Single Judge Application; 2005 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report stating that “[t]here is insufficient evidence from longitudinal studies . . . to determine whether permanent noise-induced hearing loss can develop much later in one’s lifetime.”; Board did not reconcile or acknowledge these conflicting statements from the VA examiners. Such oversight renders its reasons or bases inadequate. See McCray v. Wilkie, 31 Vet.App. 243, 256-57 (2019) (concluding that a medical text’s qualifying or contradictory aspects may affect the probative value and adequacy of a medical opinion that relies on that text, an issue that, if raised, the Board must address); PULHES is a rating system widely used by military physicians to evaluate a servicemember’s physical and mental health upon entrance into and separation from service. See McIntosh v. Brown, 4 Vet.App. 553, 555 (1993). “PULHES” is an acronym that represents the six categories of the physical profile serial: “P” stands for “physical capacity or stamina”; “U” stands for “upper extremities”; “L” stands for “lower extremities”; “H” stands for “hearing and ears”; “E” stands for “eyes”; and “S” stands for “psychiatric.” Id. A profile serial was assigned on a scale of 1 to 4 for each of the six categories, with “1” indicating the highest level of fitness and “4” representing defects below the minimum standards for enlistment or induction;

Designated for electronic publication only
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
NO. 20-0344
RICHARD LARDINOIS, APPELLANT,
V.
DENIS MCDONOUGH,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
Before BARTLEY, Chief Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION
Note: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a),
this action may not be cited as precedent.
BARTLEY, Chief Judge: Veteran Richard Lardinois appeals through counsel an
October 1, 2019, Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) decision that denied service connection for
cervical and thoracic spine conditions, bilateral hearing loss, and hypertension. Record (R.) at 5-15.For the reasons that follow, the Court will set aside the October 2019 Board decision and
remand the matters for further development and readjudication consistent with this decision.
I. FACTS
Mr. Lardinois served honorably in the U.S. Army from March 1968 to March 1970,
including service in the Republic of Vietnam. R. at 821.
Prior to service, Mr. Lardinois was injured during a January 1967 car accident resulting in
a whiplash injury. See R. at 847. As of September 1967, Mr. Lardinois was still experiencing
residual cervical pain. See id.
During the January 1968 pre-induction examination, a service physician noted that a neck
examination was negative as Mr. Lardinois demonstrated full range of motion, no spasm or
tenderness, and no crepitation. R. at 843. The physician also noted that Mr. Lardinois demonstrated
2
“defective hearing” and assigned a “2” for hearing on the PULHES scale.1 R. at 844 (reflecting a
hearing acuity threshold of 55 decibels (dB) in the left ear at 4000 Hertz (Hz)).
Service medical records reflect that Mr. Lardinois received treatment for cervical and upper
thoracic pain resulting from the whiplash injury. R. at 841, 850-55. The February 1970