D.C.) Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) applauds the Court involved
in the Department of Veterans Affairs Data Theft Litigation on
the recently announced settlement. On June 2, 2006, VVA joined
with four other national organizations and several individual
veterans in filing a class-action lawsuit which sought judicial
oversight and protection of the VA computer files with personal
information on approximately 26.5 million veterans.
Although VVA and the other organizational plaintiffs were dismissed
from the action for lack of standing, the individual plaintiffs
persevered. Their perseverance was rewarded on February 10, 2009,
when U.S. District Judge James Robertson preliminarily approved
a settlement agreement during a hearing in Washington, D.C. Under
the agreement, the Government will pay $20 million, which will
be used to compensate veterans who suffered actual damages as
a result of the incident and for the legal fees and administrative
costs of the action.
Attorneys anticipate that within the next thirty days, a notice
campaign will be launched to provide veterans with specific information
on how they may make a claim against the settlement fund if they
believe that they suffered actual damage from the incident. Once
VVA obtains a copy of this information, it will be made available
on www.vva.org and in VVA’s bimonthly publication, The
“Although VVA did not survive judicial scrutiny, we are
still extremely proud and expect this outcome to be financially
beneficial to those who were harmed. It sends a clear message
to the VA that we will not allow them to be lax with our private
and confidential information,” said John Rowan, National
President of VVA.
“In addition to thanking the individual named plaintiffs,
special thanks are owed to the attorneys who initially litigated
this case and ultimately settled the case in the veterans’ favor.
From our perspective, all of the attorneys did a stellar job,
but we owe a special thanks to Douglas Rosinski of the law firm
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., who represented
VVA as well as individual veterans.”
Any settlement funds not disbursed to eligible veterans who submit
an approved claim will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation
and The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “This is a win-win
situation for all concerned. Not only will those veterans harmed
by the data loss be compensated, remaining funds, if any, will
go to two outstanding organizations,” said Rowan.