The BVA has just released their second batch of decisions for 2014. There are very interesting reads in the Hepatitis C decisions. Please review them if you have pending claims as they will give you great insight into the latest denial tactics. One thing that disturbs me is that they reflect a large number of VSOs are still unacquainted with the Caluza vs. Brown decision of 1994. That was the seminal decision that finally clued us all in on the need for a nexus letter. Many decisions you will read are devoid of this crucial document needed to win your case.
Additionally, I see a Vet has won SC for Dupuytren’s contracture. This is the first case I’ve seen so it is a valuable tool for us.
I hear many Vets and attorneys alike opine that BVA decisions are not precedential or binding. VA often states as much. The truth is that if you submit it, it becomes evidence and has to be considered in a general context. VA is not free to ignore their own laws. You can insert these and VA is required to “take notice” of them judicially and give them a once-over. It’s one more tool in the box to utilize so keep that in mind. It may pay out dividends at the CAVC if you end up there.