Tag: fails

Single Judge Application; reason and bases; Dela Cruz v. Principi, 15 Vet.App. 143, 149 (2001); failure discuss all the evidence favorable to a claimant; Gabrielson v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 36, 40 (1994); the Board cannot “evade [its] statutory responsibility [to state the reasons or bases for its conclusions] merely by adopting [a medical opinion] as its own” where the medical opinion “fails to discuss all the evidence which appears to support [the] appellant’s position.” Gabrielson v. Brown, 7 Vet.App. 36, 40 (1994). Gabrielson does not require that a medical opinion discuss all the evidence favorable to a claimant, only that the Board, in relying on an opinion that does not do so, discuss any additional favorable evidence to comply with its duty to provide an adequate statement of reasons or bases for its decision. See id.; 38 U.S.C. § 7104(d)(1); see also Dela Cruz v. Principi, 15 Vet.App. 143, 149 (2001) (holding that, although the Board must consider all of the evidence of record, “a discussion of all evidence is not required when . . . the Board has supported its decision with thorough reasons or bases regarding the relevant evidence”);
Single Judge Application; the Board did not discuss the veteran’s contention that the RO’s request improperly described the contents of the record, constrained the August 2012 VA expert’s view of the file, and thereby essentially tainted the medical opinion; The Board is obligated to ensure that it provides appellants with fair process in the adjudication of their claims. See Smith v. Wilkie, 32 Vet.App. 332, 337 (2020) (citing Thurber v. Brown, 5 Vet.App. 119 (1993); Bernard v. Brown, 4 Vet.App. 384, 392-94 (1993)); In Smith, this Court held that the principle of fair process applies throughout the process of evidentiary development and is implicated when “the Board fails to procure a medical opinion in ‘an impartial, unbiased, and neutral manner’ when the opinion request contains a Board member’s own negative linkage opinion or otherwise suggests that an examiner should reach a predetermined conclusion.” Id. at 337-38 (citing Austin v. Brown, 6 Vet.App. 547, 551-52 (1994));
Single Judge Application; Davis v. McDonough, 34 Vet.App. 131, 132 (2021) (“Under 38 C.F.R. § 3.156(b), when new and material evidence is submitted within the appeal period following a VA decision on a claim, the evidence must be considered in connection with that claim,” and “if VA fails to undertake that consideration, the claim remains pending until it does. Thus, when this rule is implicated, it can require the assignment of effective dates for benefits ultimately granted that are much earlier than would otherwise obtain.”);
Single Judge Application; Tedesco v. Wilkie; implicit bias against lay evidence; The Board’s analysis is substantially similar to the Board’s analysis in Tedesco v. Wilkie, where the Board noted an appellant’s reports of knee instability but found medical evidence more probative. 31 Vet.App. 360, 367 (2019). We ultimately remanded that claim, stating that “[t]he Board fail[ed] to explain why the medical findings are more probative, other than to assert that the ‘specific medical tests . . . are designed to reveal instability . . . of the joints.’” Id. Just as in Tedesco, the Board’s statement here, that “[t]he DBQs were completed by medical professionals who formulated their conclusions based on a physical examination, review of the record, and interview of the Veteran,” fails to suggest any actual reasons or bases for finding the lay statements outweighed by “significant objective evidence,” other than an implicit bias against lay evidence and a preference for medical evidence. R. at 8. The Board also failed to explain why it considered the appellant’s lay statements “generalized.”;