Tennessee Marine with Chronic Pain Files Suit

Tennessee Marine with Chronic Pain Files Suit

By Ed Coghlan.

The recruiting slogan is well known: You don’t join the Marines—you become one.

And for chronic pain patient, Robert Rose, you never really stop being one.

The East Tennessee Marine—who believes that the restrictions on opioid prescribing are hurting veterans—has gone on the attack.

He has filed a $350 million lawsuit that names several employees of the Mountain Home Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center and U.S. Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN).

Rose said he has chronic pain in his back, spine, and legs as a result of severe injuries while in the service. He said he has been tormented since last November when he was forced off pain medication.

He also believes veteran suicides have continued to mount as did cases of death due to natural causes after pain medications were denied to veterans and even cancer patients across the nation.

If you read the National Pain Report, you know Robert Rose.  On the July 4th weekend, he was making news when he challenged Representative Rose to answer questions why veterans were—from Rose’s point of view—being denied care.

Here’s how we reported the story.

During Congressman Roe’s speech, Rose, sitting in his wheelchair, turned his back on the Congressman–who by the way in an Army veteran himself and–importantly–Chairman of the House Committee on Veteran Affairs.

After the speech, Rose said his path to the Congressman was blocked by the VA Police and he wasn’t allowed to speak to him.

Rose told me then he’s lost count of how many times he’s tried to speak with Congressman Roe, believes the VA Police were trying intimidate him and illegally detained him before the meeting.

Now Rose has filed a suit–thus far without the help of an attorney.

Rose has chronic pain in his back, spine, and legs as a result of severe injuries while in the service. He said he has been tormented for the last year since  he was forced off pain medication.

Rose said the veterans who are not addicted but have severe pain are being neglected.

Stay Tuned.

Featured image: Robert Rose.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Congratulations Robert! You may be the one to successfully pursue/win a rare case of this kind & many similar will follow case law! Lead the way!!
We’re hoping/praying for a great outcome!
A CPP & mom
Of a young specialist/Army!





Jim Moulton

Best to you sir, I appreciate your courage. You must be in real bad pain, having your pain meds all taken for you. I wish some congress or Senate person would say something positive to support real pain sufferers, but you don’t see it. I talked to my local congress woman, after seeing an article she wrote. She did share a story with me about someone who had out pt surgery ,and the surgeon only gave the person pain meds for one day. But, when she talks in public, it is about the bad part of pain meds, representing the political view.



Thank you from the daughter of a Marine! I too, will join a class action and am passing on the go fund me info.

Bless you for being in the lead of this fight. I actually expect no less from a Marine!


dear robert as far as being an marine i wouldn’t know nothing about that,but i want to thank you for protecting us americans,as far as being an chronic pain patient i know some what about that i’ve had my opioid medicine lowered in amount’s and mg’s and they also add naloxone to them for drug abuse which make to no effect for severe chronic pain i’ve had two neck fusion which repaired my spine but left me in severe pain in 2015 i was given oxycontin 3 a day, then they shut my pain doctor down because he was given patients the medicine what they needed to live life as disabled person’s,my doctor told them he would lower his patients medication for they all needed them for severe pain,they then shut his doors,i had to go to another pain doctor who was worried they would do him the same,for that was at the start of the opioid crisis,I JUST WANT TO SAY ITS A SHAME to let vet vets suffer when their is medicine to treat them,and the rest of us,i now live in pain so bad i was griitten my teeth and they broke,i been praying someone grow’s a brain and start to see they are torturing real chronic pain patients,most of all are vets who really need it the most,i will pray for you robert,that god make a way where their seems to none,GOD BLESS.

Maureen Mollico

Dear Robert, As you know, I’ve been a supporter of yours all along, keeping you in my prayers… I want you to know that I AM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU! Your perseverance is amazing, incredible, admirable and forever honorable… All in the name of pain and your intense sufferings. I hope and pray for your continued strength and courage. God bless you, as always, you are a fine man and one hell of a MARINE!
Keep the faith! Please keep us posted. We are behind you! Maureen

Terri McFarland

I wish you the best of luck with your lawsuit. Perhaps if enough people learn of this suit an attorney who cares may take up the case pro-bono. Your suit is representing a lot of men and women that are needlessly suffering after serving our country. This cannot be tolerated. It is time our government gets out of the Dr. offices. Thank you for your service, and thank you for taking action.

I too feel forgotten and frustrated by the attack on legal and responsible opioid users. Those of us who need pain medication to attempt at a life worth living, in our daily struggles with oppressive and crippling pain, find our hands tied now that our own physicians cannot practice medicine as they see fit, without fear for losing their own medical practices, for practicing medicine the way they should be able to. So many good MDs have felt forced to leave many of us chronic pain patients abandoned, and without hope. I think the Government has taken too broad a stroke on what they call an epidemic. Depriving patients of the medication to live with less pain will not solve this problem when it is evident those opioid drug abusers are getting illegally sold and imported opiates on the black market, not from my meager prescription, or yours. The oath any Dr. takes when becoming licensed states “Do no harm” but I am being harmed, since I have no less than 8 medical conditions that keep me in constant pain. Hell yes, we need a class action lawsuit! Until someone takes our plight into the light, our many personal struggles will remain, and with that, we are being forced to suffer the cruel and unusual punishments our diseases and conditions cause, we have lost important civil liberties! Being one of the many CPP abandoned by modern medicine and once helpful caregivers, I am being forced to live in constant pain, with a side of anguish, with no clear path to relief. I am witnessing my world shrinking as I am unable to enjoy the activities of a normal existance. I think this is something else we all share as we become less able to socialize, participate, and lately, can’t even smile due to this torture. Please include me in any Class Action suit, I am at wits end. Brightest Blessings to you all, and a Thank you for this community and platform.


A similar thing is happening to me. I filed for Short Term Disability. On my annual review my boss asked “How is your health?” He knew I was sick and said he was wearing the “hat” of empathy. His wife has CRPS. He told me he would support me opting for full disability. I did in September. My claim was approved thru Aetna, My disability was certified and then re-certified. When I spoke to the Aetna representative she stated that their MRO (medical review officer) and nurses could not believe I was still walking based on the MRI report and the number of injections I had within a short period of time. Low and behold they “terminated” my claim. I contacted the agent and she said “That was just me talking” . I said “Oh heck no! The company hired another agency to push my claim thru Social Security which only takes claims they have a 97% chance of winning. I am still waiting on the approval. It may take 6 months..
On follow-up calls other agents are calling and saying that the lady I spoke with will be out for some time.
I filed a formal appeal requesting documentation.

Currently in limbo for now.

Janice Snyder

First, thank you for your service. You have sacrificed so much so that people like me and my children and their children will not have to join up to defend our country. If they do make that decision, I will support them.

I must say that what you have had to endure is disgusting and beyond cruel and unusual punishment. I wish you well on your suit. If there ever was a justified case, yours is it.



Please show your support; donations welcome if possible; being on limited income, I know how difficult it can be surviving payday to payday. Just remember PRAYERS are needed and are much more powerful! …


Robert D. Rose Jr., BSW, MEd. USMC – Semper Fidelis

Christine Smith

Dear Marine , Fellow American, & fellow chronic pain patient…… I have been fighting chronic pain for 16 yrs , i am an RN & have been ridiculed for advocating or coming forward that I too am a chronic pain patient! I have lost a job that i wasmaking great money a job that meant everythung tom! 2 yrs of being my employers go to gal and/or thrir ” yes” girl …I had been fighting illness ..for the first time i needed to call out and goto the ER ! You see i knew better than to goto hospital locally … or risking my meds becoming available for my employers/coworkers to have access to …so i always went to the connecting town! This particular time i had no family or rriends that cpuld drve me sooo i just decided to go to local hospital! Welpguess what within a month i was being let go for lack of documentation!? WOW! I was devastated … i went back withthis bogus list thry gave HR THEY DIDNT EVEN EXIST AS OPEN VISITS😅 When i brought this up to HR AND THE BOSS THAT WETE SITTING AT TABLE THEY HAD NOYHING TO SAY? ! Omg i did everything for them !i let my guard down.. and i lost everything leaving me alone homeless and on the road looking for new job! I didnot ask for this pain or life? Ive worked so hard asa single mother and get thru! And i have been looked down upon looked upon…. and i want to fight baack like you ! Ty foryr inspiratio and god bless!

Susan Stephenson

God bless you, Robert! Like many CP pts. who require opiate maintenance, I have concluded a sweeping class action suit is likely the only viable solution to the pain crisis.

*Along with others, I too would like to donate to the Go Find Me (or a like) site.

*Please keep us posted on LI or other social media– so we can stop the ignorance, total stupidity and self fulfilling agendas of bureaucrats, politicians and others OUT and the needs of CP pts. addressed. We do not have to accept their agendas. We are the ones suffering. Not them!

I applaud your efforts. The CP community has your back. We stand behind you…all the way.

Susan Stephenson
Richmond, VA

Dear Larry K, Renee E Mace, ROY STARLING, Clifford Walker. Vanessa, Deborah L. Christopher-Preston, Grace Morgan, William Dorn, Steve M, Donna Ratliff, Becky, Eddie Hirsch, Karl Zaremba As Mr. Dorn says I am in this battle not for myself but for all Americans. It is my opinion after being told by Dr. Alex Deluca in 2008 to deny pain MEDICATIONS = DEATH SENTENCE, the Senate began planning this assault. Why? Money? Greed? I don’t know. What I do know is four years later, 2012 the House received a similar report from a different group of doctors. Then as we know the “candy docs” were exposed at various VA facilities that year. Also in 2012 in Minnesota (Fargo, St. Cloud, Minneapolis) the VAs began an “opioid safety initiative.” There was outcry by many veterans & families such as SSgt Ryan Trunzo, US Army (RIP) who committed suicide after being denied pain medications. The VA continued using a targeted cities strategy across the country with the policy and with each new addition, the media blackouts became more effective. Please look up Peter Kaisen, US Navy (RIP) suicide story; it is one of the last that made it past the media blackout and there have been too many more, even here in TN. Since 2012, the lies and propaganda has been a daily occurrence in the the news outlets. Articles depicting needle scarred arms and fabricated death numbers from opioids all the while ignoring the other drugs being abused. My belief they are ignored as there are no analgesics replacement for them and so no money to be made from demonizing those addicts. Finally, in March 2016, the CDC released its guidelines version 1, written mainly in secret by rehab specialists & anti-opioid fanaticis. The CDC even admitted in December 2016 that most of the data was corrupted in a report to Congress. Still, lawmakers and insurance companies have jumped all over these guidelines and are now implementing them as the law of the land ignoring Federal law and international treaties designed to protect us. Also in December 2016, the VA released not guidelines but POLICY Version 3 their opioid prescribing guidelines which tell doctors to ignore the threat of suicide for veterans placed on a forced taper or denied all pain MEDICATIONS. These details, as matter of public record, are the reasons I am fighting for veterans and all Americans with my lawsuit. I can only encourage others to do the same. The more attacks on their wallets will result in abolishment of these asinine policies and hold those responsible accountable. I am sharing my civil tort to anyone who requests it and when I WIN, the Punitive Damages will go into a trust to aid others and to educate idiotic politicians practicing medicine without a license. (Please read the full details of the tort from the Federal Court database: Case #2:17-cv-204 Robert D. Rose Jr. v Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN)) Tim Mason – My mother gave me the chair you see… Read more »

how can we donate is there a gofundme yet ? ..Please consider setting 1 up I want to help and I am sure many others will to

Tim Mason

I see you use a wheelchair. Do you have transportation or made arrangements to get to court.
I once took a veteran to the VA in Murfreesboro for a disability hearing. He had been shot in combat and as time passed by his condition worsened. For years he was listed as 50% disabled and a few years later it was increased to 75%.
He was unable to ambulate to buy groceries for he and his wife.
We sat in a room across from 6 different physicians.
The doctors listened to him and I vouched for his condition.
He left there with 100% disability and the financial means to purchase any mobility aid and modifications to his vehicle to accommodate said mobility device.
I believe we have comminuted via email.
Keep me posted Brother.

The attack on opiate pain killers is misdirected . The Mexicans and Chinese are killing Americans at an alarming rate with the heroine .You never hear about this. Many Americans who suffer from chronic pain are suffering horribly because the government has chosen to attack the Drs instead of going to the root of the problem . Please continue the fight to insure Americans with chronic pain can have access to the medications they need to make through their day
Eddie Hirsch

Best of luck, and sending prayers to you Marine Robert Rose! Thank you to fight for all of us, sir. It is unthinkable you are denied medicine to help you not be in utter agony. I hope and pray your lawsuit is successful.
I have a daughter disabled at 23 from a combo of a genetic disease and Lyme. Pain. Uncontrollable pain due to limits on meds by people who do not understand what chronic pain feels like to where one can barely move, truly.
For you to serve our country and be denied any help at all is downright embarrassing, a true shame to our government. What is all the talk about pride in our country when our country does not embrace our own citizens suffering?
I am so sorry you had to go to these lengths. I am so sorry for your suffering. My heart goes out to you and your family.
Best wishes, prayers for success to get help and relief!

Donna Ratliff

I’m praying for you, Mr. Rose, and a favorable out come to this important legal challenge you are undertaking. Candidates here in WV, as they are in other states, are running for public office on the promise to end the “opioid drug epidemic.” However, not only do none of them offer any solutions to the plight of the chronic pain patient now that all doctors refuse to prescribe any pain medication, they too pretty much refuse to discuss it with chronic pain patients or their caregivers. The government has no qualms sending soldiers into harm’s way for our country, nor does it have any qualms about sending coal miners into the belly of the earth, but, sadly now, it feels no need to provide them with adequate medical care, including relief from pain. Not only do they feel no responsibility, there is no compassion for those who suffer unending chronic pain. As the wife of a coal miner who gave his body to help provide energy for this country, my daughter and I watch every day the anguish and torment our now disabled coal miner is now forced to endure without any prescription pain medication. It is inhumane for medical practitioners or those who dictate medical policy to allow chronic pain patients suffer when they possess the ability to alleviate that pain.

Steve M

What if we all filled lawsuits, like Scientology did back in the 80s?

A single class action can be defended against with fraud, but 100,000s of smaller suits would be harder to defend.

If someone could get a lawyer to write up some form letter documents that we could all use to file suits without needing to hire additional lawyers, we might actually stand a decent chance of affecting some change.

Carrie Strobach

Even the World Health org. states that access to pain meds is a human right!!! I wish I could tell Mr Rose this! It would be a good thing to add to his battle. I want to find a way to start a class action suite against the FDA and the CDC.

Grace Morgan

This is beyond disgusting treatment of our vets.. This is unacceptable and I hope that this law suit is a national wake up call with regard to the inhumane treatment of chronic pain patients. Doctors refusing to appropriately treat chronic pain with needed medication to control pain should not be allowed to practice medicine .This is equivalent to denying insulin to a diabetic or albuterol to an asthma patient. What a barbaric society we now have where doctors leave patients in pain that they have he means to manage and control.

Deborah L. Christopher-Preston

Dear Robert Rose….My name is Debi and I just read about you, and I just wanted to tell you that my heart goes out to you!! I recently moved back to Mi. from E. Tn after my divorce, and I so understand what you are going through…I too, am a chronic pain sufferer and when I lived down there, I could NOT get any decent treatment for it!! If I were LUCKY, I might get a few hydrocodone tablets from somebody, but they don’t help at all, and of course, I FINALLY went to a pain specialist in Knoxville, Dr Fox, who I never did see. All I ever saw were NP’s and after battling with them for several months, they finally gave me MS Contin 30 MG, 3 times a day. They helped quite a bit, but after using them for about 2 months, they called me in for a pill count and drug screen, and THEN they kicked me out of the practice…Even though my pill count was perfect..right on the money, but they tried to say that I had COCAINE in my system!! I most certainly DID NOT…I HATE Cocaine with a passion…I don’t even like Eric Clapton’s song about it!! Anyway, my ex husband put me and our son through pure hell over that crap…Crack, and I almost ended my own life because of HIM!! I think that is the way they play in Tn. they might treat you for a short period of time, but then they find some LAME, Lying Excuse to stop you!! Now, Mi is no picnic to get pain meds in…at first, all I could get was those lousy Norcos again, to the point where I was thinking that was ALL any Dr here would prescribe, but I FINALLY got in to a great, Legit pain clinic with a fantastic Dr and his PA, and they too, tried pt, injections, Norco 5 and 10’s until none of that helped and they have me on the Fentanyl 50mcg patches, that REALLY help me. Believe me, this office is no fly by night pill mill…but they WILL help you, and dont give you alot of hassles about it either!! Also, Mi. DOES use medical Marijuana. I am sad about my divorce, but as for my health, moving back home was the best move I ever made! That’s all, BUT I did want to tell you that my Brother in law, who unfortunately is now deceased, but he was a Marine also, and I have ALOT of RESPECT for you guys! You all look great in your dress blues, too! Thank You for Your Service!! Best Wishes to you with this, and Happy Holidays! Respectfully, Debi Christopher-Preston


Kickin’ butt Robert!! Thank you for everything you’re doing and the aggravation you’re putting up with in the meanwhile.
We got your back!!

William Dorn

Every chronic pain patient in America should call their local media and their congressmen and voice their support for Sgt Rose.He is fighting for all of us the way only vets can.He is still fighting for our rights even from his wheelchair.My father served in the military for 25 years and was a survivor of the USS Dorchester and he would have felt betrayed by our goverment for the way our goverment has treated vets and all americans in chronic pain.He was frozen from the waist up from floating in the waters of the north atlantic after his ship was sunk during WW2.We must all fight for our rights the way our vets do.


Only a matter of time before law suits like this become plentiful, and rightfully so. What I have been put through is insane, and I have thought about suing many times; I don’t have the energy. I fear all doctors now in general because of what I was put through…people who gave legit pain are being completely neglected because of the “opiod crisis”. There will be a backlash against the medical community, and it won’t be pretty.

Clifford Walker

I am a chronic pain patient.
Have been for 16 yrs.
Sue the hell out of them. Our voice needs to be heard. These idiots dont have a clue what pain is on a daily 24/7 basis. Good luck and thank you for your service since the ones that sent you dont seem to care about you. I am sorry for that!!!

Michael G Langley, MD

Godspeed to you, soldier!


Thank you for doing something. In 2013 I was in Portland Oregon and was told that because I had been on pain medication for so long that it was in my head. My new VA doctor said I am going to save your life and cut my meds in half and half again the next month. When I complain they set up a appointment with my doctor the head of pain management and a psychiatrist that I had never seen and bullied me into cutting pain meds out and promised that after a month they would add it back if I had not improved. I used my Medicare to get care for my pain. I came very close to suicide just could not live in pain all the time..

Julie J Koehler

Undertreating pain is a very real and preventable issue. Kudos to Rose for standing up for patients!

Renee E Mace

I am so very sorry Marine Robert Rose for what they did to you and others who where on pain medications. I have been lowered so low that I no longer have any kind of life or enjoyment. My nurse practitioner almost every month get’s something wrong with my prescription, this time, she didn’t per-authorize my pain medications. So I have to go without this long weekend and maybe longer since it is hard to get anyone in her office to call back. I know that she and others are under the gun on how they prescribe pain medications, but taking one off as you or lowering them so low that I can barely survive my pain. I am going to try this new thing that the FDA approved it is called Neurostim System to Reduce Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms, because almost every month I am either shorted or don’t get them until 2 to 4 days after they are finished. No one should have to go through withdrawals if we were prescribed them and didn’t use them illegally. I hope if I get my insurance to pay for it, it will help my withdrawals. As for your law suit even though I am not a veteran, I am a victim of this madness also and suffering greatly. I think that we all who have been suffering needlessly should all be included in a class action law suit. When we sign pain contracts and obey them and still have our pain medications taken away or lowered so low, that a person can no longer function as a human being. I hope that you and others agree.


Go Rose!! Hoo-ah!!!!

I’m standing with him all the way! Good for him, this is so wrong to refuse treatment to these men and women who have fought for our country!!!!!!

Bill Carstens

I hope Robert Rose wins his law suit. He makes a very good point!




I’m retired AF. I first started getting an intense stinging sensation in my low body in early 2006. I later found it that it is small fiber neuropathy, likely caused by jet fuel exposure. I was on opioid pain meds for a long time. I was on long acting morphine and during the colder months I had hydro with that. It was screwing up my system and quite frankly, wasn’t that effective. I had to come off of all of it and was left with 3 choices. Live with it unmedicated (which isn’t an option), try a treatment that isn’t covered by tricare or medicare or try medical marijuana. I chose the last option and started CBD tincture. It isn’t perfect, but it is more effective than opioids.

Fighting an opioid war is all fine and good, if there is an option. I’m lucky in that I live in a legal state. Many other vets don’t have that option. Even though it is state legal, it’s still not federally legal. Studies are starting to trickle in showing its use for pain management and THC for depression, PTSD and more. We need to be pushing for federally legalizing the alternatives. We shouldn’t feel like criminals for using something that had already been deemed safe (Shaffer Commision).

Karl Zaremba

Best of Luck to you sir. Our politicians are relegating millions of citizens, military and non military, to lives of pain. They are taking the path of least resistance. Hopefully your lawsuit will make them wake up and really try to understand the problem and approach it from a more humanitarian standpoint.