Palomares Nuclear Disaster

On January 17, 1966, a B-52 bomber carrying four nuclear warheads crashed with a fueling tanker in mid-air, scattering radioactive plutonium dust and debris across the countryside near Palomares, Spain. The Clinic represents veterans of the cleanup on multiple fronts in their fight for VA recognition and benefits.

In Skaar v. McDonough, the Clinic represents a certified class of Palomares veterans in their challenge to the flawed scientific methodology VA uses to deny their disability benefits claims. The Clinic has separately filed a motion at the Board of Veterans Appeals to hear veteran Edward Feeley’s challenge to Palomares veterans’ exclusion from the presumptive service connection regulation on a class basis. Finally, the Clinic has litigated Freedom of Information Act lawsuits against the Department of Defense and VA to release previously classified records related to the crash and cleanup, and the adjudication of Palomares veterans’ VA benefits claims.