Medical files from former Conn clients removed from law complex

Published: Oct. 26, 2018 at 11:36 AM EDT
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In April we were told about thousands of medical files belonging to the former clients of Eric C. Conn found inside his Floyd County law complex in Stanville.

In August U.S. Marshals seized the law complex, locking the doors and boarding up the windows, until a receiver of the files could be appointed. That receiver, appointed two weeks ago, will have the task of reviewing all the files and making sure they get into their owners' hands.

"I have had some difficult discussions with the receiver," said Prestonsburg Attorney Ned Pillersdorf who represents many former Conn clients. "And in my view, he does not understand the urgency of getting these people their files in my opinion yesterday."

Nearly 2,000 former clients of Erc C. Conn have been going through redetermination hearings trying to get back their Social Security benefits. However, many of them are appearing for those hearings without the medical files necessary to prove their disability.

That all could now change now that those medical files were taken from Conn's Law Complex Friday.

According to Pillersdorf, the clients will not start seeing their files until December, and that could be too late.

"By that time hundreds of hearings will have gone on. And in my view, no question that truly disabled people will lose their benefits because they did not have access to their files which contains important information."

Pillersdorf says many of those former clients do not realize just how important those files really are.

"There is a misunderstanding of what these hearings are about. They are not about whether these people are disabled today. The hearings are about whether they were disabled in 2007 and 2008, explained Pillersdorf. "Those client files, that the clients still don't have access to, were generated in 07 and 08 and would be very relevant."

The redetermination hearings began in August. Pillersdorf says he has repeatedly filed for continuances in those cases because his clients do not yet have their medical files. Regardless, he says all of his motions have been denied.

"The truth is they (Social Security Administration) don't give a damn about these local people here," said Pillersdorf. "The former Conn clients have been hammered since day one from beginning to end because of their association with Conn. Even though they never met Conn. The Social Security Administration only cares about Congress. They want to go to Congress and tell them all they have done to Conn and his former clients because Congress thinks they are as guilty as Conn."

Pillersdorf says another problem he is seeing is that many former Conn clients are representing themselves during the redetermination hearings, which he says will almost guarantee them never getting their benefits back.