“The Court’s ruling is a huge victory for veterans and their families,” said National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) Co-Founder and Special Counsel Bart Stichman. “Veterans have waited long enough and endured great financial hardships waiting to be reimbursed for these expenses.”
When the case was first filed in 2018, the Sidley team successfully challenged the regulation at issue via writ of mandamus. The U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims ordered the VA to reimburse veterans for all of their past and future out-of-pocket emergency medical expenses and certified the case as a class action, only the second class certified in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims’ history at the time.
The Federal Circuit later reversed the decision, challenging the mandamus pathway. The Sidley team then filed a petition arguing that prohibiting reimbursement of coinsurance was unlawful and inconsistent with the statute that authorizes reimbursement, resulting in the recent win.
“We are very excited to have delivered this great result for our nation’s veterans, some of whom have been waiting for more than five years to be reimbursed for their emergency medical care coinsurance costs,” said Timothy Li, senior managing associate in Sidley’s New York office.
In addition to Li, the cross-office Sidley team comprised partners Mark Blocker and Sean Griffin, and managing associate Brooke Böll.
Sidley’s Veterans Advocacy Project provides pro bono legal assistance to disabled veterans seeking fair and timely benefits from the VA and the Armed Forces. In 2021, our lawyers and staff dedicated 9,900+ hours to more than 120 matters on behalf of our veteran clients.