GENERAL UPDATE: THE COURT GRANTED APPROVAL OF THE SETTLEMENT ON APRIL 26, 2021.
What is this Lawsuit about?
A lawsuit was filed alleging that since the start of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army discharged thousands of Soldiers with Other Than Honorable ("OTH") or General (Under Honorable Conditions) ("GEN") statuses due to misconduct attributable to post-traumatic stress disorder ("PTSD"), traumatic brain injury ("TBI"), military sexual trauma ("MST"), and other behavioral health conditions ("OBH"). Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that veterans who experienced PTSD, TBI, MST, or OBH in service and received OTH and GEN discharges were systematically denied status upgrades by the Army Discharge Review Board ("ADRB"). The Army has agreed to settle the lawsuit while denying these allegations.
Who is included in the Class?
The Court certified a class in this civil action (the “Settlement Class”) defined as follows:
"Members and former members of the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard who served during the Iraq and Afghanistan era - the period between October 7, 2001 to April 26, 2021 (the Effective Date of Settlement) - who
- were discharged with a less-than-Honorable service characterization (this includes GEN and OTH discharges from the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard, but not Bad Conduct or Dishonorable discharges);
- have not received discharge upgrades to Honorable; and
- have diagnoses of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions or records documenting one or more symptoms of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions at the time of discharge attributable to their military service under the Hagel Memo standards of liberal and special consideration."