A group of former troops is taking legal action against the U.S. government, seeking compensation for lost pay and benefits resulting from the Biden administration’s military vaccine mandate. Attorney Dale Saran, along with lawyers Andy Meyer and Brandon Johnson, who successfully challenged the Anthrax vaccine in the past, are representing the former troops in three separate lawsuits.
Their intention is to consolidate these cases into a class action lawsuit that would represent all service members who either faced discharge or were unlawfully ordered to stop drilling, resulting in financial losses.
According to Saran, the potential amount of damages is in the billions. He stated, “It’s worth billions. That’s just flat-out. That’s what it is in backpay. It’s billions of dollars.” The lawsuits have been filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which specializes in handling cases related to illegal discharges.
Saran estimates that around 80,000 to 100,000 service members, including both active-duty troops and reservists, have been affected by the vaccine mandate. While more than 8,000 active-duty troops have been discharged, tens of thousands of reservists have been instructed to cease drilling or have been placed on inactive status.
The former troops claim that they were denied due process, as no administrative separation boards or hearings were conducted to address their cases. Saran criticized the lack of adherence to proper administrative and judicial procedures, stating, “They just flat-out did it. And then… they got the Coast Guard to follow along, and they got a bunch of Coasties too.”
Among the individuals seeking damages is Zach Loesch, a former Coast Guard member who had been hailed by President Joe Biden for his efforts in saving lives during Hurricane Ian. Loesch was only two weeks away from being discharged from the Coast Guard due to his refusal to receive the vaccine.
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Saran emphasized that the damages sought encompass not only lost backpay but also the repayment of enlistment bonuses. He explained that individuals who had received bonuses upon enlisting are now being asked to repay that money due to their refusal to take the experimental vaccine.
Saran argued that these actions were unjust and violated the original contract between the service members and the government.
Saran asserted that the Pentagon already has the necessary funds to compensate those who lost active-duty or drill time, as these payments are included in the annual budget allocated by Congress. He called attention to the fact that withholding this money is essentially theft by the Department of Defense.
Reflecting on his previous experience with the Anthrax vaccine, Saran noted the similarities with the current situation. He stated, “I defended people who refused the Anthrax vaccine back in ’99 and 2000 when I was a young judge advocate.
I did some work on the lawsuit Doe v. Rumsfeld that shut down the anthrax vaccine. And so… here we are, second go around again, 15 years in, and we’re right back at the mass vaccination of unlicensed vaccines like the government didn’t learn last time. So, nothing new under the sun.”
The cases have been filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the names Bassen v. USA, No. 23-211C, Botello v. USA, No. 23-174C, and Harkins v. USA, No. 23-1238C.