Friday, April 4, 2014

US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Grants Stay


On April 3, 2014 the US 4th Cir Ct of Appeals granted a stay of its Mandate that the case (In Re Burn Pit Litigation) should be remanded and go forward. KBR had filed a Motion for a Stay based upon its intent to file a Petition for Certiorari with the US Supreme Court in an effort to appeal the matter.

Related stories:
Mar 24, 2014
“The use of open-air burn pits has been recognized as a significant danger to our military personnel and, thanks in part to legislation I authored, that use has been limited. Research conducted at the Stony Brook University ...
Mar 27, 2014
Burn Pit dust and fumes in Iraq has now becoming the subject of environmental claims by an expanding advocacy group. Today's post is shared from nytimes.com and focusses on the ever expanding alleged consequnces of ...
Mar 19, 2014
M.), a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee, pressed the VA for answers regarding its failure to diligently and expeditiously implement the Open Air Burn Pit Registry as ...
Mar 07, 2014
KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co. (HAL) are not automatically immune from claims by military service members suing over health damage from the contractors' burn pits, a federal appeals court ruled, (Click here for full ruling) ...
….
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades theLaw Offices of Jon L Gelman jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Click here to submit your information.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

3rd International Scientific Symposium on Lung Health after Deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan

3rd International Scientific Symposium on Lung Health after 
Deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan 
June 2, 2014  
Anthony M. Szema, M.D. 
Program Chair and Course Director 

Educational Objectives 

Upon completion, participants should be able to: 
-Understand that new‐onset respiratory symptoms after particulate matter exposure is real 
-Learn about animal and in vitro models of disease 
-Learn about methods to detect titanium and metals in the lung 

3rd International Scientific Symposium on Lung Health 
after Deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan 
Monday, June 2, 2014 

8:00-8:30am Registration and Breakfast 

8:30-8:45 Opening Remarks, Anthony Szema, M.D., Program Chair 

8:45-9:00 Update on Burn Pit Research Centers of Excellence Legislation, Congressman Tim 
Bishop, M.P.A. 

9:00-9:20 Department of Veterans Affairs Burn Pit Regstry, Paul Ciminera, M.D., MPH, 

9:20-9:40 New Studies of Dust from Deployment Zones, Captain Mark Lyles, U.S. Naval War 
College, Iraq and Afghanistan Dust Studies 
9:40-10:00 Cases of Respiratory Disease Post Deployment, Robert Bumgarner, M.D., (Capt., 

USN, Ret.), Leidos Corporation 

10:00-10:35 BREAK 

10:35-10:55 Update on the Denver Post Deployment Lung Registry, Richard Meehan, M.D. or 
designee, National Jewish Health 

10:55-11:15 Models of Iraq Afghanistan War Lung Injury, Anthony Szema, M.D., Stony Brook 

11:15-11:35 Burnpits 360 Database Analysis, Laura Veins, M.D., MPH and Bhumika Patel, 
M.D., Stony Brook 

11:35-12:00pm Geoscience Studies of Dust-Induced Inflammation, Andrea Harrington, Ph.D., New 
York University 

12:00-1:00 pm LUNCH 

1:00-1:20 Synchrotron Techniques to Analyze Metal in Lung, Antonio Lanzrotti, Ph.D., 
University of Chicago, Argonne National Lab Synchrotron Studies 

1:20-1:40pm Allergic Asthma in the Middle East, Jonathan Li, B.S., Three Village Allergy & 
Asthma 

1:40-2:00 Epidemiology of the Millennium Study, Joseph Abraham, ScD, Ph.D., US Army 
Public Health Command 

2:00-2:20 Clinic Cases, Thomas Kennedy, M.D., Georgia Regents University, Medical 
College of Georgia 

2:20-2:45 Break 

2:45-3:00 Beyond the New England Journal of Medicine Study, Robert Miller, M.D., 
Vanderbilt University 

3:00-3:20 Case Report, Rachel Knipe, M.D., Harvard University 

3:20-4:00 Questions, Answers and Discussion 
Continuing Medical Education Credits 


Related Stories:
Burn Pit Claims: New Study Associates Lung Injury of Soldiers With ...
Mar 10, 2014
Soldiers who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are at greater risk to suffer lung disease according to a recently published study. Dr. Anthony Szema, a professor at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, was ...
http://burnpitclaims.blogspot.com/

Burn Pit Claims: New Studies Connect Respiratory Conditions With ...
May 20, 2011
Dr. Szema, a professor of medicine and surgery at the State University of New York and who is also chief of the allergy section at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport, NY, collected data from 7,000 veterans who ...
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Burn Pit Claims: New Medical Study Confirms Lung Problems From ...
Jul 03, 2010
The research was conducted by Dr, Anthony Szema who reported the significant increase in illness. He studies soldiers who were deployed at Balad Air Base. His research revealed that 7% of those soldiers were assigned to ...
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Burn Pit Claims: Scientific Symposium on Lung Health After ...
Jan 06, 2012
9:00-9:30 Introduction by Anthony Szema, M.D., Program Chair 9:30-9:40 Peter Sullivan, J.D., Father of Marine from The Sergeant Thomas Joseph Sullivan Center, Washington, D.C. 9:40-10:10 Overview of Exposures in Iraq, ...
http://burnpitclaims.blogspot.com/

….
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades theLaw Offices of Jon L Gelman jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Click here to submit your information.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

‘Environmental Poisoning’ of Iraq Is Claimed

Burn Pit dust and fumes in Iraq has now becoming the subject of environmental claims by an expanding advocacy group. Today's post is shared from nytimes.com and focusses on the ever expanding alleged consequnces of the use of burn pits to dispose of military waste.

WASHINGTON — An advocacy group representing American military veterans and Iraqi civilians arrived here on Wednesday armed with a message for the United States government: Washington must do something for the thousands of people suffering from what the group called the “environmental poisoning” of Iraq during the war.

The group, Right to Heal, says that veterans and civilians continue to feel the effects of the burn pits — banned by Congress four years ago — that were used to dispose of military waste, and that new health problems arise every day for Iraqis.

“Things are worse off today by a thousandfold,” Representative Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington, said during a hearing in the House on Wednesday morning that featured witnesses from Right to Heal.

Several hours later, Right to Heal called its own “people’s hearing” at a Quaker meeting house in Washington. One witness there, John Tirman, executive director and principal research scientist at the M.I.T. Center for International Studies, said that in playing down the health effects of the war, American officials had violated “the trust we place in government, that is, that they would be accountable to us even in the most severe times of war.”

Another witness, Kristi Casteel, said her son, Joshua, an interrogator for the Army who died of lung cancer in 2012 at age 32, had lived about 100 yards from an Iraqi burn pit. “While very aware of the...

[Click here to see the rest of this post]

Related articles:
Mar 24, 2014
Congressman Tim Bishop Urges VA to Expand Assistance to Veterans Exposed to Open-Air Burn Pits. Congressman Tim Bishop sent a letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, urging the Secretary to ...
Mar 19, 2014
M.), a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee, pressed the VA for answers regarding its failure to diligently and expeditiously implement the Open Air Burn Pit Registry as ...
Mar 07, 2014
KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co. (HAL) are not automatically immune from claims by military service members suing over health damage from the contractors' burn pits, a federal appeals court ruled, (Click here for full ruling) ...
Mar 10, 2014
The lawsuits allege that the negligent operation of the burn pits resulted in harmful exposures that caused various illnesses to the soldiers including lug disease, cancers and in some cases death. Click here to read the entire ...
.......
….
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades theLaw Offices of Jon L Gelman jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Click here to submit your information.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Congressman Tim Bishop Urges VA to Expand Assistance to Veterans Exposed to Open-Air Burn Pits

Congressman Tim Bishop sent a letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, urging the Secretary to designate constrictive bronchiolitis a presumptive service-connected condition for veterans exposed to toxic fumes from open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Designating this rare and life-threatening disease a presumptive service-connected condition will make it easier for veterans diagnosed with constrictive bronchiolitis to access medical treatment and to receive VA compensation. In 2012, the Social Security Administration made it easier for individuals to access disability benefits by adding constrictive bronchiolitis to its list of Compassionate Allowances, and identified one of the causes of constrictive bronchiolitis to be exposure to toxic fumes. There has been a significant increase in constrictive bronchiolitis and its symptoms among veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I commend the Social Security Administration for making it a little easier for our nation’s veterans to access the benefits they have earned through their service; it is now time for the Veterans Administration to do the same,” said Congressman Bishop. “The use of open-air burn pits has been recognized as a significant danger to our military personnel and, thanks in part to legislation I authored, that use has been limited. Research conducted at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine and other institutions strongly suggests a relationship between open-air burn pit exposure and a constrictive bronchiolitis diagnosis that cannot be ignored. Our nation’s veterans deserve the benefits afforded this designation.”

Constrictive bronchiolitis is marked by the small airway branches of the lungs being compressed and narrowed. The constriction is generally caused by scar tissue and inflammation. The condition, which can only be definitively diagnosed by a lung biopsy, is irreversible.



Read more about "Constrictive Bronchiolitis:"
May 09, 2010
Constrictive bronchiolitis is a scarring of the small airways of the lungs." The news was reported by Fox 17 (WZTV Nashville) and reveals that doctors at Vanderbilt University have beens studying the problem since 2004 and ...
Jul 21, 2011
A recent study reports that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are being diagnosed with a pulmonary disease called constrictive bronchiolitis. The findings have been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Aug 11, 2012
The pulmonary disease, constrictive bronchiolitis, is also called obliterative bronchiolitis or bronchiolitis obliterates. Medical research has been identified the medical condition as being causally related to exposures to dust ...
May 20, 2011
Approximately 69% of the soldiers who underwent biopsy, had an unusual thickening of the small airways which he termed, "constrictive bronchiolitis." Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

US Senators Corker and Udall Question VA About Burn Pit Registry Delay

Two US Senators are urging the US Department of Veterans Affairs to explain why there has been a delay in the implementation of a Burn Pit Registry.

In a letter to U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric K. Shinseki today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee, pressed the VA for answers regarding its failure to diligently and expeditiously implement the Open Air Burn Pit Registry as mandated under Section 201 of PL 112-260, which Udall and Corker coauthored and introduced in 2011.

“As you know from previous correspondence on this matter, the Open Air Burn Pit Registry was designed to identify and monitor veterans who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who were exposed to toxic pollutants released by open air burn pits,” Corker and Udall wrote. “This delay is deeply concerning, particularly when similar registries exist within the United States government. The lack of urgency and communication from the VA is even more troubling. Our veterans, Congress, and the public deserve to know why the Open Air Burn Pit Registry has been delayed and when it will be completed.”

“In an effort to address this failure, we ask that you provide Congress with information on the current status of the Open Air Burn Pit Registry, an accounting of problems that have arisen during the development of the registry, detailed information on remaining benchmarks to be completed before the Open Air Burn Pit Registry will become fully operational, and any information on how Congress can help to expedite the implementation of this critical program.”

On January 10, 2013, President Barack Obama signed PL 112-260 into law. The law provided the VA one year to develop, implement, and maintain an open burn pit registry of service members and veterans who may have been exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. The registry has not yet been established.

Full text of the letter is below.

Dear Secretary Shinseki,

We write to you today regarding the failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to diligently and expeditiously implement the Open Air Burn Pit Registry as mandated under Section 201 of Public Law 112-260.

As you know from previous correspondence on this matter, the Open Air Burn Pit Registry was designed to identify and monitor veterans who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who were exposed to toxic pollutants released by open air burn pits. When President Obama signed PL 112-260 into law on January 10, 2013, it provided the VA one year to develop, implement, and maintain this registry. While the necessity for some delay is understandable, the VA has failed to adequately explain why the delay has occurred, which steps remain to be completed before the registry is available for the use of our veterans, and provide specific information on when the registry is expected to be completed.

This delay is deeply concerning, particularly when similar registries exist within the United States government. The lack of urgency and communication from the VA is even more troubling. Our veterans, Congress, and the public deserve to know why the Open Air Burn Pit Registry has been delayed and when it will be completed. Furthermore, the VA has failed to develop the Open Air Burn Pit Registry after multiple congressional inquiries and letters calling for its timely creation and has not provided detailed information regarding the nature of the delay to Congressional offices who have requested such information.

In an effort to address this failure, we ask that you provide Congress with information on the current status of the Open Air Burn Pit Registry, an accounting of problems that have arisen during the development of the registry, detailed information on remaining benchmarks to be completed before the Open Air Burn Pit Registry will become fully operational, and any information on how Congress can help to expedite the implementation of this critical program. We remain concerned about VA’s implementation of this program and we urge you to diligently complete the Open Air Burn Pit Registry.

Thank you for your timely response to this matter and your continued service to our nation.
Sincerely,

Bob Corker
Tom Udall
.............
Click here to read more about burn pit exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan

Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits. 
….
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades theLaw Offices of Jon L Gelman jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Click here to submit your information.

Related:
4 minutes ago
M.), a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations subcommittee, pressed the VA for answers regarding its failure to diligently and expeditiously implement the Open Air Burn Pit Registry as ...
Jun 22, 2013
... Burn Pit Registry Questionnaire Published on the Internet. A purported copy of the the proposed Open Burn Pit Registry Airborne Hazard Web-accessible Self-Assessment/ Questionnaire was been published on the Internet.
Jun 06, 2013
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it is accepting public comments on the establishment of The Burn Pit Registry. The VA has been mandated by Congress to establish a Burn Pit Registry to ...
Dec 21, 2012
announced today that their bipartisan legislation to create a registry of service members and veterans who were exposed to toxic chemicals and fumes from open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan has passed the Senate.


Monday, March 10, 2014

New Study Associates Lung Injury of Soldiers With Exposure to Dust in Iraq and Afghanistan

Soldiers who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are at greater risk to suffer lung disease according to a recently published study. Dr. Anthony Szema, a professor at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, was the lead investigator and reported the association of lung disease with deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"War-related lung injuries have emerged as previously unrecognized health problems. Physicians did not recognize the nature of illness in the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the last years of the IraqWar, as well as the ongoing Afghanistan war,new-onset lung problems have been increasingly recognized as being related to deployment in these two countries. Investigators, including our group, have identified asthmatic symptoms or pulmonary function test abnormalities. The Social Security Administration is now compensating for Iraq and Afghanistan war–related lung disease. The Millennium Cohort Study identified 14% of all US soldiers in raq with new-onset respiratory symptoms.

A Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that lawsuits filed by soldiers who were exposed in Iraq and Afghanistan may proceed against military contractors, KBR and Halliburton, from claims by military service members suing over health damage from the contractors’ burn pits. The lawsuits allege that the negligent operation of the burn pits resulted in harmful exposures that caused various illnesses to the soldiers including lug disease, cancers and in some cases death.

Click here to read the entire published study: Iraq Dust Is Respirable, Sharp, and Metal-Laden and Induces Lung Inflammation With Fibrosis in Mice via IL-2 Upregulation and Depletion of Regulatory T Cells, Anthony M. Szema, MD, Richard J. Reeder, PhD, Andrea D. Harrington, PhD, Millicent Schmidt, MS, Jingxuan Liu, MD, PhD, Marc Golightly, PhD, Todd Rueb, BS, and Sayyed A. Hamidi, MD, JOEM Volume 56, Number 3, March 2014, DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000119

Click here to read more about burn pit exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan

Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.
….
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Click here to submit your information.


Friday, March 7, 2014

Federal Appeals Court Rules Burn Pit Lawsuit Can Proceed

Today's post is shared from bloomberg.com. For more information see http://burnpitclaims.blogspot.com/

KBR Inc. and Halliburton Co. (HAL) are not automatically immune from claims by military service members suing over health damage from the contractors’ burn pits, a federal appeals court ruled, (Click here for full ruling) reversing a lower court.

KBR is entitled to immunity “only if it adhered to the terms of its contract with the government,” something the district court didn’t sufficiently explore, Circuit Judge Henry Floyd wrote for a three-judge panel in Richmond, Virginia.

“We also lack evidence regarding whether the military permitted or required KBR to deviate from the contract’s terms under certain circumstance,” Floyd wrote.The district court “erred in finding that KBR was entitled to derivative sovereign immunity at this time,” according to the panel, which sent the case back to the lower court for further consideration.

The case consolidates dozens of lawsuits alleging harm from exposure to contractors’ burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan used to dispose of material including medical waste, paint and pesticide.

A phone message left at Houston-based KBR’s media line seeking comment on the ruling wasn’t immediately returned. Houston-based Halliburton’s media office didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

Susan Burke, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said her clients look forward to a...

[Click here to see the rest of this post]
….
Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.