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Veterans Class Action Defense Cases-Cody v. Cox: District of Columbia Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Class Action Holding Congressional Amendment To Statute Did Not Render Class Action Claims Moot

Class Action Claims Under 24 U.S.C. § 413(b) were not Rendered Moot by 2006 Congressional Amendment to Section 413 District of Columbia Circuit Holds

Plaintiffs, elderly veterans who were full-time residents of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, filed a class action lawsuit against the Secretary of Defense and the Chief Operating Officer of the Armed Forces Retirement Home; the class action sought to compel the Armed Forces Retirement Home to provide “‘high quality’ health care, as required by 24 U.S.C. § 413(b).” Cody v. Cox, 509 F.3d 606, 2007 WL 4354429, *1 (D.C. Cir. 2007). Defense attorneys moved to dismiss the class action; the district court granted the motion, holding that the 2006 Congressional amendment to section 413 rendered the class action claims moot. See Cody v. Rumsfeld, 450 F.Supp.2d 5, 9-11 (D.D.C. 2006). The Circuit Court reversed. The Court concluded that the district court erred in dismissing the class action complaint because the amendment to section 413 did not render the claims moot. Cody v. Cox, at *1. Accordingly, it reversed and remanded.

The opinion of the District of Columbia Circuit contains an interesting discussion of the federal mootness doctrine, and those interested that doctrine are encouraged to review the opinion.

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