Here’s a dandy just in time for All Hallows’ Eve. Our Johnny Newark had bad luck at the roulette tables in July. He rolled the dice back in 2001 for HCV and got it for 40%. SMOKIN’! He obviously thought that was skinny so he filed his NOD. Incensed at his obstreperous behaviour, they opted to take his rating away entirely-and indeed did so in January 2006. Nonplussed, he went up to the Court and got it back in March 2008. So you can see there’s been a little head-butting already. Johnny–1, vA–0. vA just scored 2 and Johnny’s now behind. Since his rep. forgot to include it, vA isn’t even looking at TDIU either. That’s 3
Meanwhile, the prednisone and Imuran were kicking his kidneys hard. Next thing you know he says he has DM2 from the pills. The medrecs say something entirely different according to the BVA. They reflect that maybe he was, no, most definitely, coming down with it and positively had it 3 years before the filing. Okay? So what? When filing, you have to look at all theories of how the airplane crashed. Anyone with an ounce of knowledge in gastropathy is aware DM2 and HCV are frequent dance partners. Throw in any Interferon and I guarantee it with about a 55% probability.
Johnboy isn’t a doctor and neither is the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. To their credit, they did chase this HCV claim reversal thing up to the Court and get a reversal of their own, so something eeeeeevil was afoot as usual. You don’t get many reversals at the Court. Remands are a dime a dozen but true reversals are rare. That implies the BVA and the RO were legally challenged and couldn’t bob for the apple without cheating.
This decision is a further example of playing tennis with the remand a few times and dragging the whole thing out like a childhood game of keep away. In the end, the animosity is so great, that the BVA decision on the DM2 purposefully goes off into a discussion not of secondary origin, but a minute inspection from 1972 forward on a direct basis. No consideration of anything of or having to do with correlation between HCV and DM2 but only in the limited context of prednisone equals DM2. I think he has a shot at the DM2 on appeal as an unintended consequence of the pills.
So who’s fault is this? Looks like a traditional railroad job at first glance but who opened the gate and let the vA off the reservation? The boys down at the NJM&VA were repping him so someone there wrote it up. Unless they were word- challenged, this should have been straightforward Of course, the vA should have been stand up guys and entertained all theories, too. That’s a faery tale so don’t waste your time chasing down that Hoodoo Lane.
No, the evidence seems to point back to the original grant of HCV during a transplant. They wanted this in the DC 7312 cirrhosis file and they don’t want to admit error. With 7312, they can get away with down rating him to 30% from his 40%. Ideally, he’d just die and solve the problem, too. When they reversed at the Court, this became a tennis ball. The RO has now been dissed. Anything they do in the future will be purposefully defective out of spite and require a redo. Witness a remand for two years (expeditiously handled ?) to get to an up to date medical examination for this present denial of everything sought. Eleven years of Trick or Treat, Johnny. Thank you for your Service, Johnny. Here, Johnny. Have some more prednisone and Azathioprine on us, Johnny. Free.
The sad fact is Mr. Newark has a long road ahead on rough terrain. Getting rid of his headless horseman (the NJM&VA) and finding good legal help will be his next challenge. We wish him all the best for his next endeavour in the Hall of Mirrors.