January 25, 2012
Today the United States District Court for the District of Delaware granted Chermol & Fishman, LLC’s motion for attorney fees pursuant to the Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2412(d). Additionally, the Court reaffirmed and discussed its underlying order to overturn the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) attempt to deny Plaintiff’s application for disability benefits. (Click here to read the full text of the decision).
Despite lengthy objections from the Office of General Counsel (OGC), the Court awarded Chermol & Fishman, LLC, every single penny of the $9,540.95 in attorney fees that we requested. All of OGC’s objections to attorney fees were flatly rejected by the Court.
Order Overturning SSA’s Denial of Benefits and Remanding the Case
Through diligent and meticulous work, Chermol & Fishman, LLC, demonstrated to the Court that that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in this case had committed multiple legal and factual errors. In ordering remand, the Court reaffirmed several key legal principles that Plaintiff’s attorney, David F. Chermol, had argued:
- An ALJ may not substitute his lay judgment for the expertise of examining medical doctors.
- An ALJ must re-contact examining medical experts when the medical report contains a conflict or ambiguity that must be resolved.
- An ALJ may not rely on a Residual Functional Capacity Assessment (RFC) that consists solely of medical assumptions concerning the accommodations a Plaintiff would need in the work place without record support.
Disclaimer: Chermol & Fishman, LLC, takes considerable pride in what we believe to be our exceptionally high 87.7% overall win rate in federal court appeals, and 62.3% voluntary remand rate (RVR) since we began keeping track in 2008 (last updated 01/02/2012). However, it is extremely important to remember that a favorable outcome is NEVER guaranteed. Additionally, past success is NOT a guarantee of future or continued success.