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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rubén Rosario: 'Our veterans deserve better,' and lawsuit shows it - TwinCities.com

Rubén Rosario: 'Our veterans deserve better,' and lawsuit shows it - TwinCities.com

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

VETERANS FOR COMMON SENSE and

VETERANS UNITED FOR TRUTH, INC.,

Plaintiffs,

v.

JAMES B. PEAKE, Secretary of

Veterans Affairs, UNITED STATES

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS;

JAMES P. TERRY, Chairman, Board of

Veterans Appeals; DANIEL L. COOPER,

Under Secretary, Veterans Benefits

Administration; BRADLEY G. MAYES,

Director, Compensation and Pension

Service; DR. MICHAEL J. KUSSMAN,

Under Secretary, Veterans Health

Administration; PRITZ K. NAVARA,

Veterans Service Center Manager,

Oakland Regional Office, Department

of Veterans Affairs, UNITED STATES

OF AMERICA,

Defendants.

))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

No. C-07-3758 SC

MEMORANDUM OF

DECISION, FINDINGS OF

FACT AND CONCLUSIONS

OF LAW

I. INTRODUCTION

As a preliminary summary to this decision, the Court

concludes: In reviewing each of the items of relief requested by

Plaintiffs, the grievances of Plaintiffs are misdirected. The

remedies to the problems, deficiencies, delays and inadequacies

Veterans for Common Sense et al v. Nicholson et al Doc. 238

Dockets.Justia.com



Shared via AddThis Legal News and Featured Cases :: Justia News

08Veterans for Common Sense et al v. Nicholson et al Document 238 - :: Justia Docs

While angry folks with legitimate concerns or hidden agendas were busy shouting at politicians at televised town-hall gatherings this week, a court hearing held on another critical health care debate drew scant attention.

Oral arguments were heard Wednesday before a federal appeals court in California in connection with a 2007 class-action lawsuit filed by two veterans advocacy groups — Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans United for Truth.

Never heard of it?

You should. It's about the plight of the men and women we send into harm's way. It also has a strong Minnesota link. Here's a quick overview:

The suit alleges that the Department of Veterans Affairs' inability to handle disability claims in a timely or expedient fashion is so dysfunctional that it violates veterans' constitutional and statutory rights. The backlog — a good number of unresolved claims dating to the Vietnam War — may surpass the 1 million mark this fall, according to estimates from veterans advocates. The VA places the backlog at a lower but still hefty 463,000.

The lawsuit also alleges that the VA has been derelict in its legal duty to provide immediate, competent and effective care for military members grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder and thoughts of suicide.

"Justice delayed is justice denied, and that's what we essentially have here," said Gordon Erspamer, a Grand Rapids, Minn., native and Hamline University graduate. "For all these disabled veterans,

1210PTSDAppealBrief