Home News & Legislation Bad Moon Rising – Louisiana Navy Veteran Sues Regional VA Director

Bad Moon Rising – Louisiana Navy Veteran Sues Regional VA Director

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Navy veteran George Jackson, 76, has filed suit against the regional director of Louisiana’s VA for violation of his constitutional and statutory rights under FOIA – the Freedom of Information Act.

He alleges that the director, Mark Bologna, instructed subcontractors not to release his medical records to him when he requested access. Jackson needed these records to show service-connection for the degenerative spinal condition that led to his tetraplegia (he has little use of his limbs).

Having served over 30 years in the U.S. Navy, the plaintiff was restricted to light duty in 1992 and finally forced to retire the following year. Yet he was not given a medical or disability-related discharge from military service.

He was given a normal honorable discharge, and then he moved right on into retirement. After two tours of active duty in Vietnam, in the one career that was always his childhood dream. At the ripe old age of… 50. Does that add up, for even a second?

Mr. Jackson lives in Lake Charles, Louisiana with his wife Helene, who traveled to the district courthouse with a veterans’ advocate to serve the suit on George’s behalf. George spends most of his time at home in a hospital bed, and occasionally manages outings in an electric wheelchair.

As of last month, he has a 10 percent disability rating. Ten. Percent.

Now, I will be the first to admit that the percentage rating system can get squirrelly, but 10 percent for any amount of service-connected paralysis is absolute highway robbery.

Given that the percentage is supposed to represent a veteran’s difficulty in employment, tetraplegia easily merits 100 percent disability. Maybe VA could get away with something like 70 in cases where the patient retains some independent movement.

In Jackson’s particular case, we also have, let me see… literally the fact that this condition forced him to take light duty with physical therapy, and then have to retire.

That is such obvious evidence for veteran unemployability that it borders on the tautological. Jackson’s disability makes him unemployable because, in his real life, that is what it did.

The Jacksons say that they are not filing this suit for the money, but for the sake of holding VA accountable for wrongdoing. They are seeking $50,000 in general damages for pain and suffering, and $100,000 in punitive damages.

Before he lost the ability to walk, George Jackson had back and leg pain. This pain would have been a sharp shooting pain, nerve pain. When he went before a Navy evaluation board, it had likely been getting worse for years.

When he finally reported the pain and had it checked, tests showed that his spinal discs were degenerating and that the spine itself was getting narrower. This type of degeneration is reasonable to deem service-connected, especially since it started well before the plaintiff retired.

The progression of bone loss and deterioration culminated when Jackson broke several vertebrae in 2004, further damaging his spinal cord and permanently preventing him from walking.

From 2011 forward, Jackson’s limited access to his own paperwork led to a denial of all disability benefits, despite his service and medical records. To eventually be awarded 10 percent disability on top of that is simply reprehensible.

Law-wise, this case is virtually “open-and-shut.” Information-wise, Jackson’s legal team is going to have to wade through this quagmire with a machete.

Should be familiar territory for a 30-year Vietnam veteran.

https://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/2018/08/17/vietnam-veteran-files-federal-lawsuit-against-louisiana-va-office-director/1000004002/

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39 COMMENTS

  1. I am glad to see Veterans rising up and filing lawsuits against the Department of Veterans Affairs. More are coming.

    #Attorneyin2020
    Quancidine Hinson-Gribble

    • tHIS IS WHAT I have been calling for and predicting; The only way things will change is massive lawsuits against those who break the VA and Federal Statutes and common law statutes. Give it to the hard and merciliessly.

  2. Hope Jackson wins! It’ll set a precedent for future law suits! Unless there’s already a precedent!?!?

    (Has anyone else heard of this kind of law suit ever being filed before?)

  3. This is why veteran’s should be allowed to hire an attorney from the very beginning of the process.

    70 years old. Dollar’s to donuts. The VA will say all of his symptoms are due to you being 70 years old and has nothing to do with the service connected disability.

    I had brain scans done, seen 2 two VA neurologist. Both confirmed the traumatic brain injury.

    Denied by VA, we need more proof. They hid my official Military records for over.

    I had an appointment with a Neurologist a couple months ago. I advised him about what I read on one of the scans.

    Mild traumatic brain injury ?.

    The VA neurologist whom I had not seen before made the following statement and I quote.

    Ya, all of your symptoms are due to you being 65 years old !

    So, I Repeated what he just told me. So, you are saying all of my symptoms are due to me being 65 years old.

    Yes !

    I told him so what you are really saying is I have had a brain of a 65 year old.

    Since I was 18, when I got shot in the head !

    No Answer ! Facial expressions said it all. Mouth open. Puzzled look.

    I wonder when this veteran applied. Remember veteran’s who wait until they retire 65 years old.

    The VA is claiming everything is due to your age. Denied.

    I believe VA called it a scam.

    A veteran’s advocate is helping ?. What is a veteran’s advocate ?. DAV REP. Or an attorney.

    If he does not have an attorney. The VA will eat him alive. The VA has 700 attorneys. To GO after him.

    After this is over. How many believe the VA will start retaliation against this veteran, in one way or the other.

    • A neurologist tried the same bullshit on me at the Lake Baldwin, VHA down in Orlando FL.
      Until I pulled my Army AND Navy medical records out in front of him. They show all kinds of medical problems I suffered from at a young age!
      Know what the asswipe did?
      He sent me to another neurologist!
      This one actually looked at all the evidence I HAVE IN MY POSSESSION!
      Made a complete fool out of that first neurologist! They transferred him to somewhere!?!?! That was a few years ago! (If I remember his name I’ll post it later!)
      He’d been downplaying veterans medical conditions for who knows how long??????????????!!!!!!

      • Please post the first neurologist’s name. All veterans need to be prepared and know the background of each MD that sees them. I always try an internet search of the MD, BEFORE i see them.

    • This is what I have been saying for a long time; ONly a good attorney will accomplish the Vet’s goals and prevent the VA from burying the evidence. Give it to them hard and fast. Bust their assses. Appellate process is a scam. Take them down hard and fast, otherwise they will only stick it to another Vet. They have committed crimes and should b e held to answer for them………………………..

    • When I first visited the VA regarding a VA disability claim I was assigned a Pakistani who was a nurse’s assistant. He had no medical training. I told him to pick up the phone and tell his boss I demanded to see a physician with a bona fide MD. They agreed but told me I had to wait a year. I waited for the year. When I finally did get to see her, she chewed me out for refusing to deal with the Pakistani. When she was finished I told her I had spent 20 year in the military and deserved no less than a fully qualified MD. I said all I wanted was an evaluation by a trained physician. She finally gave me a thorough medical exam which took about 90 minutes. This was worth the wait as I finally got my proper amount of VA compensation.

  4. Similar suite in appeal at the 10th Circuit. Bray V United States; 18-8051.

    APPELLANT/PETITIONER’S OPENING BRIEF

    Note: This brief is exceptionally long because the Record Before the Agency of the Department of Veterans Affairs is 4,624 pages long. It covers 43 years of arbitrary and capricious acts, believed to be mostly from the same root as whistle blower retaliation: the petty vindictive protection of the Agency’s reputation and coworker’s reputations and employment. The Record Before the Agency (RBA) speaks for itself. The 13,000 word limit is really insufficient to adequately present my case given my TBI residual organizational deficits and not having an attorney.
    I have been an activist for veterans with organic brain syndromes since 1987, filing and appealing, with other veterans 8/2/1988 Bray V Brown 09cae Docket 88-6276.
    I have been proven right on my 1987 assessment of mild, moderate and moderately severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), walking, talking veteran victims having mild to severe diminished capacity, in 2008 with recognition by Congress and thus, the VA.
    I have been proven right by an NIH study published in December of 2016 of the pathology of brain damage from p. falciparum Malaria being determined.
    I have been proven right about the brain damaging effects of proximity blasts, including incoming and outgoing artillery, mortar bombs, and booby traps (now known as IUD) in recent NIH studies published. (2017-2018.)

    (post script: in reading over this brief it seems a little drifty and much too long at times and I ask the Courts indulgence because I’m unable to make it more concise as quickly as it needs to be done because of my traumatic brain injury limitations despite my residual verbal IQ of 126.)

    1. Statement of the Case.
    a. We filed SF 95 forms for medical malpractice against the Navy and the VA on 4/20/2016.
    i. Navy for minimizing head injury Narrative Summary of Hospitalization at Oakland, CA Naval Hospital on October 20, 1969, not noting symptoms of complex partial seizures and the length of unconsciousness leading to an almost life time delay in the treatment of seizures.
    ii. The VA in failing to treat diagnosed seizures with a medication recognized to control those seizures instead of treating with Tegretol which was known to make the diagnosed seizures worse and was contra indicated because of my known sensitivity to amitriptyline.

    As much of the 10,000 plus word brief as this board will allow.

      • Um lem, not that you want to hear this, but if you are suing the Navy for what happened to you during active duty, then that part of the case will be thrown out under the claim of the Feres Doctrine (A doctrine that bars claims against the federal government by members of the armed forces and their families for injuries arising from or in the course of activity incident to military service. The U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1950, in Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 71 S. Ct. 153, 95 L. Ed.) Now the case against the VA will most likely continue, but the case against the Navy wont. I know as I tried to sue the Army for my injuries and I was told by the judge that while it was clearly obvious that the Army was negligent and caused my condition, his hands were tied under the Feres Doctrine and he dismissed the case. I did in fact win my claim against the VA though..

  5. “https://www.thedailybeast.com/you-honored-our-deal-john-mccain-ill-honor-your-legacy?yptr=yahoo&hl=1&noRedirect=1”

    This makes me want to puke.

    • Thats why I dont watch the news until after this creep dies. The MSM keeps trying to laud him as some kind of hero, ignoring the destruction of the U.S.S. Forrester and the deaths of 130 Sailors that he caused with his wet start, or the fact that he constantly refused to pass any bill to have the US go back and get the POW’s left in Vietnam. Or 99% of the pay raises for the military and retirees, or gutting our education benefits. Or the simple fact that he has been defrauding the taxpayer for over 30 years as he is listed as 100% Service Connected Perm and Total, and yet he gets over 30 K from the VA and he is also allowed to work (if you call it that) as a US Senator and get over 170,000 a year plus benefits from that. And we both know that if any of us tried that we would be cut off from the VA pension so fast our heads would spin. Not to mention that if he knows he is going to die then why not resign and let someone else represent the people of Arizona until the election, or to finish out his term. but no, the loser wants to still sit at home and collect his pay for not doing his job. And what do you want to bet that our flag will be lowered to honor him even though the US Flag Code says the ONLY people who can do this is Arizona as Songbird McCain is not a national hero. Audie Murphy-Alvin York-Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Pullins-just to name a few, now THEY were national heros, this loser? Not so much

      • You’re absolutely correct. I was in 3rd ID which I believe is also home to Audie Murphy. I’ve seen pictures of “Chesty” Puller (sp?) and the moniker is entirely accurate 😀

        I personally think it will be a great day for the veterans of this nation when this asshole gets dirt in his face. Gives us an opportunity to get somebody in who will work for us. I saw a post yesterday I think by Seymore that said a deal was in the works to get his wife into his seat. Talk about holy shit christ on a cracker. I think a monkey would do a better job than Cindy fucking McCain.

      • WMR has learned additional details regarding the deadly fire aboard the Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Forrestal, on July 19, 1967 in the Gulf of Tonkin. The additional details point to then-Lt. Commander John McCain playing more of a role in triggering the fire and explosions than previously reported.

        WMR has been informed that crewmen aboard the Forrestal have provided additional information about the Forrestal incident. It is believed by many crewmen and those who have investigated the case that McCain deliberately “wet-started” his A-4E to shake up the guy in the plane behind his A-4. “Wet-starts”, done either deliberately or accidentally, shoot a large flame from the tail of the aircraft.

        In McCain’s case, the “wet-start” apparently “cooked off” and launched the Zuni rocket from the rear F-4 that touched off the explosions and massive fire. The F-4 pilot was reportedly killed in the conflagration. “Wet starting” was apparently a common practice among young “hot-dog” pilots

    • Semper Fi Oldmarine: Bad Moon rising and the “man in the moon” is the first of many Vets seeking rightteous treatment

  6. Just out of curiosity is it at all possible to get an injunction against the VA? and can that be done at any federal court house?

    • Yes you can, but you have to go before a judge and plead your case while the VA gets to plead theirs and then the judge makes the decision for the injunction or not

  7. Curious – really. What is not stated in Mr. Jackson’s case is his claim of how his degenerative disc disease was service connected. Did he have injuries or other accidents, or a life-time of heavy lifting that could have contributed to DDD? Many spinal disorders are idiopathic (AMA speak for “we don’t have a fuckin clue”). I’ve spent most of my adult life in that zone. Having been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, I did some research and have found some vets getting service connection for AS? Huh? AS is either congenital, i.e. requiring the HLA B27 gene/marker – which I do not have, or now, idiopathic.

    I’m just trying to put it together.

    • Service-connected does not mean that the service was responsible for the disability. If you had the symptoms while in the service for purposes of compensation it is “service connected”. If you are in the military and have ANY medical issue, see a military physician. This way it is documented. After a four year battle, I finally got 100% disability. The original military physician I had said I was a misfit or malcontent and at that time I had only 6 months left before retirement. I considered such a statement a gross insult. Years later, I finally got 100 percent disability and was paid retroactively from the day I first filed my complaint about my arthritis and AS. You have to be persistent. The VA is like a business. VA employees are not rewarded for pay-offs no matter how deserving you might be.

  8. Having filed a Tort against the VA myself for breach of dental and medical care, you can only get liability damages and not any punitive. Plus, how good can it be, when you have the Fox guarding the hen house, VA Tort Attorney, and the Veteran pays the price and if you have to appeal to a Federal Judge, no choice of judge or jury. It’s a rigged system at best. Can you get a fair shake, maybe.

    The whole VA Tort system is a mess, with the VA Tort Attorneys being put into overload, 6 month Determination dates that can usually never be met in a year let alone 6 months, and all the while the Veteran suffers during this period of investigation, review and determination by the VA Tort Attorney. Then the real wait begins if you do not hear anything after a few months when your Case has been determined, but the VA tells you nothing. That’s where I’m at, 4+ months after the VA Tort Attorney finished my Case, I have no information at all, but know that if it my Tort was denied, I have been told I would have already heard, so we stay positive.

    We need VA Tort reform, maybe a neutral Non VA Non Binding Arbitration first, after its been determined you’re within the 2 year statute, and if a settlement can’t be reached, then the Veteran should be given a choice of trial by Judge or Jury.

  9. A Federal Judge has just ruled that Veterans may file Class Action Lawsuits.
    I’m curious as to the impact, if any, that this will have.
    Frankly, I’m not holding my breath.

  10. The VA is a big Federal worker that spends the 3/4 of the day at the water cooler. They sit and say what a great job they did ramming someone in the keister. I can’t believe not one single person who worked or retired doesn’t stand and spill the beans on purposely deny benefits. The hardest job in the world is the two idiot police at the regional offices that watch go through the metal detector. They wanna save money? Start with the sack of crabs make

  11. Problem is how much time between retiring and filing for benefits? If there’s no paper trail within the VA hospital showing progression, will deny every time. Why if not seeking care at the VA you have a primary care doctor so you can send in each visit or surgery and get meds through him too. From your ETS physical to today no one explains what should do. At the ETS physical should be required the dumb ass PA look at records and check the particulars and give a pamphlet explaining next steps. The internet helps, so vets have all information they gather, all I had was a smile I was out.

  12. I was in a similar situation. I had service connected injuries while on duty and had actually been scheduled for medical discharge. That was changed for a reason that was never mentioned, but I became a target for disciplinary actions, basically the USAF was trying to discharge me through a General Discharge. I was on light duty for over two years and a permanent profile changing with regards to using lower extremities. I was told by a civilian to get all copies of your medical records because the VA will deny your claims. I did just that and would recommend to every current service man and woman to do the same. After 40 yrs of dealing with the VA I finally got my 100% rating. Do not give up and do not be afraid to ask for help!

  13. More Veterans need to step up to the plate where this is concerned. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice; Veterans are clearly within their bounds when requesting anything that they are entitles to, and people that feel as though they don’t have those rights are completely out of bounds. There are some people working for the VA that feel as though they are more entitled to VA funds than the Veterans.

  14. I am a Vietnam Veteran’s widow and the VA is giving me the Rosa Parks treatment. For 29 years they have wasted taxpayers money and abused VA law and my due process rights, They have ruled with illegal jurisdiction and will not submit my request for equitable relief to the Secretary who is the only person that can rule on equitable relief. Read the VA law, the Secretary has never delegated this law under 2.7 but I get denied and refused to submit my claim to the Secretary. How does any one get thru to President Trump to get him to get the new Secretary aware of this situation. I did media but every time the VA is contacted they tell the person if I was you I would stay away from Winsett. I need media help and can’t get it. If just one news reporter would listen to me our widows and orphans and veterans would get the help from claims they deserve for I am sure heads would roll after the Secretary finds out how the VA has done me. Anyone know how to help me get media help please let me know 205-686-7052.

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