Board Uses Inadequate VA Examination to Deny Veteran Service Connection for Spine Disability

Board Uses Inadequate VA Examination to Deny Veteran Service Connection for Spine Disability

Board Decision States that Evidence Did Not Show that Veteran’s Cervical Spine and Thoracic Spine Disability were Secondary to or Aggravated by his Service-Connected Lumbar Spine Disability

CCK successfully appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims a Board decision that denied service connection for a cervical spine and thoracic spine disability. The Board concluded that the evidence did not show that either of those disabilities were secondary to or aggravated by the Veteran’s service-connected lumbar spine disability. In coming to that conclusion, the Board relied on an October 2014 VA opinion.

CCK Successfully Argues that Board Erred in Relying on an Inadequate VA Examination Report to Deny Service Connection

CCK argued, and the Court agreed, that the Board erred when it relied on the October 2014 VA examination report to deny service connection. The Court found that the opinion was inadequate as it did not adequately address whether the Veteran’s cervical and thoracic spine disabilities were aggravated by his service-connected lumbar disability. The examiner provided no rationale for his conclusion otherwise. The Court vacated the Board’s decision and remanded the case board to the Board for it to obtain a new, adequate VA examination report that properly addressed aggravation.

To read the Court’s decision, click here.

Category: Court Wins