid hiring someone with PTSD is impossible. To avoid hiring someone with PTSD because of the jobs they took to save lives, is reprehensible, as well as stupid.

Imagine having someone who proved they know what hard work is. Imagine them being so mission focused they understood the ramifications of being distracted. Imagine turning someone like that away, to hire someone you assume is fine and then discover they have PTSD too.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Why is the Pentagon hiding number of other than honorable discharges?

Lawsuit: Pentagon Withholding Info From Veterans' Advocates


By The Associated Press
Jan. 3, 2020
Dana Montalto, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School's Veterans Legal Clinic"...there are thousands of decisions going back at least 15 years. She said the lack of information hampers veterans' efforts to change their discharge statuses and to get more help." 

NORFOLK, Va. — A veterans group said the Pentagon has stopped releasing information that helps former service members to contest less-than-honorable discharges from the military.

The Defense Department has been breaking the law since April, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Virginia by the National Veterans Legal Services Program.

The group says it lacks access to decisions made by military review boards. The boards grant or deny a veteran's request to upgrade a less-than-honorable discharge. Veterans’ lawyers study those decisions in hopes of building successful arguments for their clients.

The lawsuit comes at a time of growing recognition that a less-than-honorable discharge can stem from behaviors brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries. Liberal consideration is supposed to be given to veterans with combat-related mental health conditions and to those who were sexually assaulted while in the military.
read it here



More on this subject is a great report on Military.com 'Bad Paper' Discharges Would Get Final Pentagon Review in Defense Bill

Who gets to decide if the service member can fight the discharge?
The bill states that the secretary of defense, upon receiving a petition from an individual whose upgrade request has been rejected, could order the service branch secretaries to grant the upgrade "if the Secretary of Defense determines that such recommendation is appropriate after review."
Notice the "could" instead of "must" or anything else that requires a review?

The report goes on to explain how many service members are being kicked out.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 500,000 veterans currently have less-than-honorable discharges, and most of them cannot access VA medical care because of their discharge status.
And this part shows how many were kicked out instead of being helped to heal PTSD and TBI.

In a 2017 report, the Government Accountability Office said that 62% of the roughly 92,000 personnel separated for misconduct between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2015 had been diagnosed with PTSD or TBI.

And all of that is because what happened to Vietnam veterans was repeated instead of corrected by the "grateful nation" all of them risked their lives to serve.

Vietnam-era soldiers eligible for discharge upgrades which came out in 2014. You'd think it would have been fixed by now...but then again, you'd have to think the someone was being held accountable.
PTSD was not recognized as a potential behavior altering medical condition until 1980, which means that disability claims and discharge upgrades based on claims of the condition routinely were denied by government agencies, to include the Army review boards.

Hagel's September instruction to the services followed by several months a federal court class action suit filed by a group veterans and the Vietnam Veterans of America that claims the military systematically denied discharge upgrade applications based on claims of PTSD.

The suit estimated that about one-third of the 250,000 other-than-honorable discharges issued to Vietnam era veterans may have been PTSD-related.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sailor wins lawsuit after baby boy left brain damaged

US government settles allegations Navy doctor mishandled child birth for $11.5 million


THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT
Scott Daugherty
SEP 14, 2019

A sailor gave birth five years ago to a baby boy at a Navy hospital. Things went wrong and the child suffered severe and permanent brain damage.
The Walter E. Hoffman United States Courthouse. (Thé Pham)

If the delivery happened in Virginia, any possible malpractice award would be capped at $2.15 million.

But Petty Officer 1st Class Deardre Bebeau gave birth in Guam, where local law doesn’t cap malpractice claims. The difference meant millions of dollars for her family.

The federal government agreed Friday to pay $11.5 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Bebeau and her husband, Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel Bebeau Sr., both of Virginia Beach.
read it here

Friday, August 23, 2019

Soldier's baby boy burned during operation at Madigan Army Medical Center

$12M payout may be appealed after botched surgery and burning of soldier’s child at Army hospital


Army Times
By: Kyle Rempfer
August 22, 2019


“They don’t face any penalties for filing a frivolous appeal and having months pass where this child can’t get the money for the very specialized care he needs,” Zanowski said.
The boy was undergoing surgery to remove a benign cyst when the medical team's lack of communication led to the use of an electrocautery device in conjunction with high oxygen levels, igniting a fire, court documents show. (Evergreen Personal Injury Counseling)
The federal government may appeal a $12.3 million verdict they were ordered to pay to the family of a young boy whose face was severely burned four years ago in a botched surgery at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

The government filed a “protective notice of appeal” in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, taking issue with the large payout.

The appeal means that the money expected to be awarded to the family for medical costs will be withheld for the time being, said Gemma Zanowski, an attorney at Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel who represents the family of the child.

The boy, identified in court documents as BJP, is the son of an active-duty soldier. In 2015, the boy spent 22 days in an intensive care and burn unit after the botched surgery ignited a fireball that left second- and third-degree burns across his face and neck, according to court records.

BJP must still undergo treatment for the burns, including a reconstructive procedure that would insert a balloon under the skin in order to stretch it slowly over a period of months.
read it here
#endferesdoctrine

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Blue Water Veterans Filed Lawsuit Against VA Comp Delay

Lawsuit filed against VA secretary over delaying benefits for Blue Water Navy vets


STARS AND STRIPES
By NIKKI WENTLING
Published: July 22, 2019
“These veterans are dying at a high rate every single day,” the complaint reads. “[They] deserve the peace of mind and sense of closure that accompanies a granted claim for earned benefits.”
Veteran Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie testifies during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 26, 2019. CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES
WASHINGTON — A lawsuit was filed Monday against Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie over his decision to delay claims processing for tens of thousands of “Blue Water” Navy veterans until next year.

Military Veterans Advocacy and the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association filed the lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, arguing Wilkie doesn’t have the authority to delay work on the claims until Jan. 1, 2020 — a decision he announced earlier this month.

Blue Water Navy veterans served aboard aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships in the territorial seas of Vietnam and fought for years to prove they were exposed to the chemical herbicide Agent Orange. Because of a federal court case and a new law passed by Congress, they became eligible in June for VA disability compensation.

Advocates stressed in their complaint that the veterans can’t afford to wait for benefits. The lawsuits names one veteran, Johnnie Harper of Louisiana, who “is not expected to survive” until 2020.
read it here

Friday, June 21, 2019

Veteran behind Blue Water case sees its resolution after 13 years


A bittersweet victory: Veteran behind Blue Water case sees its resolution after 13 years


STARS AND STRIPES
By NIKKI WENTLING
Published: June 20, 2019
The name “Procopio” now represents a major victory for tens of thousands of Vietnam War veterans thanks to the case, Procopio v. Wilkie.

WASHINGTON – Alfred Procopio Jr. said he learned perseverance from his parents, who “never took no for an answer.”

“He was very tenacious,” Procopio said of his father. “He didn’t give up. My mother, she was a fighter, too. I was raised that way — to stand up for what you believe.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., signs the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, during a ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. At right looking on are Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, and the committee's Ranking Member Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn.CARLOS BONGIOANNI/STARS AND STRIPES

It’s that spirit that kept Procopio pursuing his case, through years of rejection, to prove to the federal government that his chronic illnesses were caused by exposure to Agent Orange during his service in the Vietnam War. Procopio, a so-called Blue Water Navy veteran, worked aboard the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier that went into the territorial seas off the coast of Vietnam.

Blue Water veterans — who served on open sea ships off the shore of Vietnam but did not step foot on land — have been blocked for decades from the same Department of Veterans Affairs benefits afforded those who served in Vietnam or its inland waterways. The government argued there wasn’t enough evidence that poisonous herbicides contaminated the water used on their ships.

That changed in January, when Procopio won his case.

The Department of Justice decided in May to not challenge the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Blue Water veterans. Congress approved legislation last week clarifying that those veterans are eligible for VA disability benefits. Lawmakers sent the bill to the White House on Tuesday, where it’s awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature.

The name “Procopio” now represents a major victory for tens of thousands of Vietnam War veterans thanks to the case, Procopio v. Wilkie.

The man himself is happy about the court decision but unsure whether he’ll be around long enough to witness much of its payoff. He was 61 when this process began. Next month, he’ll be 74.

“They appealed it so many times, I thought, ‘How long are they going to deny it? Until we’re all gone?’” Procopio said. “There were a lot of guys who I served with who were older than me, and I know they’re not around.”
read more here

Friday, May 31, 2019

New Jersey Police Officer, harassed by Chief for military service gets $1.8 million dollar justice award

Jury awards Navy reservist, ex-cop $1.8M in discrimination suit


Associated Press
May 31,2019

FREEHOLD, N.J. — A jury has awarded $1.8 million to a former New Jersey police officer who claimed he was discriminated against because of his military service.

Kenneth Hagel filed suit in 2014, claiming Sea Girt Police Chief Kevin Davenport falsely believed he was gay and stymied his promotion to sergeant because he periodically was absent from his job for training and deployment with the U.S. Navy Reserves.

Jurors in Monmouth County found the chief had engaged in anti-military and false sexual orientation discrimination. The panel awarded the 50-year-old $262,800 in compensatory damages for lost salary and benefits, $500,000 in emotional distress damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

The chief told NJ.com he could not comment.

The town’s administrator also declined comment on the verdict.
read more here


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Supreme Court denies justice, lets military malpractice stand....

Supreme Court rejects bid to overturn prohibition on military malpractice cases

Military Times By: Leo Shane III May 20, 2019
Thomas wrote that by refusing to re-examine the issue, the Supreme Court has allowed the Feres doctrine to be twisted and strengthened over the years. He also lamented that Congress could find ways to address the issue “but it did not.”
The Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. is shown in January 2019. On Monday, the court opted not to hear a case which challenged the legal precedent barring individuals from suing the military for medical malpractice. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP
The Supreme Court again on Monday opted not to hear a challenge to the legal precedent barring individuals from suing the military for medical malpractice, a decision blasted by Justice Clarence Thomas as short-sighted and unfair.

“Unfortunate repercussions — denial of relief to military personnel and distortions of other areas of law to compensate — will continue to ripple through our jurisprudence as long as the Court refuses to reconsider (this issue),” Thomas wrote in his dissent to the court’s decision not to take up the challenge.

The move once again shifts from the courts to Congress debate on how to fix problems surrounding the Feres Doctrine, a 1950 Supreme Court decision that blocks troops from claiming medical malpractice damages for actions related to their military service. At the time, the court found that military personnel injured by the negligence of another federal employee cannot sue under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
read more here

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Scam charity called Marines and Mickey "founder" guilty!

Marine veteran running scam charity targeting Marine families pleads guilty to wire fraud

Marine Corps Times
By: Shawn Snow  
April 2, 2019
From 2014–2016, Simpson raised nearly $481,000, but court documents said he pocketed $391,000 for his own “personal use and enrichment.”

Disney's Mickey and Minnie share a moment with a Marine's child during the Horton Plaza holiday celebration in San Diego, Nov. 30, 2010. A Marine veteran running a scam charity called Marines and Mickey pleaded guilty to wire fraud, according to the United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina.

Disney's Mickey and Minnie share a moment with a Marine's child during the Horton Plaza holiday celebration in San Diego, Nov. 30, 2010.
John Shannon Simpson faces 20 years in prison or and/or a fine of $250,000, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Sherri A. Lydon, District of South Carolina.

Feds say the 43 year-old founder of the charity bilked people into donating money to help send Marines and families to Disney resorts and to cover the cost of attending boot camp graduation.

Victims of the scam included active-duty Marines, and Cathy Wells, whose son, Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, was killed in the 2015 attack on the military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer.

According to court documents, Wells gave nearly $135,000 dollars to the charity, some from her son’s death benefits.

read more here

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Disabled veteran roughed up for parking in disabled parking spot?

A disabled veteran was roughed up by Park Ranger for parking in a disabled spot? Seriously? Yes, because she wanted to save that space for a coworker! He sued and won!


Disabled veteran was arrested at Sequoia National Park. He sued the U.S. government and won


Sacramento Bee
Robert Rodriguez
April 1, 2019
Esquibel parked in a nearby handicap space so he could use the restroom while the line of traffic went down. He placed his handicap placard on his rear-view mirror and began walking from his vehicle when the park employee at the entrance booth yelled at him: “You can’t park there.”

A disabled U.S. Marines veteran has received a $250,000 settlement from the U.S. government after a national park park ranger allegedly used excessive force to arrest him over the use of a handicapped parking space.

Dominic Esquibel of San Diego sued the Department of Interior and the National Park Service, among others, for assault, false arrest and false imprisonment over the 2012 incident at Sequoia National Park east of Fresno, California. The civil rights case was scheduled to go to trial last week in U.S. District Court but was recently settled.

Esquibel, who received the Navy Cross for heroism during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was satisfied with the settlement, said his Fresno attorney, Nicholas “Butch” Wagner.

“He feels vindicated,” Wagner said. “And he is glad this is over.”
Court records show that the park employee later admitted to trying to stop Esquibel because she wanted to save the parking space for a co-worker who was coming to replace her at the end of her shift. read more here

Saturday, March 23, 2019

John B. McLemore committed suicide. The producers behind "This American Life"

Alabama Judge Refuses to Dismiss Publicity Rights Lawsuit Over 'S-Town'


Hollywood Reporter
by Eriq Gardner
MARCH 22, 2019
After the series came out, the administrator of McLemore's estate filed suit alleging violation of Alabama's right of publicity, which makes it unlawful to use the identity of a person in products, goods, merchandise, or services without consent. The lawsuit demanded that Serial Productions disgorge profits, pay compensatory damages, and be enjoined from using his likeness in the future including a ban on selling movie rights.


John B. McLemore committed suicide. The producers behind "This American Life" and "Serial" spotlighted his life and got into his sexuality and mental health issues. The judge declines to let the First Amendment stop a lawsuit from McLemore's heirs from moving forward. Serial Productions, This American Life Public Benefit Corporation, and journalist Brian Reed must face a lawsuit for allegedly violating a dead man's likeness in S-Town, the controversial but acclaimed podcast that has been downloaded more than 80 million times. An Alabama judge's rejection of a dismissal motion on Friday is almost certain to prompt concern among media lawyers.

S-Town became one of the most popular podcasts ever produced after an Alabama man named John B. McLemore emailed the staff of This American Life and told them about a suspected murder in his hometown. Reed exchanged communications with McLemore and then traveled to Alabama to investigate the murder. Reed turned up nothing about the murder, and he subsequently had a falling out with McLemore. Then, shockingly, McLemore committed suicide.
read more here

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Ret. Marine Captain sues 3M for faulty ear plugs

Retired US Marine captain sues 3M; says deafness caused by faulty combat ear plugs


The Inquirer
Sam Wood
February 15, 2019

A retired U.S. Marine from South Jersey filed a federal suit in Philadelphia on Thursday, claiming that defective earplugs manufactured by 3M were the direct cause of his deafness.
Capt. Matthew Morrison (retired), 35, served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia between 2007 and 2013. During his deployments, Morrison was exposed to to extensive live-fire training of heavy machine guns, rockets, small arms, explosives and other munitions.

As directed by protocols, Morrison — like hundreds of thousands of other Marines — wore standard issue 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms earplugs, according to court papers.

The suit alleges fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence. It claims 3M knew the earplugs were faulty.


3M declined to comment on “specific litigation matters at this time.”

read more here

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Man swindled disabled veterans had to pay a buck?

Man who reportedly swindled veterans out of retirement and disability pay for 7 years fined $1


Military Times
J.D. Simkins
January 30, 2019

Bilk veterans out of disability and retirement pay for seven years? Your settlement, sir, is a McChicken sandwich.

A man accused of issuing cash-advance loans with excessively high-interest rates to veterans while disguising the transactions as interest-free sales was ordered to pay a settlement after it was determined he “caused substantial injury” by swindling veterans out of their disability and retirement pay.

Serving as a financial agent for several lending companies from 2011 to 2018, Mark Corbett would reportedly offer to send lump sum payments to veterans — some payments were in the tens of thousands of dollars — in exchange for receiving all or part of the veteran’s monthly pension or disability payments for a period of five to 10 years, according to a Jan. 23 consent order.

And what did the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deem to be a necessary settlement for these fraudulent transactions? One dollar, which he was comically ordered to pay within 10 days via wire transfer or else suffer the accrual of interest on said dollar.
read more here

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Blue Water Veteran Wins in Court

Court decides 'Blue Water' Navy veterans should be eligible for Agent Orange benefit


Stars and Stripes
Nikki Wentling
January 29, 2019

WASHINGTON — A federal court ruled Tuesday that Vietnam veterans who served on ships offshore during the war are eligible for benefits to treat illnesses linked to exposure to the chemical herbicide Agent Orange – a decision that has the potential to extend help to thousands of veterans.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled 9-2 in favor of Alfred Procopio, Jr., 73, who served on the USS Intrepid during the Vietnam War. Procopio is one of tens of thousands of “Blue Water” Navy veterans who served aboard aircraft carriers, destroyers and other ships and were deemed ineligible for the same disability benefits as those veterans who served on the ground and inland waterways.

The decision comes one decade after the Department of Veterans Affairs denied Procopio’s disability claims for diabetes and prostate cancer. The court’s ruling reverses a previous decision from the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, which upheld the denial because Procopio couldn’t show direct exposure to Agent Orange.

“Mr. Procopio is entitled to a presumption of service connection for his prostate cancer and diabetes mellitus,” the decision issued Tuesday states. “Accordingly, we reverse.”

Judge Kimberly A. Moore, who wrote on behalf of the majority, added: “We find no merit in the government’s arguments to the contrary.”
read more here

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Iraq veteran wants the court to hear him now

Combat veteran files lawsuit for loss of hearing due to defective military ear plugs


KHOU 11 News
Author: Josh Marshall
January 22, 2019

The lawsuit, filed in the Western District of Texas, Waco Division says 3M received the exclusive contract to supply earplugs to the military between 2003 and 2012. The lawsuit alleges that 3M also failed to warn users of the defects and didn’t provide proper instructions for their use.

In 2018, the company agreed to pay $9.1 million to the U.S. Government after the government accused it of manufacturing earplugs that were too short for proper insertion into users’ ears.
HOUSTON — A Texas combat veteran wants damages for what he says a government contractor took from him: his hearing.

Retired Army Sergeant Scott Rowe deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During his deployment, Rowe says he was issued dual-ended Combat Arms™ earplugs by the U.S. military.

read more here

Saturday, January 5, 2019

USAA to pay for auto payment errors

USAA to pay $12M to members after failing to stop unauthorized electronic payments


STARS AND STRIPES
By WILLIAM HOWARD
Published: January 4, 2019

More than 66,000 USAA members affected by the financial services and insurance company’s failure to stop electronic payment transfers may receive a $181.59 check, following a settlement with federal regulators.

USAA, who membership is open exclusively to the military community and eligible family members, agreed to pay $12 million in restitution and a $3.5 million civil fine by mid-January, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Thursday.

USAA violated the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and an associated regulation by failing to properly honor consumers’ stop payment requests on pre-authorized electronic fund transfers, as well as failing to start or complete error resolution investigations, according to a consent order signed by the bureau Wednesday.
read more here

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Navy SEAL sues drug company for all others given Lariam

Navy SEAL Sues Roche over Malaria Drug, Claiming it Left Him Permanently Disabled


Military.com
By Patricia Kime
12 Dec 2018

According to the Sheetses' lawyer, Kevin Boyle, the case is significant because it could "vindicate the fact that many veterans are suffering from a legitimate condition" and "ensure that those who are responsible for these serious injuries are held accountable."
Mosquito close-up. Getty Images 
A former Navy SEAL has filed a lawsuit against the company that makes the anti-malarial drug Lariam, or mefloquine, alleging that the medication left him permanently disabled after taking it while serving in Afghanistan.

Andrew Sheets and his wife, Kristie, of Cazadero, California, allege that pharmaceutical giant Hoffman-LaRoche, known as Roche, was aware that the drug caused serious neurological and psychiatric side effects and failed to warn patients of the dangers.

Sheets, who served in the U.S. Navy from 2000 to 2006, said he immediately experienced "violent and tragic nightmares" the first time he took Lariam, during a deployment in 2003. He later developed psoriasis, extreme paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

"In February 2017, Mr. Sheets was finally described as permanently disabled by his treating physician because of his debilitating, Lariam-related mental disorders," court documents state.

For more than two decades, Lariam, also known by the generic name mefloquine, was distributed to troops to prevent malaria in endemic countries. At the peak of military use in 2003, nearly 50,000 prescriptions for mefloquine were written by military doctors.
read more here