Cases & Deals

Firm achieves best possible result for client through the Veterans Assistance Project

Clients Client TS

Chris Froelich, Jones Day New York, represented TS (the "veteran"), who served in the Army during the first Gulf War, and was diagnosed thereafter with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). His benefits claim for PTSD, however, was denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 2007. Jones Day took on this matter in March 2008, while the veteran's case was on appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. We won that appeal in October 2008 on the ground that the VA failed to properly assist the veteran in developing his PTSD claim.

Following the appeal, the matter was remanded to the VA. Our primary objective at that point was to provide evidence to the VA that the veteran "engaged in combat with the enemy" during the first Gulf War. We were able to do that by providing statements from the veteran about the details of his service and by obtaining letters that he wrote home while in Iraq and Kuwait. Most importantly, we were able to locate a report, through the US Army Records Research Center, which confirmed that the veteran's unit came under Iraqi fire while it was stationed in Kuwait shortly after the war began.

Chris was notified in October that the veteran's PTSD claim was granted, that he was entitled to 100% of the eligible benefits, and that his benefits would be backdated to the time of his PTSD diagnosis in October 2002.

The veteran is thrilled with the result, and in fact became emotional when discussing it over the telephone. The veteran has a wife and 3 children and has had trouble keeping a job because of anxiety attacks and other complications he experiences daily as a result of PTSD. In fact, it's the first time that he and his wife have had enough money to open a bank account. The veteran said that the benefits his family is now receiving "have changed their lives."

While this is a tremendous result for the veteran and his family, it is also testament to the Firm's pro bono practice, and the Veterans Assistance Project in particular.