Category Archives: Malpractice

Man vs. Bank: Who’s Right?

On February 19th, Londell McMillan sued Barclays Bank for a loan default “fabrication”. The British bank had sued former partner of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s entertainment, media, and sports group, just a few months earlier, for a $540,000 loan payment from 2010.

The case began when McMillan joined LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & McRae, right around the time of their merger with Dewey Ballantine, and was told he needed to pay a contribution to the firm’s operations. McMillan claims however that he never took out the loan, as the CEO emailed him two days before the due date saying it was already paid. Barclays declined to comment.

Law Firm Can’t Change its “F” Grade

Kaufman, Englett & Lynd(KEL), a law firm, sued the Central Florida Better Business Bureau (BBB) for false advertising in violation of the Landham act, “disparagement of business”, and breach of contract. BBB’s business revolves around rating law firms, and allegedly gave the law firm disparaging and misleading reviews, an F rating, all the while breaching accreditation agreement with the company. After receiving the grade, many of their clients supposedly left.

Nonetheless on February 20, Judge John Antoon ruled that the misrepresentations are not ads because the BBB and KEL do not compete commercially. Furthermore, it was decided that KEL, though based in Florida, could not claim personal jurisdiction as it neither owns shares nor controls daily operations in the BBB. Nonetheless, Judge Antoon refused to provide supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims, meaning that KEL is free to try again in state court.

Death by Drunkenness

Back in July 2012, Bryan Lee Glenn’s family filed suit against IP Casino Resort and Spa in Mississippi for $75 million for continuously serving drinks that caused his death.

Glenn had picked up a check for $15,000 in 2009 for a deposit on the family’s new living space. Nonetheless, Glenn began betting up to $1,000 a hand on blackjack and ordering two drinks at a time — whiskey and cola and shots of tequila. The suit says a dealer, pit boss, waitress and security guard were among those who refused to intervene after Glenn was falling down drunk and his family begged the casino to stop serving him.

His family had to leave to take another family member home, but returned to the casino to find Glenn collapsed in their hotel room. Glenn’s friend tried to revive him for 25 minutes using CPR and continued to do so even after the casino medic arrived because the doctor lacked a “mouthpiece.” 20 minutes following that, an ambulance crew arrived, but too late as Glenn died on the scene.

Children’s Lawyer Jailed for Misallocating Award Funds

John William Coates, a Texas Children’s Personal Injury Lawyer, pleaded guilty last August to withholding $600,000 from the Travis County court registry and his clients from 2002 through 2010. As an attorney to the minors, Coates was to accept awards on behalf of his clients from insurance companies and place that money into a court registry until the child turned 18.

Coates however, kept many of the awards for his personal use, but would deposit the funds into the registry before the child came of age. Sometimes though, the money wasn’t there in time.

Coates now resides at Travis County Jail under a 10-year prison deal, and could be released on probation after six months for good behavior if he agrees to certain conditions, like relinquishing his law license.

Children’s Motrin Suit Ends with $63 Million Payout

Samantha Reckis was 7 years old when she took Children’s Motrin with ibuprofen and suffered through blindness, temporary short-term memory loss, 20% lung capacity, and toxic epidermal necrolysis, a rare but severe side effect that caused the loss of 90% of her skin.

Now at 16, Reckis has been granted $63 million against Johnson & Johnson for the lack of warning on the labels. She had taken Motrin before the incident with little reaction, but on November 23rd, following a fever, symptoms started showing.

Johnson & Johnson debated the claims, alleging that Motrin is “labeled appropriately” and when used as directed is “a safe and effective treatment option for minor aches and pains and fever.”

Sewer Service Lawsuit Turned Class Action

Earlier in September, Judge Denny Chin agreed to a class action case of thousands of plaintiffs who had been sued for unpaid debts and had default judgments entered against them. The issue began when debt purchaser Leucadia National Corp. and NY law firm, Mel S. Harris and Associates, that specializes in debt collection, used tactics to keep the plaintiffs from finding out about legal action until default judgment was issued.

One of the tactics “sewer service” made sure that notices were either improperly delivered or never served at all. By Judge Chin’s standards, the two companies violated the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act NY state’s general business law, and the Racketeer influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. While Leucadia remained silent, , Harris Associates denied the claims and said it had not broken any laws and that plaintiffs had not proven the existence of an alleged conspiracy to defraud defendants.

Defense Team Fighting Itself

Attorney Joel Brodsky defended Drew Peterson, a convicted murderer, last year along with defense lawyer Steven Greenberg. Now Brodsky is suing Greenberg in a libel case, alleging that Greenberg submitted a “false narrative” to the Chicago Tribune.

It was intended to pay Brodsky back for trying to oust Greenberg from the case, and depicted him as a liar and incompetent. Brodsky was put “in a false light in the public eye,” having his reputation damaged and causing profit losses. Currently Greenberg, lead lawyer on Peterson’s legal team is still trying to overturn his conviction for murdering his new wife and bring him a new trial.

Leading Law Firm Liable for Malpractice

Holland and Knight, a leading law firm, was recently found liable by a Los Angeles jury for fraud, legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary responsibility.  The jury ordered the law firm to pay $34.5 million after being link to the fraud lawsuits involving Shi Shailendra, Atlanta real estate promoter.

The Sabadias claimed that Holland and Knight and Glass assisted Shailendra’s scheme that diverted tens of millions of dollars of Sabadia money right into Shailendra’s pocket.  The jury found that Holland and Knight, independently, and through its responsible partner White Reeder Glass, had tricked the plaintiffs into believing that the law firm was representing the plaintiff’s interests in their investments with Shailendra.  Sabadia stated that the law firm basically allowed us to be financially mugged.  Holland and Knight created multiple entities for the Sabadias, portrayed to banks and others that they were representing the Sabadias, directed them to sign various agreements and legally binding documents, and even sent the Sabadias blank pages to sign in various transactions.  The prosecution stated that this is a victory not only for the Sabadias, but for all consumers in California.

One Million Awarded for Surgical Death

Maria Garcia, a 66-year-old woman, died of a brain injury caused by the lack of oxygen during a surgery in 2008.  Subsequently, her family filed a malpractice suit against the anesthesiologist.

The trial took about two weeks and resulted in the family being awarded $1.2 million.  The jury found the doctor professionally negligent, and this negligence as the cause of death.  The doctor had failed to realize the breathing tube had moved and failed to treat very low blood pressure during the procedure.