Veteranclaims’s Blog

October 29, 2009

Gov. Concedes Payment of Benefits to Surviving Spouses

Full Article at: U.S. Concedes Retroactive Payment of Benefits for Military Surviving Spouses
WASHINGTON–(Business Wire)–
In another significant pro bono victory for Weil Gotshal, the Department of Defense has announced that there will be no more appeals in the case of Sharp v. United States, allowing the plaintiffs – three military widows – and all
similarly situated surviving spouses to receive the death and insurance benefits to which they were entitled

The concession by the U.S. comes on the heels of the August 27, 2009 ruling in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Weil Gotshal clients Patricia
Sharp, Margaret Haverkamp and Iva Rogers, widows of distinguished servicemen.
With the help of Weil`s team, the women challenged the Department of Defense`s long-standing interpretation of the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation program, arguing that the government had refused hundreds of families their entitled benefits. The August victory secured the continuation of full SBP annuity payments, repayment of any previously
refunded SBP premiums, and restoration of full SBP annuity payments for all similarly situated surviving spouses, an amount projected to be over $35 million.

“It is an honor to work on behalf of the families who have dedicated their lives to serve our country,” said Edward Reines, lead attorney in this case. “This is an important victory for not only our clients, but other widows of fallen
soldiers who will now receive the benefits that they deserve.”

The Weil Gotshal team was led by partner Edward Reines (Silicon Valley), with associates Michael Franzinger and Azra Hadzimehmedovic, assisted by paralegal Anupama Chettri (all from the firm`s Washington, DC office). Associates Rip Finst and Paul Ehrlich and summer associate Nicola Carah (Silicon Valley) made valuable contributions to the effort as well.”

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