Cases & Deals

Veteran's appeal to the Department of Veterans Affairs results in a rating increase to 90% overall

Clients Serviceman X

Jones Day's Washington office represented Servicemember X (the "client"), who suffered severe complications from being injected with a vaccine. It left him paralyzed and comatose. He eventually regained consciousness and after significant rehabilitation, regained the use of his arms and legs, but cognitive and physical deficits remained. The Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA") rated him 80% disabled overall with a 10% rating for residual weakness in each leg. The client appealed the leg rating. The VA based the rating on the client's ability to obtain a certain score on a leg strength test. We argued that the leg strength test did not provide an accurate measure of the client's deficits because it only measured his leg strength with respect to his ability to exert force over a short period of time. His condition, however, robbed him of muscular endurance, which the test did not measure. For support, we obtained an opinion from a noted civilian orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine. The VA agreed and increased the client's rating to 20% for each leg (90% overall), which means approximately $200 more dollars per month for life.