DENNIS SATEREN, Claimant-Appellant,
ERIC K. SHINSEKI, SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS,
United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit. Decided: May 5, 2011.
Dennis Sateren ("Sateren") appeals from a final decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ("Veterans Court"), affirming the decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals ("Board"), which denied his claim to service-connected benefits for rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory synovitis. Sateren v. Shinseki, No. 08-3858 (Vet. App. Jul. 26, 2010). For the reasons discussed below, this court dismisses Sateren's appeal.;
Sateren served in the military from April 1965 to April 1967. During that time, he alleges he was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. Many years after his military discharge, Sateren sought compensation for rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory synovitis. In April 2000, a Veterans Affairs regional office denied his claim and Sateren appealed.
In the course of pursuing his claim for benefits, Sateren underwent several medical examinations. None of the examiners concluded that his rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory synovitis was conclusively related to Agent Orange exposure. In fact, none of these examiners was able to determine the cause of Sateren's condition.
One examiner, in April 2008, reported that she had made a review of medical literature that uncovered only a single article suggesting a possible relationship of rheumatoid arthritis to Agent Orange exposure. This examiner noted weaknesses in that article and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to establish a correlation between Sateren's condition and Agent Orange exposure.
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