VVA Logo VVA Press Release

Press Release

February 13, 2009

No. 09-02 

Mokie Porter

VVA Announces $20 Million Settlement on
VA Data Theft Lawsuit

(WASHINGTON, 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 VVA Veteran.

“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.
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”


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