Sunday, May 3, 2015

Assessment Continues of VA Burn Pit Registry Data

The Institute of Medicine IOM) convened an ad hoc committee to provide recommendations on collecting, maintaining, and monitoring information collected by the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AH &  OBPR). 

The committee is assessing the effectiveness of the VA’s information gathering efforts and provide recommendations for addressing the future medical needs of the affected groups. The study will be conducted in two phases. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

VA Releases Initial Findings of Burn Pit Registry

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has released an initial report concerning data reported to the Open Burn Registry. The VA's initial review of the data found the following:

  • The vast majority(at 96%) of registry participants said they were near a burn pit (close enough to see the smoke) on at least one of their deployments.
  • 60-2% of Registry participants said that their duties included the burn pit(For example, trash burning, hauling trash to the burn pit, burn pit security, and trash sorting have to burn pit) during at least one of their deployments.
  • Compared to registry participants who reported no exposure to burn bits, participants who reported exposure to burn pits: 
    1. Were younger and more likely to be male. 
    2. Were more likely to be in the Army or Marine Corps and less likely to be in the Air Force or Navy; and 
    3. Had a greater number of deployments and longer cumulative length of deployments. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Burn Pit Toxic Exposure Research Act Introduced

U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), along with U.S. Representatives Dan Benishek, M.D. (R-Mich.) and Mike Honda (D-Calif.), introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation focused on supporting the research of health conditions faced by descendants of veterans who were exposed to toxins during their military service.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Human Cost of the Military’s Toxic Burn Pits

Today's post is shared from and is authored by Matthew Gault.

Jason Dawson joined the Marines in 2003 and went to Iraq in 2006. He deployed to Al Asad air base in Anbar province where he was part of a crash, fire and rescue team.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Indefensible" - More than $20 million for military incinerators up in smoke

"This report highlights the ways in which incinerator operations in Afghanistan were not conducted in a manner that resulted in the most efficient use of U.S. taxpayer funds. Unfortunately, in many instances DOD officials did not take sufficient steps to ensure the proper management of contracts for the construction of the incinerators to address the problems identified during our inspections of particular incinerator facilities. Given the fact that DOD has been aware for many years of the significant health risks associated with open-air burn pits, it is indefensible that U.S. military personnel, who are already at risk of serious injury and death when fighting the enemy, were put at further risk from the potentially harmful emissions from the use of open-air burn pits. " Quote from SIGAR Report

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

US Supreme Court Allows Burn Pit Disease Lawsuit to Go Forward

The US Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of KBR.  Therefore, the case will remain active and will return to the US District Court for further action.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

US Supreme Court Conferenced Burn Pit Case

The US Supreme is scheduled to conference the burn pit litigation case pending against KBR and others for alleged negligence in operating burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands of US military and civilian employee claim medical injuries following from the exposures to dust and fumes and other pollution caused by their operation. 

The Petition for review, filed by KBR, was conferenced by the Court in private session on January 16, 2015. 

The following is an issue analysis shared from

13-1241 KBR, Incorporated v. Metzgar

(1) Whether the political question doctrine bars state-law tort claims against a battlefield support contractor operating in an active war zone when adjudication of those claims would necessarily require examining sensitive military judgments;

(2) whether the Federal Tort Claim Act's “combatant-activities exception,” 28 U.S.C. § 2680(j), preempts state-law tort claims against a battlefield support contractor that arise out of the U.S. military's combatant activities in a theater of combat; and

(3) whether the doctrine of derivative sovereign immunity bars state-law tort claims against a private contractor performing delegated public functions where the government would be immune from suit if it performed the same functions.

CVSG: 12/16/2014.

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  have been representing injured military, government contractors and civilian government employees and their families who have suffered illness or injury as a result of burn pit exposures. To contact Jon L Gelman click here.