Lawyers and Settlements
Advertisement
Home Page >> Lawyer Interviews >> Veterans’ Attorney Advocate Sees New Cla..

Veterans’ Attorney Advocate Sees New Class-Action Legal Battlegrounds for Wounded Warriors

. By
Fairfax, VAAttorney Benjamin Krause is a powerful voice for former soldiers who often find themselves fighting against the Veterans Administration (VA), an organization they expect to be their ally.

“I would say the VA has never been honest and straightforward in terms of compensating veterans without a fight,” says Krause, who is himself a veteran and former member of the US Air Force.

“The VA has been around for about 100 years,” says Krause.
“And it always fights claims tooth and nail because it is ultimately an insurance company,” he adds.


“It used to be called the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, but they changed the name in the 1920s,” says Krause. “Ultimately, at the end of the day, no matter what it is called, the VA adjudicated claims like an insurance company.”

Mismanagement, corruption, medical malpractice and delays in access to treatment that have led to reports of as many as 1,000 premature deaths have brought the VA front and center again.

“It would be shocking,” says Krause of the recent allegations, “if it wasn’t so familiar.”

Many veterans making claims or seeking benefits find themselves fighting through bureaucracy on their own. In some instances, their claims are frustrated by the Federal Tort Claims Act that, as Krause describes, frustrates veterans pursuing justice.

“The act severely restricts veterans in that it eliminates punitive damages and also restricts the award to the attorney to 25 percent. Many firms are not willing to take on these claims even if they are meritorious.”

However, Krause predicts, despite that, “the process is going to get bigger.

“Attorneys will start exploring some of the constitutional questions related to medical malpractice at the VA,” says Krause.

“Veterans have constitutional rights,” says Kraus. “They have a right and an expectation to timely care.”

There have recently been accusations that VA employees conspired to restrict access to veterans’ care in order to avoid putting in a full day’s work.

“A whistleblower reported that schedulers and doctors at one VA location conspired to artificially restrict their case load to two vets a week,” says Krause. “If they overbooked, then the scheduler would cancel the appointment in the computer and blame the cancelation on the vet so no one would know they were denying access to health care to vets,” says Krause.

These kinds of situations may generate new legal actions.

“I think law firms are going to take on more of these cases as class actions because of the significant public policy impact. We are going to see a fair amount of these come forward because these issues have affected so many veterans across the board, in a very similar manner, and they are all tied into policy problems related to a veteran’s vested right to an expectation of access to timely health care,” says Krause.

The VA’s budget is now about $160 billion a year. An amount, that if managed correctly and not subject to corrupt practices, might help more vets. However, Krause says, it still falls far short of what is really needed under the current circumstances.

“It costs a lot of money to take care of people that we send off to war and who are then harmed,” says Krause. “That is not cheap. And I think our country has tended to underestimate those numbers.”

“Dick Cheney, the former Vice President, estimated the war in Iraq would cost $60 billion and in fact it cost $4 trillion and climbing. That is absurd,” says Krause.

“They didn’t even consider veterans’ health care costs and veterans’ benefits. I think America is waking up to the fact that work is expensive on the back end and we need to factor that in.”

Astute, powerful observations like that have made Krause a sought-after lawyer and leading advocate in the ongoing struggle by disabled veterans.


Benjamin Krause is the founder and CEO of Armo Press, LLC and creator of its website, DisabledVeterans.org. He created the website to battle the VA in the court of public opinion. On the site, Benjamin publishes news articles and veterans’ stories that inform the public and help veterans get their benefits. He also openly discusses his own benefits struggles as a disabled veteran.

Veterans Malpractice Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a malpractice lawyer who may evaluate your Veterans Malpractice claim at no cost or obligation.
Request Legal Help Now

READER COMMENTS


Posted by

on
I have been fighting for my VA benefits since 2007. I have had documents lost, letters forged, attempted to kill me twice, my so call support team paid off, documents I requested denied, I was on not one but two Super Funded sites in Service, and have had over 50 surgeries since I was in service. I have been butchered, forced into retirement at the aged of 50, had brain tumors, all my female parts torn from me, cysts, lumps, tumors in most of my organs, hernia, 6" of my colon removed, narcolepsy. seizures, I got psoriasis two weeks after entering the service, a pilonidal cyst removed 6 months into service, have of my jaw bone is gone, two months after service they had to do over $10,000 worth of dental repair and now they want to remove all my teeth and do another $20,000 dental and put in dentures. I am only 60 but was forced retired at the age of 50. I will not even get into the awful treatment I received and all of my specialists were called liars and I have had a lot of them that were with me for over 30 years. All of this started in service. They released me with high blood pressure but even though I was in sick bay over 25 times while in the Marine corps three years they claimed they did not take even one blood pressure on me except my discharged blood pressure? The discharge Doctor told me he could not release me because my pressure was to high and put down a score that was one point under the high blood pressure mark. However when the VA lost those files in 2005 when they were records of the VA disability people I was sent $75.00 for having my name on that list however I did not even put in for disability yet so why was my name on that list unless the military knew I would eventually be disable from being on two open toxic waste sites and let go with high blood pressure, not even to mention given a test shot they called legionnaires flu shot. I think the military has a lot to answer for. By the way 40 years later and they are still no. 11 and 15 nation wide on the toxic waste site SuperFund site list.

Posted by

on
The following is a letter I mailed to Mr. Robert McDonald OIG
Thursday, ?May ?08, ?2014

Dear Inspector General

I realize that the the folks at the DVA are doing the best they can in handling a tough job.
I have been doing everything I can to get compensation from the Compensation Review Board, concerning the arthroscopy knee surgery that was performed on the wrong knee. The surgery led to a TKA. The x-rays before the surgery showed a completely healthy knee. After the surgery the x-rays showed osteoarthritis, and a missing meniscus. Given the documents that trace the surgery to the TKA and osteoarthritis. The evidence was completely ignored.
Senator boxer's legal staff, is considering a Congressional inquiry, after reviewing the evidence. I have been dealing with Ann Eubanks (congressional liaison) 619-400-5333 trying to arrive at a settlement ( trying to keep things simple)
The problem is that no matter the evidence, the DVA refuses to except cases that have anything to do with medical malpractice. The veteran that depends on Tital 38 U.S.C. Section 1151 for injuries incurred or aggravated while receiving VA-sponsored medical treatment from the VA Health Care system believes that he would be compensated. Nothing could be further from the truth
James Kinner

Posted by

on
My husband was denied medical assistance at the Long Beach VA and later was taken to an outside hospital where he died. We were told after waiting for over 6 weeks to 2 months they would not admit him or see him. Since 1991, we had been and I am still fighting since his death for Accrued Benefits since his death. The Regional office claims the file is in St. Paul, Mn. and St. Paul claim it's in Regional. Not only do I call, I have records of conversations made to MN. and I am constantly at Regional. On one occasion, when I am at Regional, I was told by the Rep. he had been blocked out and could not see the info that he was able to review 3 weeks prior when I was there. This system is so screwed up and the upper echelon is getting the big bucks that should be paid to the veterans. I support any and all actions ANYONE decides to take against the VA. Just as veterans and I constantly let the VA know, they hope we will go away or die. That's why we have so many homeless veterans because the system has denied them of what is rightfully theirs. Even President Bush said in an article in 2001 "The last thing a veteran needs to hear from any federal office is more--more routine excuses. That's wrong and this administration is going to get it right." And my comment on that is as of today the VA in 13 years still had not gotten it right.

Posted by

on
I was told mistakenly by the Tucson V.A. Rehabilitation Administrator before my son's death, who was a navy vet,
that the military had inserted a bio chip into my son without
his permission. This biochip was used as an experimental
tracking device. They inserted the chip into him during a normal rhinoplasty surgery while stationed in San Diego.
I have asked the military repeatedly for my son's surgery
report of his rhinoplasty and get nothing but excuses.

Posted by

on
Ben,

Great article, I can truly appreciate every aspect discussed. It certainly ties into many of the other issues regarding the corruption that appears to have taken over the Veterans Administration and this country. One can only hope that soldiers like yourself will continue to somehow find the strength to stand up and join together to continue the fight that now wages on American soil. As soldiers, it was our oath to fight all enemies, foreign and domestic. It appears to me that the enemy has now become many of our own politicians, and bureaucrats, in the form/name of corruption. As Dylan Thomas once said, "Do not go gentle into that good night, Rage, Rage against the dying of the light!"

It is certainly my plan to join you in your service, and fight to correct these atrocities, and I speak loudly, and clearly, when I call out to all other veterans to step forward, and continue to dig deep within as they have in the past, and bring forth that courage and determination that carried them through the haunting visions of battles past fought. To hopefully, someday find comfort in an honorable life, and death which we all as soldiers, and humans seek.

Posted by

on
And Who Says Politics Doesn't Play From Within the Agencies to the Branches
Especially to the Legislative to keep the costs, or create costly 'scandals', way down in the VA

Prior too this present Executive and Veterans administrations:

October 23, 2008 - And now VA investigators are trying to figure out if this one-time survey points to the likelihood that documents have been improperly destroyed for months or even years.

"Whatever this problem is, it didn't just start in the last two weeks," said Dave Autry, a spokesman for Disabled American Veterans. "It'd be unreasonable to assume that. Who knows what's been destroyed."

The documents, which didn't have duplicates at the VA, would have been critical in deciding veteran pension and disability claims. As a result, many veterans are asking whether their delayed or denied claims were affected by lost paperwork. read more>>>

Oct 16, 2008 - VA claims found in piles to be shredded

October 24, 2008 - House panel will target VA shredding

February 11, 2009 - Veterans' Claims Found in Shredder Bins

ProPublica and The Seattle Times Nov. 9, 2012 - Lost to History: Missing War Records Complicate Benefit Claims by Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans
"DeLara's case is part of a much larger problem that has plagued the U.S. military since the 1990 Gulf War: a failure to create and maintain the types of field records that have documented American conflicts since the Revolutionary War."

Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort

The War On Military Records

12/10/2013 - The era of big data has arrived on the battlefield and we need to find new ways to deal with it.

USN All Shore GMG3 '67-'71 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent **

Posted by

on
“We are dealing with veterans, not procedures—with their problems, not ours.” —General Omar Bradley, First Administrator of the Veterans Administration

Ahhh yes, it's just so easy to, Peoples Representatives, Rubber Stamp, wealth enhancing through investments, War Costs that are all borrowed, no offsets mentioned, on our credit with interest payments and in these recent two kept off the Countries books till Executive Administrations changed!! Then use same, Political Poser Patriotic Theater, for the decades of 'scandals' created by ignoring the Veterans of who served in and the issues from and doing patch work on which create more 'scandals' to use, including making sure the agency stays years behind the technology advances causing extremely costly problems that are then obstructed in fixing!

Meanwhile, DeJa- Vu all over again, the Veterans Bill sits in the House going no where!! They got the Gen. "Mission Accomplished" , their, problem solved!!!

'Congress Scrambling to Lower Cost of Bill to Fix Veterans' Health Care'

“Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

Poser Patriots, the 99% Served, especially conservative ideology, like it that way, been so for decades and wars from continuing the stand for them flag waving patriotic free wars, Afghanistan and Iraq still not paid for, and ignoring the results from. Decades of under funding, while ignoring many issues, the peoples responsibility the VA. Still grossly under funded, two tax cuts with these wars, in just recent history as Shinseki, with help from the entire Executive Branch, sought to bring it into the 21st century and as the people served promised from beginning, budget still mostly borrowed!!

Sen. Bernie Sanders told Conservatives: “If you can’t afford to take care of your veterans, than don’t go war. These people are bearing the brunt of what war is about, We have a moral obligation to support them.” February, 26th, 2014

USN All Shore '67-'71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 - Independent**

Posted by

on
I am a 20 years US Army protected class retiree, who has fought in two wars. I received an OEDCA Agency FAD in Aug 2012 for an employee disability discrimination/constructive discharge EEOC case. I have all the paperwork to support being entered into most any type of class action lawsuit of the nature this article is about. Please give me a shout should you want a class action member(s). My case is won against the Philadelphia VA Regional Office.

Currently, I have administrative paperwork in the pipeline.

Thank you.

ADD YOUR COMMENT ON THIS STORY

Fields marked * are mandatory. Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

*Name:

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

*Email Address:

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.
*Your Comment:

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.


Click to learn more about LawyersandSettlements.com