Veterans cannot sue the military branch in which they served for any injuries or illnesses directly related to their service. This, however, doesn’t mean that Veterans cannot pursue claims against private contractors or foreign governments involved in State-sponsored terrorism.
Often, private companies target Active Duty and Veteran service members in one of two ways:
- Striking deals with the government to provide military equipment and gear; or
- By marketing directly to the population by offering deals or special access to products and services.
In both of these situations, companies are expected to conduct themselves according to the law by holding up their end of the promise. In other words, companies cannot give the military defective products, nor can they engage in deceptive advertising.
Can Active Duty and Retired Military Sue Against Private Contractors?
Yes. As seen in cases like 3M, Veterans and their families can pursue claims against private contractors. While the Feres Doctrine often bars servicemembers from pursuing claims against the military itself, it does not protect companies who defraud the military in contractual obligations.
Similarly, for-profit colleges often target military service members because of GI Bill tuition benefits. DeVry and the University of Phoenix have been sued because they targeted Veterans in pursuit of promising civilian careers. Thousands of veterans have pursued these companies in court for their failures to deliver on advertised promises.
Will a lawsuit affect my military benefits?
Generally speaking, whether or not your military benefits will be affected depends on the type of benefits you receive and the eligibility rules associated. The best way to determine whether or not pursuing a settlement against a private company will affect you is to speak with an attorney handling those matters. Contact VLAP to find out who we trust.
We are Veterans Helping Veterans
The Veteran Legal Assistance Program is here to support Veterans and Active-Duty service members. We also want to keep Veterans and their families informed of the issues affecting them. If you are in need of assistance, contact the Veterans Legal Assistance Program and let us know how we can help.
We’ve got your six.