Shinseki v. Sanders
- Case Date: 10/21/2008
- Project Name: Protecting America's Freedom: National Security and Defense
On April 21, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a federal appeals court ruling that had held the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accountable when it commits significant procedural errors in processing disability claims submitted by veterans. The decision was a partial setback for WLF, which filed a brief urging affirmance. But the High Court's decision included a silver lining; it held that the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims is entitled to determine that certain types of VA procedural errors have the "natural effect" of prejudicing a disability claimant and to overturn VA decisions on that basis. WLF had argued that when the VA commits procedural errors, a reviewing court should presume that the veteran was prejudiced by the errors unless the VA demonstrates otherwise. The Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that claimants for disability benefits whose claims have been denied should bear the burden of demonstrating prejudiced by any procedural errors.
More Information and Downloads:
10/21/2008: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Minimizes VA Accountability for Errors in Processing Claims