January 24, 2019

ABA files amicus brief in support of class action suits in veterans claims

CHICAGO, Jan. 24, 2019 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Thursday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, urging the judges to ensure America’s veterans are able to file class action lawsuits to expedite pending appeals of claims for benefits, which have otherwise been subject to multi-year delays.

The brief emphasizes the importance of class action suits for veterans, and notes the unique challenges veterans face as they adjudicate their particular claims in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. The brief cites the Veterans Administration’s own data, which shows that in early 2017 there was a backlog of more than 469,000 appeals and that the wait to resolve a case on appeal was, on average, seven years.

“The ABA urges this court to provide veterans who are challenging delays at the VA with meaningful access to class action procedures, which would … improve veterans’ access to justice by permitting class-wide relief,” the ABA brief said.

“If veterans are permitted to aggregate their delay claims, they will be represented by class counsel who can help them obtain the relief they deserve,” the brief said.

The amicus brief in Monk v Wilkie is available here.

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