Some very good news.
From Stars and Stripes–
and the ever-watchful Tom Philpott, Vet lawyers got desired ‘undiagnosed pain’ case to win on appeal (LINK).
The truth and fairness lawyers: Atty. Mel Botswick, partner at the law firm Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe. He worked pro bono partnering with the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) and Atty. Bart Stichman.
What and Where: A challenge to a
“…1999 precedent-setting ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims that found the Department of Veterans Affairs was not required to compensate a veteran for pain if physicians aren’t able to identify the cause.”
“The NVLSP searched Board of Appeals decisions since 1999 and found more than 11,000 adverse rulings for veterans that cited Sanchez-Benitez, giving a rough estimate of how many veterans might stand to benefit.”
When: Saunders v. Wilkie was decided April 3, 2018 (LINK) or pdf. 17-1466.Opinion.4-2-2018.1
The government has 60 days to appeal. Do the biggies still love their “wonderful” veterans? One to watch!
“We hold that the Veterans Court erred as a matter of
law in holding that pain alone, without an accompanying
diagnosis or identifiable condition, cannot constitute a
“disability” under § 1110, because pain in the absence of a
presently-diagnosed condition can cause functional impairment.”