Lawsuit seeks to speed housing on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus
By Scott Stump
December 13, 2014
Veterans Affairs officials and the board of directors for the West Los Angeles Community Service District (WLACSD), which manages the campus for the VA, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “continue to work together to improve the quality, availability, utilization and/or efficiency of care” offered at the hospital in the former VA compound at 2250 N. Whittier St.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Mark A. Tingley and David J. O’Brien, filed the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court on November 26, 2014, and asked the court to order the VA to “take prompt action to move VA-administered services, including but not limited to residential services, to a new, dedicated facility, or another location of equal quality and accessibility.”
The plaintiffs include patients, guardians, and families who are unable to find housing or other housing on the West Los Angeles VA campus, which has been the site of the VA hospital since the agency first moved in 1970.
A press release announcing the lawsuit stated that the plaintiffs “claim that the West Los Angeles VA is failing as mandated by the federal law governing veterans health care and the Veterans Health Care Act (VHA).” The lawsuit seeks to be heard by a three-judge panel in Riverside on January 13, 2015.
The lawsuit claims that the MOU with the VA is not in the best interest of veterans and, as a result, the plaintiffs want that agreement to be invalidated.
“We are asking for a judicial declaration that the MOU is illegal and unenforceable,” Tingley and O’Brien said in a statement. “This is not a public policy case, or a political fight over VA care. Every veteran has been served the best possible care from the VA.”
Tingley and O’Brien did not return calls for comment.
In a statement, David W. Gossett, a California Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) official, said the MOU with VA was “a simple but very hard-fought agreement that will lead