Jump to content
Using an Ad Blocker? Consider adding HadIt.com as an exception. Hadit.com is funded through advertising, ad free memberships, contributions and out of pocket. ×
  • 0

Update On Widow's Claim


Berta
This thread is over 365 days old and has been closed.

Please post your question as a New Topic by clicking this link and choosing which forum to post in.

For almost everything you are going to want to post in VA Claims Research.

If this is your first time posting. Take a moment and read our Guidelines. It will inform you of what is and isn't acceptable and tips on getting your questions answered. 

 

Remember, everyone who comes here is a volunteer. At one point, they went to the forums looking for information. They liked it here and decided to stay and help other veterans. They share their personal experience, providing links to the law and reference materials and support because working on your claim can be exhausting and beyond frustrating. 

 

This thread may still provide value to you and is worth at least skimming through the responses to see if any of them answer your question. Knowledge Is Power, and there is a lot of knowledge in older threads.

 

spacer.png

Question

from Denise, DSNurse:

Widow's VA claim gaining steam

Monday, July 28, 2008

By GEORGE WERNETH

Staff Reporter

A Mobile woman says she was encouraged recently when a Department of Veterans Affairs appeals judge agreed to review a claim involving her late husband, who believed that his Army exposure to radiation triggered his deadly cancer.

Theresa Orrell said she has been struggling with the VA over her husband's case for nine years, seeking

acknowledgement of the dangers that he faced, as well as compensation for her family.

About six weeks before dying in 1999, Lt. Col. William A. Orrell III, an Army Reserve officer, filed a claim with the VA, certain that his pancreatic cancer was connected with his encounter with depleted uranium in Kuwait. He was 56 when he died.

Last month, an appeals judge, Lisa Barnard, took Orrell's depleted uranium death claim under advisement after a hearing in Montgomery. A ruling is expected in six to nine months.

"I was encouraged because this judge was more down-to-earth than the previous judge and she wanted all the facts," Theresa Orrell said.

She has pursued her husband's case while working and earning a degree from Spring Hill College to better support her three children.

Lt. Col. Orrell had gone to Kuwait in June of 1991 as commander of the 1103rd Transportation Battalion with the job of rounding up American military vehicles used in Operation Desert Storm for return to the United States, according to his wife.

There had been a huge explosion and fire involving U.S. military vehicles containing depleted uranium on July 11, 1991, in Doha, Kuwait, and he was sent two days later to inspect them, she said. That's when he believed he was exposed to high levels of radiation, Theresa Orrell said. She said the vehicles were still smoldering while he inspected them.

Depleted uranium is a by-product of the uranium enrichment process and because of its high density is used as a shield to protect U.S. military vehicles. It is also used in the manufacturing of munitions, such as armor-piercing bullets and tank shells.

Page 2 of 2

There has been extensive controversy about depleted uranium and its possible toxic effects on U.S military personnel who have served in Kuwait and Iraq.

A VA spokesman in Washington, D.C., said recently that he could not comment on the Orrell case until Theresa Orrell signs and returns to the agency a privacy waiver. The spokesman said a VA official was not immediately available to discuss the depleted uranium issue in general as pertains to the VA.

Theresa Orrell is seeking compensation and dependents' assistance for herself and her three children since they owe about $86,000 in college loans, she said. Two of the children have completed college, while the youngest is a sophomore at the University of South Alabama.

She noted that she has a video in which her husband reported that he went to Doha after the explosion to check on the vehicles. She said he told her that the Army did not provide him with protective gear.

At the June 27 appeals hearing, she said, the judge agreed that her husband was at Doha at the time that he claimed. The appeals case rests on a decision by the VA concerning the radiation levels at the site of the fire, Theresa Orrell said.

William Orrell enrolled at the University of South Alabama in 1964 — the first year of the school — and was the first editor of the school's Vanguard publication, Theresa Orrell said. He went on to graduate from the Army's Officer Candidate School and served for 35 years in the Army Reserve and the National Guard.

Theresa Orrell said her husband was a patriot who volunteered for service in both Bosnia and Operation Desert Storm.

"I want the Army to say my husband died because of his service to his country," she said. "

---------------Ineresting case and could be important to other vets and widows-it bothers me that the VA decision will hinge apparently on the RAD dosage-Atomic vets have always had a heck of a time proving their RAD dosage was higher enough to prove radiation-caused illnesses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Answers 1
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters For This Question

Top Posters For This Question

1 answer to this question

Recommended Posts

Since 1947 when Lt. Rudolph J. Feres died in a barrack fire at Pine Camp N.Y. related to faulty heating sstem the Va put the "Feres Doctrine in place..Heres's widow sued the govt for negligence and lost in the supreme court 9-0.

Under the Feres Doctrine, active duty are denied opportunity for significant recovery for injuries or death suffered...them if alive or family cannot sue for malpractice. Feres supporters say the doctrine is nesessary to protect the VA(military) from costly, time consuming trials that could compromise military disciplines.

They will not be held liable for injuries or death and the case will be thrown out becase of the Feres doctrine. In 1987 it was challenged however the vote by the supreme court justices was 5 to 4 to remain. It is a travestee you cannot sue the va hosp/dr/staff, however if it is your dependent, spouse, child you can sue.

The va will try to pay compensation or dic if they choose, however there have been many cases that they have denied because of this doctrine.

That is why there are so many problems with VA care.

35 yr old Army Capt James Lemp died in Fort Leonard Wood Mo from faulty care...they tried to revive him using equipment for a pediatric patient and he weighed 175 lbs. So many cases the care was negligent and the vets have died but the family cannot do anything legally.

The basic argument is the military cannot be held to the same standards of care and safety because the preperation for war itself is dangerous. This way the govt has its own procedures for determining the claims should be upheld. The govt say it would break the va if they allowed the suits.

Why not seek out better staff to care for vets, them no one would be worring about so many suits.

Another case involved Airman Witt and he died. So many vets have been misdiagnosed with cancer and never received proper treatment timely but no suits allowed because of Feres Doctrine. There are hundreds and hundreds of cases. Unless someone can change the minds of the supreme court judjes this will stand as is, and has been.

Sad but true.

I wish The Orell family luck with their fight as Teresa has been fighting for years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • veterans-crisis-line.jpg
    The Veterans Crisis Line can help even if you’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care.

    CHAT NOW

  • Advertisemnt

  • question-001.jpegLooking for Answers? Here are tips for finding the answers you seek.

     

    All VA Claims questions should be posted on our forums. To post, you must register. Registration is free. You can register for a free account here.

     

    You can read the forums without registering.

     

    Tips on posting on the forums.
     

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery” instead of ‘I have a question.
    2. Knowledgeable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title. I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
    3. Use paragraphs instead of one massive, rambling introduction or story. Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph, there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.

     

    Leading to:

     

    Post straightforward questions and then post background information.

     

    Examples:
     
    • A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • Adding Background information in your post will help members understand what information you are looking for so they can assist you in finding it.
    • I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine, but the claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
       
    • B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • See how the details below give us a better understanding of what you’re claiming.
        • I was involved in a traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?

     

    This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial from your claim?” etc.

     

    Note:

     

    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed.
    • This process does not take long.
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. The review requirement will usually be removed by the 6th post. However, we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.
    • This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before hitting the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims, and this helps us do that.
  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

    tinnitus-005.pngptsd-005.pnglumbosacral-005.pngscars-005.pnglimitation-flexion-knee-005.pngdiabetes-005.pnglimitation-motion-ankle-005.pngparalysis-005.pngdegenerative-arthitis-spine-005.pngtbi-traumatic-brain-injury-005.png

  • Advertisemnt

  • VA Watchdog

  • Advertisemnt

  • Ads

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines

<——>