Gerber & Holder’s very own Ben Gerber was featured on a special episode of “Workers’ Comp Today.” Mr. Gerber spoke with fellow attorneys Bernard and David Nomberg, of the Nomberg Law Firm. Each month, the attorneys at Nomberg Law invite a guest to discuss current hot topics, national news and workers’ comp cases. They specifically dive into just how workers’ comp laws impact those cases.
Attorney Bernard Nomberg introduced Gerber and extolled his awesomeness at the beginning of the show: “We are so pleased to have our John Travolta, our Tom Hanks, our John Goodman [of workers’ compensation] – repeat visit number 2 – Ben Gerber coming out of Atlanta!”
Gerber has practiced law for more than 20 years after graduating from the University of Georgia and earning his law degree from George Washington University Law School. After several years working for insurance defense firms, which enabled him to learn the strategies used by the other side to deny claims. He started his own law firm in 2010, dedicated to providing people with the best possible representation in workers’ compensation cases. “All we do is workers’ compensation, and all we do is represent those who are injured in workers’ compensation [cases],” said Gerber during the podcast. “There’s myself, my partner Tom Holder, another partner Chris Gifford and two other attorneys. We’ve added a sixth attorney and they start in April. We’re very excited to be able to help those who have been hurt in the State of Georgia.”
During the show, they talked extensively about five recent distinct workers’ compensation cases from across the country. The situations and analysis provided by the three attorneys is an easy listen and quite entertaining. Listening to the attorneys talk about what kinds of accidents and injuries are compensable is fascinating and allows for a peak behind the curtain of workers’ compensation law.
Bernard Nomberg brought to light a story out of Miami Beach, FL, where a police officer’s workers’ comp claim was denied despite an 11-week hospitalization with COVID. “Ben, is there a presumption in Georgia, for first responders or any of those front-line workers, that if they come down with COVID and need medical care that comp is going to automatically kick in, or is there not that presumption?” Ben replied with, “there is not that presumption yet; if you would like to help me pass a law, that would be absolutely fantastic.” Ben continued by saying that his firm is currently litigating a number of cases similar to the Florida case. “We actually have a client – it’s tragic – [she’s] the wife [with] eight children of a police officer who passed away from COVID in July of 2020 and the county is denying the case. He was one of the people who was required to continue to work. It’s a tragic situation and we’re desperately trying to change the law here, but up to now we’ve gotten tremendous pushback from the legislature.”
“Unfortunately… like we do with all of these COVID-related cases, we’re not at the end of these COVID stories,” said Nomberg. “[There are law firms] with hundreds of denied first-responder claims, and until the law changes in our respective states, they’re just going to be complete uphill battles. But hopefully one day somebody can find something to help these folks.”
“You hope the hospital gets involved as well because they don’t want to be stuck…here’s the dilemma for this individual,” explained Gerber. “I am sure that he has health insurance benefits through his police force. But the health insurance is going to deny this thing, [saying] it’s a workers’ comp claim. That’s just pass the buck, and workers’ comp is going to deny it, so there’s going to be all these medical bills outstanding and everyone’s pointing the fingers at each other. I’m really curious if that’s going to be the tipping point – hospitals with millions of dollars in outstanding bills and they’re going to be the ones to push the legislature to do something.”