A recent report by Reuters states that a proposed class-action settlement in a 2011 lawsuit accusing five administrative law judges in New York City of failing to give fair hearings to disabled individuals who appeared before them. This could signal a chance for thousands of individuals to receive new hearings on their disability benefit claims. Reuters noted that the settlement must first be approved by Chief US District Judge Carol Amon. Under the proposed deal, the five judges would be allowed to keep their jobs, but an estimated 4,000 individuals whose benefit claims were fully or partially rejected by one of the five judges since 2008 would be entitled to receive new hearings before different judges.
The complaint, brought against the commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Michael Astrue said, that the administrative law judges created a “brick wall of bias.” It accused them of systematically ignoring medical evidence, failing to adhere to legal standards and depriving claimants of fair hearings.
Jim Walden, of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, one of the plaintiff attorneys said, the settlement “provides meaningful relief, reform and monitoring to rectify years of disgraceful conduct by these ALFs in Queens.”
The full article can be read here.
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