Congratulations to Bernard on being installed this month as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Alabama State Bar Workers’ Compensation Law Section. The Workers’ Compensation Law Section seeks to raise the awareness and understanding of the bar community with regard to workers’ compensation legal matters.
In keeping with the Firm’s mission of helping those less fortunate both in and out of the courtroom, the Firm participated in the Birmingham Bar Association Back to School Supplies Drive by providing back to school supplies for Birmingham-area children. The Firm also supported the YMCA of Greater Birmingham by making a contribution to the Y’s Annual Campaign.
The Firm welcomes Hannah Drake as our new file clerk. Hannah joined us last month and is doing a great job for us. She attends the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The Firm made a donation to the Birmingham Bar Foundation in honor of Judge Brown retiring from the bench. We will miss Judge Brown. Enjoy your well-earned retirement! Here is a great article detailing Judge Brown’s impressive legal career: https://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2015/06/youre_going_to_have_to_shoot_m.html
Congratulations to the Birmingham Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer’s Program for winning a national award. Bernard and David have volunteered their time the past few years for this very important organization.
RECENT CASES OF INTEREST
- We are pleased to share great news on an appellate win. Earlier this month Bernard’s client won an appeal at the Alabama Supreme Court. Bernard represents a City of Birmingham firemen who was injured on the job while responding to an elderly man trapped in his home after the April 2011 tornadoes. Our client fell down through a faulty kitchen floor onto a cement floor in the basement, crushing one of his ankles. We filed a workers’ compensation lawsuit to ensure all of the proper medical care was paid for through workers’ compensation insurance. While this litigation was going on, our client was denied by his employer extraordinary disability pension benefits due to his injuries. After the workers’ compensation case was settled, our client was forced to file a second lawsuit in Jefferson County Circuit Court. This lawsuit was to appeal the denial of disability pension benefits. The trial judge denied the City’s motion for summary judgment on procedural issues, and then the City filed a mandamus to the Alabama Supreme Court in an attempt to reverse the trial court’s ruling. We then filed a response brief which ended in a ruling denying the mandamus and a victory on the appeal for our client. The case will now come back to the Circuit Court for further proceedings. At issue is the difference in several hundreds of dollars per month in disability benefits for our client. Hopefully the case will be set for trial in the upcoming months.
- David filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County for an IT specialist who injured his back at work resulting in two spinal surgeries. Now our client needs a spinal stimulator to control his pain. We look forward to assisting our client receive his workers’ compensation benefits.
- David filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County – Bessemer Division on behalf of a heating and cooling repair specialist who injured his back at work. Our client’s injuries resulted in a surgical fusion. His permanent work restrictions prevent him from performing his job duties. Once it became clear that the insurance company would not offer him any money to settle his claim, we filed a lawsuit on his behalf.
- David settled a workers’ compensation claim for a Haleyville man whose arm was amputated in an industrial accident. As we have discussed before, the value of the loss of an arm, pursuant to the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, is shockingly low at $48,840. That’s right: the arm is worth $48,840 in Alabama. We are pleased that our client’s claim settled for $100,000 with the employer/workers’ compensation carrier remaining responsible for future medical benefits.
- David settled a claim for an underground miner for $34,000 with the employer/workers’ compensation carrier remaining responsible for future medical benefits. This was a very good result for our client as he has returned to work for his employer and is making the same wages now as he was before the accident. The settlement was for far greater than the assigned impairment rating.
- Bernard settled a claim for a client who was injured while working for a construction company in Huntsville. The client sustained a left shoulder separation which required surgical repair. We recently settled the claim for $58,000 and open medical care for life for this injury.
- Bernard settled a St. Clair County claim for a woman who worked at an automotive plant. She injured her back and legs when a piece of equipment struck her. We settled the claim for much more than the permanent physical impairment rating.
- Bernard recently resolved a case from Dekalb County for a client who injured his shoulder while working in a clothing distribution center. Our client slipped and fell in a poorly lit area of a warehouse causing him to land awkwardly and injure his shoulder. We settled his claim for a sizable amount more than the impairment rating.
CASES THE FIRM IS INVESTIGATING
WHISTLEBLOWER / QUI TAM – Whistleblower claims of government fraud ranging from Medicare/Medicaid to military contracts, and any other type of fraud involving a government contract. Under the False Claims Act (FCA) the whistleblower is entitled to a percentage of the recovery. The law provides citizen-plaintiffs, called “relators,” with powerful incentives – sometimes up to 30 percent of the amount recovered – to report instances of fraud against the federal government. The relator must have first-hand knowledge of the fraudulent activity.
Common schemes involve double-billing for the same service, inaccurately coding services, and billing for services not performed. Studies show that as much as 10 percent of Medicare/Medicaid charges are fraudulent. Additionally, the Commission on Wartime Contracting has warned that the lack of oversight of government contractors has led to massive fraud and waste.
XARELTO – Lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Corp. over the blood thinner Xarelto have been consolidated in Louisiana federal court. Xarelto has been linked to serious side effects including internal bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, brain bleed and death.
The Xarelto lawsuits come on the heels of the recent $650 million Pradaxa settlement. Researchers linked Pradaxa, also a blood thinning medication, to more than 500 deaths. Xarelto blood thinner litigation has been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana, who presided over suits against Merck & Co. related to its medication Vioxx. The Vioxx litigation resulted in a $4.85 billion settlement in 2007.
SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY– If you think you or a loved one qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, please consider contacting us. We can guide you through the arduous process.
REGLAN– is a drug used to treat many gastrointestinal disorders. The makers of Reglan failed to warn users that the medication has a very permanent and very severe side effect. Because of this, numerous lawsuits have equaled multimillion dollar payouts to victims of this medication.
DRAM SHOP -It is against the law in Alabama to sell or furnish alcohol to someone that causes injury to another as a result of being intoxicated. This law is referred to as the “Dram Shop Act.” If you are injured by a drunk driver, the injured person can pursue a claim against the intoxicated driver and the server or establishment that sold or provided the alcohol to the intoxicated person.
MIRENA – Mirena® is an IUD that was originally approved by the FDA as an intrauterine contraceptive. It was later approved as a treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding. It works by slowly releasing a low dose of levonorgestrel (a synthetic progestin hormone) directly into the uterus. Serious adverse side effects and potentially life‐threatening complications have been reported following the implantation of the device. These complications include organ perforation, migration of the IUD to outside the uterus, expulsion of the IUD, and embedment in the uterus, among others.
LIPITOR ‐ a statin drug to treat high cholesterol, was approved by the FDA in 1996 and is one the best‐selling prescription medications in the world. Recent studies have found a possible link between Lipitor and the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A University of Massachusetts study found a potential link in postmenopausal women, particularly those who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 30. Of the 153,840 women evaluated, more than 10,000 had developed Type 2 diabetes by the end of the study.
NEW ARTICLES FROM NOMBLOG
- WHEN CAN I GO BACK TO WORK? by Bernard Nomberg
Whether an injured worker can return to work is dependent in large part on the authorized treating physician as well as the employer. Return to work can be a tricky issue, made less complicated when the employee knows his or her rights.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT US
David Nomberg represented me in a case back in 2005. He handled everything for me. Finally had surgery in 2007. He got me a good settlement and continued medical coverage. In 2015 he represented me in closing my medical coverage. I had moved out of state but he still helped me. I would recommend him to anyone. I didn’t have to pay him anything out of pocket.
— Sandy S., Louisville, Kentucky
I would recommend Bernard Nomberg very highly. He handled all of the complications of our auto wreck with skill and dispatch. He negotiated all the possible fees down to very low levels. He will work skillfully on behalf of his clients.
— Kathryne McD., New Smyrna Beach, Florida