Notice of Class Certification for Veterans of 1966 Nuclear Clean-Up at Palomares, Spain


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Victor B. Skaar v. Robert L. Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs 

United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, No. 17-2574

If you participated in U.S. military operations at Palomares, Spain, after the January 17, 1966, B-52 crash that released plutonium dust and have a potentially radiation-related disease, you may be part of a class action lawsuit.

1. What is this lawsuit about?
This case is about whether the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has failed to use sound scientific evidence to decide claims for service-connected disability compensation for medical conditions potentially caused by exposure to ionizing radiation at Palomares, Spain.

2.Am I a part of the lawsuit?
You may be a class member if you have a medical condition that may have been caused by exposure to ionizing radiation at Palomares, if you EITHER
(1)filed a VA claim for disability compensation related to Palomares in which VAobtained a radiation dose estimate in 2001 or later, or appealed a denial ofsuch a claim, and have not yet received a decision; OR
(2)have not yet filed a VA compensation claim for your Palomares-related medicalcondition but will do so in the future.

3.Am I required to do anything?
You are not required to respond to this notice. Even if you are a member of the class, you must file a claim to receive compensation. If you file or have filed a claim, you should meet all applicable deadlines for submission of evidence and appeals.

4.What happens next?
The Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims approved this case as a class action on behalf of a group of veterans. Next, the Court will decide if VA acted unlawfully. If the Court decides that it has, VA will not be able to use its current dose estimate methodology to decide your claim for Palomares-related benefits. Any final judgment entered in this case will be binding on all members of the class.

5.If I am a member of the class, do I have a lawyer?
The Court has named Michael J. Wishnie of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School as the lawyer for the class. If you already have a representative before VA, that person is still your representative on your individual claim. If you are in the class, Mr. Wishnie represents you too, for free, but only as to the legal challenge in this lawsuit. You may contact Mr. Wishnie and his team with questions, including to find out whether you are a member of the class, at (203) 432-4800.

Author

VAntage Point

Comments

  1. Dennis Young    

    How about when the AF let us fly though a radiation cloud in the back of C-130 to take air samples of the Chinese bomb in Sep 1976, then let us work on the contaminated plane,, and THEN called us along with about a hundred base personnel who had also worked on the contaminated plane into Anderson base theater, and Briefed us that ”sorry, but the plane was not decontaminated, and you might be contaminated,, but , DON’T WORRY”,, and then stole our records WHICH THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE BROUGHT TO THE TDY IN THE FIRST PLACE… took me 30 years and my congressman to do a Congressional DOD records search, and they were in New Mexico where they track radiation exposure… Still fighting to get That put in my official records. Even got a buddy letter confirming we flew through the cloud.. and he said the cockpit crew where he was, were on oxygen,, but NOT US in the BACK of the plane.. A holes..

  2. Tom Casey    

    Interesting that there may be compensation for this nuclear contamination. My father, who is still alive and pushing 93yrs old, was given the task of patrolling Nagasaki and Hiroshima detonation sites during the occupation of Japan directly after WWII. he had an extremely large melanoma removed from the exterior of his skull at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN over 20 years ago. It was a conglomeration of multiple cancers all intertwined and many cancer specialists requested to see a slice of it as they had never seen anything like that before. When we requested a VA Disability Compensation from the VA they said he did not qualify as he wasn’t part of the Nuclear testing in Nevada. But thank you for your service and enjoying the cancer that we caused.

  3. Lawrence Cuatico    

    How about the Nuclear Clean-up in Enewetak Atoll in the ’70’s? There are a lot of veterans and local islanders suffering from cancer and other sickness in which the government has swept this episode under rug…….

  4. Beth Allison-Christy    

    If the veteran has passed away does next of kin have any option to proceed?

  5. Roy E Aldridge    

    I am Korean War Veterans I have had my feet froze in my hands froze . It took me over 30 years to find out I had PTSD and mild TBI. Al through I’m on medication for both PTSD and TBI I still have nightmares and have panic attacks when thunderstorms roll in at night when I’m sleeping

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