The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
November 7, 2012

Honoring Our Veterans Through Pro Bono

Aimee Sherrod was only 25 years old when she was discharged from the Air Force. She was deployed three times from 2001-2005, serving in both Iraq and Pakistan, where she frequently saw the horrors of war firsthand. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Sherrod was separated from the military and was denied the military retirement benefits to which she was entitled.

She married and started a family, but her young family suffered from the financial burden of purchasing healthcare, and they could not afford an essential surgery her son needed. In 2008, the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) contacted Sherrod about joining a class action lawsuit that sought to win back the retirement benefits she and hundreds of other veterans had been wrongfully denied.  Sabo v. United States was filed in December 2008 by NVLSP and pro bono counsel Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP*†, on behalf of Sherrod and six other plaintiffs, and lawyers from Hewlett Packard Company** joined pro-bono efforts to assist Sherrod and other class members.

The case reached a favorable settlement in 2011, when the U.S. military agreed to pay lifetime disability retirement benefits to more than 1,000 veterans with PTSD. Under the settlement, Sherrod and her husband will receive health care benefits for life and their three children will receive health care benefits until at least age 18. The medical bills that Sherrod and her family incurred following her discharge will also be reimbursed.

PBI is honored to have Aimee Sherrod as our special guest speaker at the 2012 PBI Annual Dinner in New York. Her perseverance is extraordinary and underscores the need to assist the men and women in uniform who risk their lives to protect our freedom. We hope you will join us on November 15 at Gotham Hall to hear Sherrod’s story and to be reminded of the great feats that pro bono work can accomplish.

* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
† denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project
** denotes a Signatory to the Corporate Pro Bono ChallengeSM

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