This morning the Federal Circuit issued two precedential opinions in veterans cases, one precedential opinion in a takings case, and one precedential opinion in a trade case. Here are the introductions to the opinions.
Jones v. Wilkie (Precedential)
Appellant Florence Jones, the widow of deceased veteran Thomas Jones, seeks to overturn a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“the Veterans Court”) regarding the effective date that the Department of Veterans Affairs (“DVA”) assigned to benefits awarded to Mr. Jones. We affirm.
Sellers v. Wilkie (Precedential)
Robert M. Sellers served honorably in the U.S. Navy from April 1964 until February 1968, and in the U.S. Army from January 1981 to February 1996. Mr. Sellers currently suffers from major depressive disorder (“MDD”). As a practical matter, this case involves Mr. Sellers’ attempt to establish an earlier effective date than the one currently assigned to him for the compensation he receives due to his current MDD condition.
Mr. Sellers has an effective date of September 18, 2009. He seeks an effective date of March 11, 1996, the date he filed a formal claim seeking compensation for specifically identified injuries to his leg, knee, back, finger, and ears. In a space on his formal application labeled “Remarks,” Mr. Sellers wrote “Request for s/c [service connection] for disabilities occurring during active duty service.” J.A. 140. Mr. Sellers contends that the law in effect in 1996 requires his remarks to be understood as a formal claim for compensation for his MDD, even though his claim in no way refers to MDD, and thus affords him the earlier effective date of his 1996 formal claim. The United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (“Veterans Court”) agreed that Mr. Sellers’ claim based on MDD could suffice in the absence of any reference to that condition. Sellers v. Wilkie, 30 Vet. App. 157 (2018). The Secretary of Veterans Affairs challenges the Veterans Court’s decision, arguing that a legally sufficient formal claim must identify, at least at a high level of generality, the current condition upon which the veteran’s claim for benefits is based. For the reasons set forth below, we agree with the Secretary. Accordingly, Mr. Sellers is not entitled to the earlier effective date he requests.
Hardy v. United States (Precedential)
This appeal concerns alleged takings of land along a railroad corridor in Newton County, Georgia under the National Trails System Act. The Government appeals the United States Court of Federal Claims’ conclusion on summary judgment that plaintiffs-appellees have a cognizable property interest in the land at issue. The Government also challenges the trial court’s holding that issuance of the applicable Notice of Interim Trail Use or Abandonment effected a temporary taking of certain parcels along the railroad corridor, which, in the Government’s view, were erroneously included in the Notice’s description of the land subject to the Notice. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the trial court’s conclusion that plaintiffs-appellees have a cognizable property interest. We vacate the trial court’s decision that issuance of the applicable Notice of Interim Trail Use or Abandonment effected a taking of certain parcels along the railroad corridor and remand for further proceedings.
Prosperity Tieh Enterprise Co. v. United States (Precedential)
This appeal arises from an antidumping duty investigation in which the United States Department of Commerce “collapsed” into a single entity three Taiwanese producers of goods subject to the investigation. We conclude that Commerce’s collapsing determination is contrary to law and unsupported by substantial evidence. We also conclude on cross-appeal that the United States Court of International Trade erred when it reversed Commerce’s determination that Prosperity submitted inaccurate questionnaire responses. We therefore vacate and remand to the Trade Court.