and veterans' claims can be held.


Here is the latest on the "Blue Water Navy" court battle.


The US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, on April 13, ruled in favor of the VAs motion to stay the effect of Haas. That means that the USCAVC has ruled it legal for the VA to sit on Blue Water Navy claims for Agent Orange compensation. This Order will remain in effect until the final ruling on the Ribaudo Case is rendered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


And, here is a quick analysis from an attorney who represents veterans.


1. “Blue Water Navy” cases at the ROs and the Board are stayed until the CAFC issues a decision in Haas.

2. The VA Secretary may, upon a motion by an appellant, adjudicate such “compelling” cases based upon the CAVC’s holding in Haas. (“Compelling” cases are those where the appellant is very old or in serious physical condition, etc. This is similar to the current procedure for advancement on the docket.)

3. The Secretary may still “order equitable relief in appropriate cases.”

4. The stay is automatically lifted when the CAFC issues a decision in Haas, unless that decision does not decide the matter. Examples of the CAFC not deciding the matter would include where the CAFC remands the case to the CAVC with orders to reconsider the case on one or more grounds.


Daniel M. Ortiz
Department Service Director
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.
11000 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 5204
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 235-7129
(310) 575-9722 Fax

"The Nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten"

 - Calvin Coolidge