Workers Seeking Resolution From Life-Changing Injuries In The Workplace Find A Tireless Champion In The Law Firm Of Gross & Kenny LLP.
Written By Phil Gianficaro
It’s a sad story—and, regrettably, all too common.
A worker suffers a severe injury in a workplace accident. The ensuing pain becomes debilitating, even disabling, and results in the worker being unable to return to the job for an indeterminate amount of time. In the meantime, he or she is left wondering how to provide for their family or pay the medical bills, among others, that have piled up.
To worsen the situation, the employer challenges the worker’s claim to benefits. Suddenly, after years of loyalty and dedication, a once-invaluable worker feels pushed aside, mistreated, forgotten. As stress turns to panic, the injured worker realizes has no choice but to enlist the help of an attorney who possesses the experience, skill, and determination needed to win the compensation they rightly deserve.
At Gross & Kenny LLP in Philadelphia, Jeffrey S. Gross has spent three decades fighting for the rights of “the little guy,” as he puts it. Gross has gotten used to receiving gestures of heartfelt gratitude from thankful clients, but he suggests some measure of thanks should be reserved for another member of his family: Robert Codell, his late grandfather on his mother’s side.
“He instilled in me the values and morals of helping people,” he says. “He was an assembly-line worker for the Bond Bread Company in Philadelphia, working midnight to 8 a.m. for 40 years. He eventually became the foreman of the line and did all he could to help the injured workers. We were talking one day, and he said to me, ‘Look, do anything you want in life, but always stick up for the little guy.’ I have never forgotten that.”
Codell died in 1992, far too soon to see the full benefits of the words of wisdom he imparted to his grandson so many years ago.
“My whole practice is based on what he told me about helping the little guy,” Gross says. “He was the salt of the earth, my hero, and I hope I’ve made him proud.”
A Source of Strength
Since 1991, Gross has dedicated his practice to obtaining, maintaining, and maximizing workers’ compensation benefits for clients in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. He has a long record of success representing clients in workers’ compensation litigation, including full and partial disability claims, lump-sum settlements, occupational diseases, workplace fatalities, and subrogation matters. Furthermore, Gross says attorneys from competing law firms often refer clients to him to find a resolution to thorny workers’ comp cases.
“Our firm is not a workers’ compensation mill,” Gross adds. “Some firms have a different attorney handling your case every day; there’s no continuity. That’s not the case with us. I give clients my cell number and tell them to call me anytime, 24/7.”
Gross and his fellow attorneys at the firm consider it their duty to invest the time and resources needed to fully understand each client’s case and help them achieve their hopes for the future.
“They can rely on us to handle all the details of their case,” he says. “From filing the paperwork, helping schedule medical appointments, filling out forms, providing medical records to different physicians, strategically determining the full value of their claim, and negotiating on their behalf, we will take care of it all. This leaves them free to concentrate on recovering from their injury while we execute a game plan for maximizing their benefits.”
Workers often see a much different side of their employer once they have been injured. Throughout his career representing injured workers, Gross has encountered cases in which an employer not only challenges a worker’s disability claim but also attempts to lessen the disability payment through dishonest means.
“What some companies do is try to minimize the injury because they want to keep costs to a minimum,” he adds. “If there’s an injury to a lower back, the company may try to say it’s only a strain, when, in reality, it’s a disc problem that requires surgery. We do what’s needed to make sure there’s a properly accepted diagnosis. We do everything possible to help our clients.”
Gross earned his undergraduate degree in business administration and accounting with honors from Muhlenberg College in 1988, and his Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law in 1991. He has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Pennsylvania.
He also served as the chancellor and a founding member of the prestigious Louis D. Brandeis Law Society in Philadelphia. He also chaired the Workers’ Compensation Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association (PBA) in 2001, and he has been a member of the PBA’s executive committee as fundraising chair since that time. In addition, he is a board member of both the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ), and he was the chair of the Workers’ Compensation Section of the PAJ.
His client-first philosophy has garnered him widespread respect and acclaim. He has been selected for inclusion in the Super Lawyers list every year since 2004, and he has been named one of the top 100 attorneys in Pennsylvania by Philadelphia magazine. His professionalism and history of community service were honored by the Philadelphia Bar Association, which presented him with the Martha J. Hampton Award for his record of support for injured workers, compassionate approach, and exemplary professionalism. In addition, he frequently teaches seminars on areas of workers’ compensation law in Pennsylvania, and he has written and published numerous articles on the topic.
“We work hard for our clients, and we don’t pull punches or sugarcoat things, like telling them they have a great case when there are problematic issues,” he says. “We tell them what the problem is and what can be done to correct it. Also, throughout litigation, we give them information and discuss the case. That way, when they leave, they don’t feel let down. We give them the option to continue to get benefits or the option to settle.”
Gross began his career in personal injury and malpractice. He recalls representing a truck driver who, exhausted while driving for two days from Colorado to Philadelphia, fell asleep on the interstate, went off an embankment, and nearly died. The driver’s workers’ compensation benefits were administratively denied, as the driver “violated a work order” prohibiting employees from falling asleep on the job.
“The employer had told the driver he had to get to Philadelphia on time; that’s why he fell asleep,” Gross says. “Now, he was being denied. I knew that wasn’t right.”
He dug into his law books. Then he recalled the words of his grandfather: “Always stick up for the little guy.” Through a combination of preparedness and sheer will, Gross won the case for the injured worker. His client’s family was overjoyed at the outcome.
“Right then, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” he says. “When you help injured workers, it feels amazing because you’re exacting justice. It feels like you’re moving a mountain for an injured person who can’t move it themselves.”
Gross sees his work as a calling. In simpler terms, he says, “You’re just doing what’s right.”
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