Melanie J. Garner is of counsel to the firm and has over 18 years of experience forcefully advocating on behalf of her clients in state and federal courts throughout the country. She has significant experience litigating various mass tort and personal injury matters, as well as handling “qui tam” whistleblower cases and litigating ERISA employee benefits claims. Since 2008, Melanie has primarily represented plaintiffs and their family members helping them to recover millions of dollars in ERISA employee benefits, asbestos, mass tort, personal injury, and other cases in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and elsewhere.
Since joining The Garner Firm, Ltd. in early 2020, a large portion of Melanie’s practice has involved representing employees in ERISA claims and litigation. This typically involves appealing the decisions of plan administrators, insurers, and other claim fiduciaries denying or terminating benefits made available to employees through their jobs, such as short-term disability (STD) benefits, long-term disability (LTD) benefits, life insurance, pensions, and other retirement benefits, and litigating these claims against insurance companies, employers, and plan fiduciaries. These claims often involve individual employees, but they may also involve class actions brought on behalf of a number of employees and plan participants who have been similarly harmed by a defendant’s breaches of fiduciary duty and other wrongdoing.
Melanie has also represented plaintiffs in disputes and litigation against insurance companies involving claims of bad faith and breach of contract for denying or terminating benefits under individual disability insurance (IDI) policies often purchased by doctors, lawyers, and other professionals with specialized training in the event they become disabled and unable to perform the duties of their own occupation during their career.
In addition, Melanie has represented employees in employment discrimination and FLSA wage and hour cases brought against their employers.
Throughout her career, a large portion of Melanie’s practice has included representing mesothelioma victims, including those with occupational and other exposures to asbestos. In addition, she has litigated cases involving products liability and exposures to other toxic chemicals, including benzene and lead paint, class actions and other mass tort claims, including those involving defective medical devices. Melanie has also litigated various other types of personal injury actions on behalf of those injured through the negligence or intentional conduct of others, including premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse cases. In addition to recovering millions of dollars on behalf of her clients, her work has held defendants, including many large corporations and employers, accountable for their wrongful conduct.
Melanie has also represented former professional and college football players suffering from catastrophic injuries, disabilities, latent brain disease and other cognitive impairments, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”). She has pursued these claims as a part of the NFL Concussion Litigation Settlement and has also litigated individual lawsuits against the NCAA and private universities on behalf of former professional and student athletes and their family members.
Melanie also has significant experience representing workers who “blew the whistle” and reported Medicare and other fraud conducted by their employers, including pharmaceutical companies and government contractors, against federal and state governments. These cases, called “qui tam” cases, permit an employee who has not participated in the fraud to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government in order to recover on its behalf. Individuals who bring these suits are referred to as “relators,” and, in certain situations, they are entitled to a share of the government’s recovery.
Melanie was nominated and selected by her peers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019, and as Super Lawyer in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Since 2015, Melanie has served on the Board of Governors for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and she is currently the Chair of its Women Leaders Section, as well as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Section, Civil Rights Section, and Insurance Bad Faith Section. Melanie is Co-Chair of the Publications Committee for the American Association for Justice’s Women Lawyers Caucus, and is a member of the American Association for Justice’s ERISA Benefits Litigation Group. She is also a member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the Philadelphia Bar Association. Since 2020, Melanie has been a member of the Board of Directors of Justice for Our Neighbors of the Delaware Valley, Inc., a non-profit providing pro bono and low cost immigration legal services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in the Greater Delaware Valley area, and she is Chair of its Nominating and Personnel Committee. Melanie is a member of the American Bar Foundation and the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Section, and she is a Chapter Editor for the “Employee Benefits Law” treatise published by Bloomberg Law.
Adam helped me with my LTD case. His knowledge and thoroughness was outstanding. He communicated every aspect of the process and case in an extremely detailed and timely manner. He also took the time to answer any questions I had as a person going through it for the first time. I could not recommend him… Read More
Adam and his team are great. They did an excellent job helping my family when we were really losing hope. Adam is very professional and has excellent knowledge to protect your rights. If you choose Adam you will talk directly with him. It was a truly pleasant experience. I'm extremely thankful that I chose the… Read More
Adam Garner provided excellent courteous and considerate service in helping me resolve a long term disability claim. He was accessible, knowledgeable and exercised the good judgement necessary for us to be successful. I heartily recommend his expertise and services Read More
This review is long over-due! If you're looking for professional and sound legal advice, The Garner Firm is where you want to start! Throughout my relationship with The Garner Firm, there was never a time that I felt uninformed where my case stood. Attorney Adam Garner focuses on making sure his clients are well informed… Read More
Adam is extremely knowledgeable and always helped answer all of our questions we had. Very supportive in a challenging case. He understood our situation and was beyond great! He helped my family so much! I would highly recommend Adam and the Garner Firm! Read More
I would highly recommend Adam to anyone!!! He is very professional, works hard for you, and very knowledgeable. He is honest and upfront with you with any obstacles that he may face in representing you. He keeps you well informed of your case and responds promptly to any questions or concerns you may have. He… Read More
From the initial phone call for assistance to the end of the case Adam and The Garner Firm was an absolute blessing to me and my family. He presented genuine concern and professionalism throughout the process. Where as other attorneys see's a client as a client Adam fights for a client like were and individual… Read More
Adam Garner is the definition of professionalism and expertise. He is currently handling my case, which turned out to be more difficult than expected, and is getting positive results. I would highly recommend Mr. Garner to anyone with a disability and/or workplace issue. Read More
The Garner Firm provides quality advice and guidance for clients with employment matters. I highly recommend the Garner Firm. Read More
Adam did an exceptional job in helping me both understand my situation and fight for my benefits/disability claim. He is extremely knowledgeable about the law and how it will effect your case. He was up front with us on how difficult our case may be and was always available to discuss our situation/answer questions. Adam… Read More