Court Rules Veteran May Be Entitled to Presumptive Services Connection Due to Herbicide Exposure
CCK successfully appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims a Board Decision that denied the Veteran service connection for diabetes mellitus and ischemic heart disease, as a result of herbicide exposure. The Veteran claimed that he performed service in Vietnam’s inland waterways and went ashore in Vietnam while serving aboard a Navy vessel stationed offshore. In its decision, the Board stated that the Veteran’s claims could not be substantiated without objective evidence that he served in inland waterways or went ashore in Vietnam.
CCK argued, and the Court agreed, that the Board erred by requiring objective evidence that the Veteran went ashore without addressing the credibility of his assertions. The Court held that if the Veteran’s lay assertions were found credible, he would then be entitled to service connection on a presumptive basis due to herbicide exposure. The Court vacated the Board’s decision and remanded the case back to the Board for readjudication consistent with the Court’s decision.
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