HUNTINGTON – A hearing was held Friday involving Eric C. Conn and the class action lawsuit against him for Social Security benefits.

There are about 900 people involved in the lawsuit against Conn.

Hundreds of people lost their Social Security Disability benefits because of suspected fraud involving Conn and Social Security administrative judge David B. Daugherty.

The suspected fraud was with medical evidence in cases handled by Conn that had four physicians as medical experts.

The Social Security Administration sent out letters in May to those whose benefits were to be suspended. After there were alleged suicides due to the suspension, a motion was filed June 2 seeking an emergency injunction to block the SSA from suspending the benefits to claimants and relatives.

At Friday’s hearing, a judge kept the restraining order in place. At the hearing, attorneys for both sides argued their case about the restraining order against Conn.

The restraining order limits Conn’s spending and bans him from destroying evidence.

Ned Pillersdorf, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit, said at the hearing that the restraining order is important to retain whatever assets Conn has, and any medical evidence in his possession.

Conn’s attorneys claim the lawsuit only represents two people and dismiss the class action lawsuit against him.

In 2011, Daugherty was placed on leave while the SSA investigated the high number of social security applications he had granted so far during the fiscal year.

Daugherty had said it was simply a coincidence that he happened to approve all of the cases in the first half of the year, claiming that attorneys had been extremely well-prepared and had figured out how to bring forth cases that were hard to deny.

Conn was the attorney on a large number of the cases Daugherty approved.

Daugherty awarded benefits in each of the 729 disability cases he decided in the first six months of 2011’s fiscal year. In 2010, Daugherty denied benefits in only four cases out of 1,284.

Daugherty retired amid paid suspension and later voluntarily agreed to have his state law license annulled last summer.

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