Certain Veterans Can Now Be Part of a Class Action Lawsuit: Last Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, who in a 6-3 decision, correctly granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. The plaintiffs in this case were service members who were involved in the cleanup of radioactive plutonium in Palomares, Spain, after a B-52 Stratofortress bomber collided with a KC-135 refueling tanker on January 17, 1966. The collision caused two thermonuclear bombs to impact the ground and detonate, spreading radioactive debris for miles. More than 1,400 service members were sent to the assist in cleanup and monitoring efforts, some of whom were exposed to very large quantities of radioactive material. This is the first time the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has permitted a class action lawsuit in an individual appeal of a Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) decision. After this decision, it will be easier for other classes of veterans with similar claims to file appeals from decisions of the BVA. If you or someone you know was involved in this cleanup, please contact me to file a claim. For more information, contact Sandra at the Veterans Service Office at 602 Strong Ave on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm, or call 365-3612.
Sandra G. Van Zant,
Veterans County Service Officer