Monday, March 11, 2013

PADRO Class Action

During the last couple of years, I have probably written more often about the Padro v. Astrue Class Action than anyone else: 4/13/11, 4/15/11, 4/21/11, 4/22/11, 4/29/11, 7/31/11, 9/23/11, 9/28/11, 3/30/12, 4/9/12, 5/24/12, 8/21/12, 9/19/12, 10/1/12, 1/7/13, 2/11/13. In fact, many of those articles refer to the class action as Bailey v. Astrue class action because my client, Ms. Bailey, became the first named Plaintiff in the lawsuit. The second named Plaintiff, Ms. Thelot, was also my client, and her testimonial discusses the class action. 

I am one of only two attorneys who was willing to submit an affidavit against David Z. Nisnewitz, Michael D. Cofresi, Seymour Fier, Marilyn P. Hoppenfeld and Hazel C. Strauss, who, as the class action complaint detailed, are the biased Administrative Law Judges (the “Queens Five”) who systemically and wrongfully deny Social Security Disability and Supplemental security Income claims at the Queens hearing office. The other attorney was Troy Rosasco. No other attorney was willing to submit an affidavit for fear of retaliation by the Queens Five. 

On January 14, 2013, the class action was settled. While the stated goal of the attorney who filed the pro bono class action was to have the Queens Five dismissed, that did not happen. However, the proposed settlement provides relief to over 4,000 disabled New Yorkers, including new hearings and a combination of other reforms to protect due process rights and ensure the provision of fair and full hearings in future claims. The settlement also provides that for the 30-month period after the court approves the settlement, any claimant denied benefits by the Queens Five will automatically have their claim reviewed by the special review unit, and, if granted a new hearing, will have a right to a new hearing before other ALJs. 

If you receive a class action Notice that you are entitled to a new hearing, feel free to contact our office for additional information. You can retain us even if you previously had another attorney, such as Binder & Binder, who would not submit an affidavit to support the rights of claimants against the Queens Five.

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