Archive for December, 2015

What Can an OPERS Attorney Do for Me?

Hiring a lawyer to help you with your Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) claim gains you an expert, ally, and advocate. Which is a flowery way of saying that a Cleveland, OH, PERS attorney can do the following things for you:


  • Interpret pension, disability and spousal eligibility rules
  • Collect and present evidence to support your claims for benefits
  • Represent you during hearings
  • Steer you to other sources of financial support and health care
  • Always be on your side through a difficult process that is likely to last far longer than should be necessary


The first and last services may provide the greatest value. OPERS is not alone among pension plans in using complex formulas and doing little to help participants understand what benefits they can and should receive. The program does excel at both, however. Confusion often leads to frustration, which can mount until a person who should be receiving payments and support decides giving up on a claim makes more sense than continuing to fight denials.


The Ohio retirement lawyers with Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman have decades of combined experience in cutting through the legalese contained in OPERS letters and coverage statements. They can also analyze years’ worth of paperwork to uncover inconsistencies, payment errors, and unjustified benefit reductions.


When these efforts reveal grounds for appealing a pension or disability claim denial, the legal team will do all they can to build a successful case for securing benefits. This work can include requesting employment records, going through many years of bank and OPERS statements, interviewing former employers, and tracking down original birth certificates, marriage licenses, adoption contracts, and divorce decrees. Financial and family records can both prove essential in retirement cases.


Importantly, the legal team will know where to expect obstacles and how to overcome them. Bureaucracies follow procedures seemingly designed to place roadblocks in the way of individuals who seek help and require information. The key to clearing those impediments to progress lies in spotting the barriers early. People like the attorneys with Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman who regularly conduct OPERS appeals have learned to keep cases on track by filing the proper forms with the correct offices by the necessary dates. They also maintain professional working relationships with the retirement plan staff that make resolving unforeseen problems easier.


Avoiding stall-outs and derailments will not always make an OPERS appeal reach a quick resolution. Cases involving pension and disability claims can take years and involve multiple levels of administrative hearings and civil court proceedings. The plaintiff will need income, medical care, and other kinds of support during this time. His or her retirement attorney will be able to offer advice on where to find those alternate resources.


Which brings us back to being on the retiree’s and family’s side throughout the long and trying process of securing OPERS benefits. The lawyer will listen and care, act only in your interest, and stand up for your rights when it feels like no one else will.


Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman offers free consultations to all people with questions about problems with OPERS benefits. Call us at (800) 678-3318 or contact us online to let us know how we can be of service.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Any health care provider can make a mistake that leaves a patient must be worse off than when he or she sought treatment. The simple mantra that guides all medical practice—“Right intervention, right patient”—leaves almost infinite room for error. This is because “intervention” means telling the patient what the problem is, performing surgery, giving drugs, or even doing nothing when taking more drastic action appear contraindicated.

Sadly, when a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, or technician fails to follow the correct procedures or exercise the appropriate amount of attention to detail, individuals who were already suffering experience even worse outcomes. An incomplete list of types of medical malpractice includes:


  • Misdiagnosis/Failure to diagnosis, meaning the appropriate treatment can be administered
  • Wrong site surgery such as operating on the left leg when the right leg is the injure one
  • Surgical errors such as improperly amputating a body part, injuring internal organs, and even setting patients on fire when gases such as oxygen encounter too much static electricity
  • Wrong patient surgery, with a shocking example of this being giving a man breast implants when he had actually requested pectoral muscle reconstruction
  • Wrong drug delivery, including prescribing and dispensing a medication different from the one indicated or one that would clearly cause serious interaction with other drugs the patients is receiving
  • Wrong dose, which is a particular problem with anesthesia drugs and prescription painkillers
  • Incorrect drug administration
  • Birth injuries
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect


When any of these happen to you or a loved one, you must speak with a medical malpractice lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio. Succeeding in receiving compensation for a personal injury or wrongful death caused by medical malpractice requires showing that the error resulted from negligence or recklessness. Only an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice attorney will have the knowledge and resources necessary to find and present such evidence.


A quick look at a hypothetical birth injury case illustrates this. Many problems can occur during a pregnancy and delivery, and dozens of health professionals from OB/GYNs to midwives and pharmacists may be involved in caring for the mother and baby. Miscommunications, duplicative treatments, and harmful errors could occur at any time. If the child is born suffering from cerebral palsy or another unexpected disability, reconstructing the medical history is essential. It will also be necessary to have independent experts review all the medications prescribed and administered, to analyze the actions of all the members of the team who conducted the delivery, and to check into the histories of those medical practitioners for patterns of poor patient outcomes.


Then, if medical errors are discovered, judgments must be made as to whether human fallibility is to blame or if an erring medical professional ignored or flouted best practices and failed to deliver care that met minimum standards. Related to this, it must be determined whether the hospital where the delivery was performed had adequate rules and safeguards in place to protect patients from poorly trained and insufficiently equipped practitioners.


The mother in this case could not be expected to do all of this. No patient or family struggling to deal with the consequences of suspected medical malpractice could. Many Cleveland-based medical malpractice attorneys with Agee Clymer Mitchell and Portman do nothing but investigate poor-performing health care providers with the intention of making sure the patients they harmed receive compensation. So if you think a negligent or reckless health care provider has committed malpractice against you or a family member, call us at (800) 678-3318 or reach out on online to let us know how we may be able to help. The consultation will cost you nothing.

Cleveland OH Workers Comp Lawyer
Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman
6100 Oak Tree Blvd., Suite 200, Cleveland Ohio 44131 USA
Tel: (216) 328-2125 Fax: (614) 221-7308 Map