What's New Archive


COURT CERTIFIES CLASS AND ORDERS CLASS DISCOVERY IN ANTHEM CASE SEEKING MILLIONS IN DEMUTUALIZATION PROCEEDS
Judge S. Arthur Spiegel has certified a class of approximately 2600 current and former City of Cincinnati workers. The members of the class claim that they were covered by certain Anthem Insurance policies and that the workers were entitled to compensation when Anthem converted from a mutual company to a stock company in 2001. At that time the City of Cincinnati received the mutual compensation (approximately $55 million in stock) and the workers received nothing. Al Gerhardstein is one of the Class Counsel for the class. Other class counsel are Eric Zagrans and Michael Becker of Cleveland and Dennis Barron of Cincinnati. Please read the Notice to Class Members. You may also view a sample certificate of membership here. Click here to view selected Mell v. Anthem litigation documents.

No ruling on the merits of the case has been made at this time. On December 2, 2009, Judge Spiegel ordered Anthem and the City to provide the names and contact information of the class members to Class Counsel. Current and Former City workers who participated in specific health coverage are in the class.

Are you a class member? Class members will be contacted and asked to provide any Anthem-related documentation that you have. This documentation may help prove the claim by the class that the workers and not the City were entitled to the demutualization proceeds. If you think you are in the class or if you have questions you can call Jennifer Thompson or Laura Sinclair at the office at 513.621.9100.


FAMILY WINS $2.5 MILLION IN POLICE SHOOTING SETTLEMENT
12/31/09.  Family of Tarika Wilson, woman shot and killed on 1/4/08 by Lima Ohio SWAT team, settles lawsuit against Sgt. Joseph Chavalia and Lima, Ohio.  Settlement was for $2.5 million plus continuing work with the City on police reforms.  Al Gerhardstein and Jennifer Branch of G & B served as co-counsel with Derek Sells of the Cochran Firm in New York City.  Click here to read a copy of the Amended Complaint in Jennings v. City Of Lima, Ohio and other documents.


CITY WORKERS WIN EXPANDED FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
12/21/09.  The City of Cincinnati has agreed to lift the near total ban on political activity imposed on City workers.  They can now participate in federal elections and in elections outside of Ohio.  Other rules have been eased as well.  Questions are now referred to the Civil Service Commission or Solicitor’s office and a running public record is maintained of the answers so City workers will know what they can and cannot do.  Damages and attorney fees were also paid.  G&B attorneys Andrea Reino and Al Gerhardstein represented the City workers.  Read the new political activity rule and the notice sent to the city workersClick here to see all documents in the case.


Follow The Civil Rights Bike Ride

Al Gerhardstein and his daughter Jessica Gingold are biking across the south for civil rights! Their trip from Mobile, Alabama to Cincinnati, Ohio will traverse the path of the Underground Railroad to raise money for the Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Follow their adventures at www.civilrightsbikeride.blogspot.com and learn more about their cause at www.ohiojpc.org or make a donation to OJPC.




Make Your Voice Matter: Share Your Opinions about Juvenile Justice in Ohio
It is an exciting time and significant changes in how systems and communities respond to youth in Ohio are on the horizon. We want to hear from professionals who work on juvenile justice issues and family and youth who have experienced the system about what is working and what improvements need to be made. What are the opportunities?

  • Participate in discipline-specific or community focus groups to discuss issues that impact your profession;
  • Capture your story via video, audio, or in writing so that it can be shared with the media, lawmakers, and others interested in juvenile justice public policy reform;
  • Show support by joining the Facebook group called Partners for Youth Justice: Ohioans United for System Reform; or
  • Request a presenter to come train at a conference or local event about the efforts in Ohio and across the country.
If you would like to participate in any of the above activities or want more information about what reforms are happening in Ohio contact Lauren at


MORGUE PHOTO CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
Class action lawsuit against Hamilton County, Ohio Morgue for unauthorized photographs settles for $8 million.  Read the Joint press release from Al Gerhardstein, Stan Chesley, and Hamilton County announcing the $8 million settlement.  Click here to read all of the documents in the case.
Class Members NOTE: The Due Date for Individual Claims Forms has been extended to 12/31/08. There will be a hearing 12/16/08 at 3:00 pm on partial distribution to Sub Class One.  Click here to read the Court Order regarding the new due date and Click here for details about the hearing.”



From the Cincinnati Enquirer

FAMILY OF POLICE SHOOTING WINS $2.5 MILLION SETTLEMENT
12/31/09.  Family of Tarika Wilson, woman shot and killed on 1/4/08 by Lima Ohio SWAT team, settles lawsuit against Sgt. Joseph Chavalia and Lima, Ohio.  Settlement was for $2.5 million plus continuing work with the City on police reforms.  Al Gerhardstein and Jennifer Branch of G & B served as co-counsel with Derek Sells of the Cochran Firm in New York City.  Click here to read a copy of the Amended Complaint in Jennings v. City Of Lima, Ohio and other documents.


CITY WORKERS WIN EXPANDED FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
12/21/09.  The City of Cincinnati has agreed to lift the near total ban on political activity imposed on City workers.  They can now participate in federal elections and in elections outside of Ohio.  Other rules have been eased as well.  Questions are now referred to the Civil Service Commission or Solicitor’s office and a running public record is maintained of the answers so City workers will know what they can and cannot do.  Damages and attorney fees were also paid.  G&B attorneys Andrea Reino and Al Gerhardstein represented the City workers.  Read the new political activity rule and the notice sent to the city workersClick here to see all documents in the case.


OBAMA AND MCCAIN CITY WORKERS WIN RIGHT TO BE POLITICALLY ACTIVE IN TIME FOR NOVEMBER ELECTION
Alphonse A. Gerhardstein and Andrea Reino filed class action lawsuit for City of Cincinnati employees who want to donate funds and distribute campaign literature (away from work) for federal, state, and county candidates for political office. The City refused to let them. On October 23, 2008, Judge Michael Barrett granted a preliminary injunction permitting employees to donate to candidates but not permitting them to distribute campaign literature.  That issue will proceed to further litigation.  Click here to see the documents in the case.


We Have Moved!

After thirty years of working in the Enquirer Building we must move. The building is being converted to apartments. All of our contact information will remain the same, only our address will change. Visit our contact us page for directions and parking options.

GERHARDSTEIN & BRANCH CO. LPA
432 Walnut Street, Suite 400
Cincinnati, OH 45202


VERDICT AGAINST THE U.S. POST OFFICE IN DISABILITY DISCRIMINATIONT TRIAL

Jennifer Branch and Andrea Reino won an almost $400,000 verdict against the U.S. Post Office August 14, 2008. The jury found the Post Office discriminated against Joan Fredericks, a clerk at the Bulk Mail Center, over the last five years. The jury found her knee condition was a disability and that the Post Office failed to accommodate her need to sit down and avoid steps. Ms. Fredericks is seeking reinstatement with accommodations. Click here to see the documents in the case.


JUVENILE REFORM CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT ANNOUNCED

The State of Ohio and Al Gerhardstein, Lead Counsel for the youth in Ohio’s juvenile facilities, have announced a settlement that will implement $20-$30 million annually in reforms. The agreement must be approved by federal judge Algenon Marbley. The fairness hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on May 21, 2008. It is open to the public. The class action settlement resolves issues of overcrowding, understaffing, violence, education services, as well as mental health, physical health and other programming issues. Click here to read the Notice to the Class, the joint Press Release announcing the settlement, and other Documents in S.H. v. Stickrath.


POLICE SHOOTING CASE SETTLED FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS

Jury selection was underway on February 8, 2008 when the City of Cleveland decided to pay the family of Ricardo Mason one million dollars to settle the case.  Ricardo was a 16 year old passenger in a car that the police stopped on August 27, 2002.  Ricardo was unarmed and had his hands in the air when the shooting occurred.  Lead attorney Al Gerhardstein co-counseled the case with David Malik and Dennis Niermann of Cleveland.  They were prepared to prove that the defendant police officers moved the suspect car after the shooting and before the investigation in order to support their version of events.  The settlement ended the trial.  Click here to read the Sixth Circuit decision in the case.


Al Gerhardstein was named by his peers as an Ohio Super Lawyer. To read the article, click here.

Super Lawyer

Jennifer Branch speaks out on the 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Click here to read the entire article from City Beat newspaper.


EQUALITY CINCINNATI awards Gerhardstein & Branch the “Commitment to Diversity Award” at their gala event in November 2007. Click here to see photos of the event or go online to ExpressCincinnati.com for more photos of the event.

View Award Full Screen

Equity Program Award

S.H. V. STICKRATH EXPERT REPORT ON OHIO JUVENILE FACILITIES

Historic Expert Report finds Ohio’s juvenile facilities overcrowded, understaffed, violent, and underserved in education, mental health, physical health and other programming. Click here to read the Expert’s Final Fact Finding Report. Click here to see the Press Release and all Documents in S.H. v. Stickrath.


JURY RETURNS $1 MILLION VERDICT IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASE

On November 15, 2007, the Fossyl family won a $1 million verdict against Thomas Watson and Michael Milligan for the death of their sister in June 1977. Click here to see the verdict and other documents in the case.



GREEN V. TAYLOR

Sixth Circuit rules Cleveland police shooting will go to trial. Decision entered August 30, 2007.

Click here to view the decision document.


JURY SERVICE ARTICLE

Alphonse A. Gerhardstein served on a jury in Hamilton County, Ohio in May 2006. He co-authored an article “Ten ways to engage a jury” for the Ohio Lawyer Magazine.