Opinions / Panel Activity

Opinion Summary – Skarr v. McDonough

Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in Skarr v. McDonough, a case we have been following because it attracted two amicus briefs. In this case, after being diagnosed with leukopenia Skarr filed a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs for service-connected benefits. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals denied Skarr’s claim, and Skarr appealed to the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. That court certified a class including Skarr and similarly situated veterans. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs appealed the class certification to the Federal Circuit, asserting the Veterans Court lacked authority to certify the class. Skarr cross-appealed the Veterans Court’s definition of the class. In an opinion authored by Judge Hughes and joined by Judge Newman and Chief Judge Moore, this month the Federal Circuit vacated the Veterans Court’s class certification and denied Skarr’s cross-appeal. This is our opinion summary.

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