Class Actions Certified for Post-911 Veterans Seeking Discharge Upgrades

January 25, 2019
The U.S. District Court in Connecticut recently granted plaintiffs’ motion in Kennedy v. Esper to certify a nationwide class of Army veterans who were separated during the Iraq and Afghanistan era with a less- than-honorable discharge potentially stemming from PTSD or other related mental health conditions.
In November 2018, the same court in Manker v. Spencer certified a class of Navy and Marine Corps veterans who similarly claimed say they were unfairly given less-than-honorable discharges for minor infractions linked to their untreated mental health problems. Congress created Discharge Review Boards (DRBs) to help veterans upgrade an unjustly harsh discharge after returning to civilian life. These class actions challenge the DRB’s systemic failure to adequately and timely consider mental health conditions when veterans request that their discharge status be upgraded.