Wounded Warrior Project has come under fire this week, thanks to major media outlets like CBS and the New York Times running articles critical of their operations. But what has also come to light is their nasty reputation for suing other non-profit organizations. But the latest people to find themselves in their crosshairs are the very people Wounded Warrior Project claims to want to help: two wounded warriors.
Both veterans were previously employed by Wounded Warrior Project. While the veterans haven’t spoken publicly about their side of the issue, Wounded Warrior Project claims that they violated their severance agreements after being fired. However, other sources say the veterans were both fired because they had PTSD. The first disabled veteran was sued when Wounded Warrior Project claimed that they found her severance agreement in the hands of an Indiana charity. Coincidentally, that charity is also being sued by Wounded Warrior Project. It’s not the first, either — Wounded Warrior Project has a tendency to sue any veterans service organization that they feel may infringe upon their territory. A Nebraska charity was forced to give over $1 million to Wounded Warrior Project for having “wounded warrior” in their name, even though they were founded before Wounded Warrior Project was. Another charity, Keystone Wounded Warriors, was sued for the same reason, and for having what Wounded Warrior Project claimed was too similar a logo. Keystone Wounded Warriors is a small, all-volunteer charity out of Pennsylvania, whose total budget is less than the salary Wounded Warrior Project CEO Steve Nardizzi pays himself each year. They nearly went broke fighting the lawsuit. Another charity, called Hope for the Warriors, spoke out about being threatened by Wounded Warrior Project for over five years. This practice of suing smaller military charities into oblivion has earned Wounded Warrior Project the reputation in the military community as a bully who cares more about their own bottom line than helping wounded veterans.
The second veteran and former employee is being sued because a donor rescinded a donation for $2,400 after learning the veteran had been fired. So now, Wounded Warrior Project is going after the disabled veteran for over $50,000: the cost of his severance pay, attorney fees and “damages.” As to how two wounded warriors could cause any damages to an organization which has raised hundreds of millions of dollars, CEO Steve Nardizzi has, so far, refused to comment.
Is the Wounded Warrior Project wasting its donations on liquor and parties?
Wounded Warrior Project gears up for battle with CBS News after scathing report aired
How do you know if a charity is really supporting veterans?