Archives

Archives: 8/17/04 to 11/17/04


On November 17, 2004, Mark DeBofsky spoke from  12 to 1pm at the Morgan Stanley  “Human Resources and Employee Benefits Update” seminar.

Julian v. Barnhart, No. 2:03-cv-0475 (N.D. IN  October 18, 2004). The court remanded this case because the ALJ failed to make specific findings as to the demands of Ms. Julian’s past work as required by SSR 82-62.  Ms. Julian was successfully represented by Fred Daley, who was assisted by Dorie Budlow

posted 11/17/2004


On November 6, 2004, David A. Bryant spoke at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association’s Workers’ Compensation Seminar about “Medicare liens and ERISA Reimbursements,” which took place at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lombard, Illinois.

posted 11/1/2004


On October 14, 2004, David A. Bryant spoke at the SafeWorks Work Injury Conference about “Workers’ Compensation Finances 2004: Medicare Set-Aside, The New Wrinkle on Workers’ Comp.”

posted 10/28/2004


A recent article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on October 20, 2004, in the Workplace Issues section and is titled, “Ruling undercuts ERISA promise of protection.”  Please click on the name to read the article.

posted 10/21/2004


A recent article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on October 4, 2004, in the Lawyer’s Forum section and is titled, “Cherry-picking info has its pitfalls.” Please click on the name to read the article.

posted 10/11/2004


The 7th International Thyroid Cancer Survivor’s Conference will be held October 22-24, 2004, at the Hyatt Regency Deerfield Hotel, 1750 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, Illinois. Mark DeBofsky spoke at the Conference in a seminar titled, “Ask an Attorney about Health Insurance, Disability, and Workplace Issues” on Friday, October 22, 2004, from 2:30-3:45 p.m.

posted 10/5/2004


DeMarco v. Barnhart, No. 2:03 C 0499 (N.D. IN September 22, 2004). The government declined to brief the case, but instead agreed to a voluntary remand.  This occurred after the case had been briefed for district court by Daley, DeBofsky and Bryant.  Mr. DeMarco was represented by Fred Daley.

posted 9/27/2004


Austin v. Barnhart, No. 04 C 2831 (N.D. IL September 7, 2004). The government declined to brief the case, but instead agreed to a voluntary remand.  This occurred after the case had been briefed for district court by Daley, DeBofsky and Bryant.  Mr. Austin was represented by Fred Daley who was assisted by Dorie Budlow.

posted 9/16/2004


A recent article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on September 8, 2004, and is titled, “Disability claims will falter without specifics.” Please click on the name to read the article.

Recent Successful DDB Social Security Remands:

Groskreutz v. Barnhart, No. 03-3666 (7th Cir. August 26, 2004). In this fibromyalgia case, the court found that substantial evidence did not support the ALJ’s finding that the claimant could perform her former job for the following reasons: a vocational expert’s report conflicted with the ALJ’s finding on the issue and the ALJ did not explain why he rejected the VE’s findings; the ALJ’s credibility determination was not supported by the record and was patently wrong; the ALJ had read and analyzed the record in a selective manner; and the ALJ failed to discuss why he had not given the opinion of the claimant’s treating physician controlling weight pursuant to 20 C.F.R. sec.404.1527(d)(2).  Ms. Groskreutz was successfully represented by Marcie Goldbloom.

McCarthy v. Barnhart, No. 04 C 0520 (N.D. IL August 18, 2004). The government declined to brief the case, but instead agreed to a voluntary remand.  This occurred after the case had been briefed for district court by Daley, DeBofsky and Bryant.  The government agreed with our position and decided not to contest it in court, instead stipulating to a voluntary remand.   Ms. McCarthy was represented by Fred Daley, who was assisted by Suzanne Blaz.

Castillo v. Barnhart, No. 2:02 C 335 (N.D. IN August 18, 2004). The Court found that the ALJ’s credibility finding was unclear with possible reliance on misstatements of claimant’s testimony and found it necessary to remand for reevaluation of claimant’s credibility with due regard for the facts of record and the testimony of Drs. Mond and Kessler. Ms. Castillo was successfully represented by Marcie Goldbloom.

Rodriguez  v. Barnhart, No. 2:03 C 173 (N.D. IN July 28, 2004). The court found the ALJ’s hypotheticals to the VE were not supported by substantial evidence because of his use of the word “avoid,” which he erroneously determined meant not constant or occasionally.  As a result, the court found that the ALJ did not build a logical bridge between the evidence and his decision because of the inconsistencies between the language used with the VE and in his decision.  Furthermore, the court found that the ALJ did not properly include all of the claimant’s exertional limitations into the hypotheticals posed to the VE warranting remand.  Mr. Rodriguez was successfully represented by Fred Daley.

Gibson  v. Barnhart, No. 02-C-5266 (N.D. IL  July 28, 2004). First, the court held that the ALJ impermissibly rejected the conclusions of claimant’s treating doctor, Dr. Rodriguez, in regards to her mental limitations and erroneously made his own medical opinion rather than relying on the medical opinions of others.  Next, the court found that the ALJ erroneously rejected the opinion of Dr. Plasencia, the only physical RFC opinion in the record, as he should have developed the evidence of record regarding the claimant’s physical limitations rather than reject the only available evidence.  Finally, the court held that the ALJ did not make a proper credibility determination because he did not provide any reasons for his credibility decision, which is contrary to SSR 96-7p.  Ms. Gibson was successfully represented by Fred Daley, who was assisted by Heather Aloe.

McCombs  v. Barnhart, No. 03-3321 (7th Cir. July 19, 2004). The court held that the ALJ failed to explain why he dismissed the substantial evidence corroborating the claimant’s testimony about her pain. Because the ALJ acknowledged that there was objective medical evidence of degenerative disc disease and a pain disorder, the court held that he had a duty to explain why he did not believe her testimony about the intensity and persistence of her pain.  Ms. McCombs was successfully represented by Fred Daley, who was assisted by Dorie Budlow.

Indoranto v. Barnhart, No. 03-3309 (7th Cir. June 29, 2004). The court found that the ALJ did not adequately consider all of the claimant’s impairments when he determined that she could perform sedentary work because the ALJ’s questions did not incorporate the claimant’s limitations caused by daily headaches and blurred vision. The ALJ did not address how these impairments affected the claimant’s ability to work. The court found that further proceedings were necessary so that the ALJ could give full consideration of all of the claimant’s documented impairments in evaluating her claim. Also, the ALJ’s rationale for not crediting the claimant and her subjective complaints was not supported by substantial evidence.  Ms. Indoranto was successfully represented by Fred Daley, who was assisted by Steve Jackson.

Nickola v. Barnhart, No. 03-C-0622 (W.D. WI June 23, 2004). The Court found that the ALJ failed to explain why he rejected testimony regarding claimant’s symptoms, thus, failed to follow SSR 96-7p. The court held that the ALJ’s decision was not supported by substantial evidence because he failed to articulate his assessment of the evidence so that a reviewing court would able to follow his reasoning.  Mr. Nickola was successfully represented by Fred Daley.

posted 9/14/2004


14th Annual National Institute on ERISA Litigation (American Bar Association), November 11-12, 2004. The Westin, Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois.  Mark DeBofsky will be speaking at three sessions called  “Subrogation and Reimbursement,” “Benefits Claim Litigation: Claim Review and Exhaustion,” and “Severance and Early Retirement Litigation.”

The National Legal Symposium sponsored by the Patient Advocate Foundation will take place this year at Loyola University on October 29-30, 2004, in Chicago, Illinois.

The National Legal Symposium is a forum designed to highlight successful methods used by leading advocates specializing in the field of health care benefits.  Mark DeBofsky will be speaking at the Symposium.

posted 9/3/2004


A recent article by Mark DeBofsky appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on August 16, 2004, and is titled, versus diagnosis.” Please click on the name to read the article.

posted 8/24/2004


Bright v. Life Insur. Co. of North America, 2004 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 14969 (D.Hawaii 7/21/2004). This decision was written by one of our favorite judges, Samuel P. King, who spends a month each year as a visiting judge in Chicago. Judge King issued a common-sense, direct opinion recognizing that even though Bright may have good days and occasionally be able to perform sedentary or even non-sedentary activities, she would not be able to maintain employment.  Further, once again, the value of first-hand medical knowledge was proven to have trumped a reviewing doctor’s opinion, particularly since the doctor was retained only after the benefits had been terminated. Mark DeBofsky, together with Hawaii attorney Carl Varady, represented Ms. Bright.

posted 8/17/2004


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