You read about the VA hamster wheel. Perhaps you’ve taken a few rides yourself in the claims game. BVA remands, as I’ve pointed out in the past, are time alligators. My pet advocacy game with these jetgun claims is simple. You will never get a win from a jetgun risk alone at the RO level. Ever. Trust me. I’ve been pounding that nail since 2007. I don’t care if you have that buddy letter from your Squad leader Sgt. Jesu F. Christe saying it’s so. Not even the Surgeon General is going to convince a DRO-ever. They do not have the authority to grant at the AOJ.
This is why you always ask for a traditional appeal and keep that new nexus IMO in your breast pocket until you get to the BVA. Plunk it down like you’re raising the bet, drop your pair of aces and call. This VLJ isn’t stupid. He can see the law as clearly as any and VLJ Anthony C. Sciré Jr. here is a relative FNG in this game. I call it the newer, smarter breed of Judges I’ve seen coming out of the woodwork and granting these intractable claims. If you were betting jetguns alone, it would be a crapshoot unless you got a fair VLJ. Jetguns and tattoos documented in the SF 88 at separation in #39 is a guaranteed winner. It always has been along with about a case or more of the clap. To set the record straight, dark urine is not jaundice. Jaundice is the yellow bilirubin buildup in your eyes and skin when your liver is hors d’ combat. Dark urine, however, is a strong indicator of an acute assault to the liver-like Hep C when initially contracted. Repeated dark urine for more than a week is pretty good evidence of at least Hep A.
I got both B and C at the same time in one transfusion and boy howdy did I turn high yellow. It went on for six weeks and kicked my ass for another two months afterwards. I don’t think I ever recovered fully.
Johnny Vet beat around the bush here and tried to win this with news clippings and internet articles. Fortunately, he kept it alive to the CAVC several times until he figured out how to play VA poker. Most will recall I wrote a complete chapter’s worth on the subject here as well as in my book on how the squeaky wheel eventually gets the grease if you can keep it airborne. Fortunately for Johnny Vet here, he hooked up with Kathy Lieberman. She’s red hot on claims in general. I guess we could run a BVA search for how many Hep C claims she’s won. I don’t see the need. Her name precedes her. Look at those cites to Jones v. Shinseki 23 Vet.App. 382, 394 (2010):
In that regard, as noted by Judge Lance in his concurring opinion in Jones v. Shinseki, “if the medical evidence in the record indicates that a disability has only two potential causes and at least one is related to service, then the inability of the medical examiner to provide a reason why one is more likely the cause of the claimant’s disability would place the evidence in equipoise, and the benefit of the doubt rule would apply.”
That cite is worth its weight in gold. Memorize it.