Legal Filings

Legal Filings
Dec 20, 2011

District Court Denies Government’s Motion for Summary Judgment in CREW v. Dept. of Veterans Affair

Lawsuits, Federal Agencies, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

On December 15, 2011, District Court Judge Paul Friedman denied the government’s motion for summary judgment and granted CREW’s request for discovery in CREW v. U.S. Dep’t of Veterans Affairs (D.D.C.).  CREW brought this lawsuit after the VA failed to respond to CREW’s Freedom of Information Act request for all records of guidance given to any VA staff or consultants regarding the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  CREW made this request in the wake of an email from a VA psychologist that clinicians consider diagnosing adjustment disorder in lieu of the more costly diagnosis of PTSD.  When the VA failed to locate the email as part of its responsive documents, CREW challenged the adequacy of the agency’s search.  During court-approved discovery it emerged that the VA had destroyed emails that may have been responsive to CREW’s request.  CREW argued further discovery was necessary, and the Court agreed, authorizing CREW to take two additional depositions.