Boxer & Gerson in the News

September 18, 2017
Litvack Wins $1.4 Million Award for Disabled Walgreens Manager

When a former Walgreens manager walked into the Boxer & Gerson offices for an initial visit with Workers’ Compensation Attorney Justin Litvack in 2013, Litvack noted to himself that the man “could barely move” and was suffering great discomfort as he set himself into a chair and began recounting the tale of the injury that had left him in constant pain and unable to work.

The Alamo resident had been injured on the job in 2009 while lifting a box and had then endured multiple back surgeries in an ultimately unsuccessful, years-long effort to mitigate his pain.

At the time, the man was living on $1,000 a month in disability benefits with a wife and two children. For all of his pain and disruption to his life, Sedgwick, the insurance claims administration company representing Walgreens, relayed a lump sum offer to him of less than $40,000 as the lifetime “value” of his disability.

“He had been seeing doctors provided by the insurance company, and had been reluctant to pursue the case further because they had both been ‘nice’ to him,” Litvack says. “Most people want to trust physicians and often don’t realize that these situations are very different from visiting your family doctor. He didn’t realize they didn’t really have his back.” 

Litvack referred the injured worker to a more objective doctor and utilized a medical-legal physician to analyze his client’s level of disability. He also sent him to a vocational counselor.

The insurance company also sent the client to a vocational counselor, but the counselor refused to issue a report regarding the man’s suitability for alternative employment.

“It’s very unusual not to get the insurance company’s report, which was just a further indication there was something very wrong with this whole case,” says Litvack.

Justin Litvack

As Litvack filed a claim for the 100% total disability that he strongly felt was due his client, he also enlisted the efforts of his Boxer & Gerson colleague Julius Young, who filed a successful claim for Social Security Disability Benefits their client was legally entitled to.

Those benefits raised his monthly income, but still not to a level sufficient to live comfortably in the Bay Area. The increase did, however, allow him enough financial breathing room to wait for the case to work its way through the system.

Last year, a workers’ compensation judge in Oakland agreed that Litvack’s client was entitled to the average weekly earnings he had made on the job plus medical care for the rest of his life. The total sum would amount to an approximate present value of $1.4 million.

The insurance company representing Walgreens appealed the decision but the award of permanent and total disability was recently upheld by a three-judge panel of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

“My client is 49 years old now, and had been dealing with his condition for eight long years,” Litvack says. “It’s good to know that he and his family will be protected for the rest of his life.”

August 16, 2017
Boxer & Gerson Trio Presents to Teamsters in Vallejo

Boxer & Gerson, LLP Attorneys John Harrigan, Maria Sager and Eric Ritigstein teamed up last Saturday, August 12 to make an educational presentation to Teamsters Local 315 members in Vallejo.

Maria Sager

It was the second time in a month that attorneys from the firm participated in a Local 315 event, partners Dennis Popalardo and Gary Roth having visited the Martinez location in July to address a group of the union’s shop stewards.

Last weekend’s event was for the union local’s general membership, including a special session for commercial truck drivers. UPS drivers, Republic Services waste haulers, and many others were in attendance.

The truck driver program led off the day’s activities, which included a presentation by a CHP officer who discussed commercial driver rules. Boxer & Gerson attorneys then offered the entire group overviews of the three areas of law that remain as the firm’s focus.

John Harrigan

Harrigan presented on Social Security Disability, Sager on workers’ compensation, and Ritigstein on personal injury law, with an emphasis on job-related injuries caused by a third party. Sager, fluent in Spanish, was available to translate for Spanish-speaking audience members who were on hand. 

Nationally, the Teamsters Union was founded in 1903 with a mission to organize and educate workers towards a higher standard of living. Some 1.4 million members are dispersed across 21 industrial divisions that include virtually every imaginable occupation.

Local 315 also has historic roots. Formed in 1936, it is currently comprised of worker bargaining units at some 100 Bay Area companies. 

Eric Ritigstein

Boxer & Gerson makes frequent presentations to union groups, seeking to educate them on their rights in the event of workplace injuries. Experts in workers’ compensation, personal injury and Social Security Disability are available for presentations on weekdays, weekends, during the day or early evening hours. Call 510-918-3500 for information.