The medical malpractice lawyers who represented the plaintiffs in a Connecticut medical malpractice case that resulted in a large medical malpractice verdict in the plaintiffs’ favor are fighting the grievances filed against them by their former clients.
The grievances allege that the plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyers failed to adequately protect their clients’ interests in creating a trust to provide for all of the needs of their severely disabled child during his lifetime, and that the trustees charged huge and improper fees and the lawyers failed to document their litigation expenses charged to the plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs had hired the Connecticut medical malpractice lawyers to represent them in their claims that the defendants’ medical negligence had led to their child’s severe and permanent birth injury that resulted in the child’s severe disability and reduced their child’s life expectancy by more than one-half. A Connecticut medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $58.6 million in May 2011. In January 2012, the plaintiffs settled the matter for $25 million in order to avoid an appeal.
The plaintiffs were concerned that the trust set up to protect and provide for their child improperly failed to provide for their child during his lifetime. In particular, the trust provided that following the death of the plaintiffs (the parents), the remaining assets of the trust would be transferred to a foundation that another attorney would oversee in which the trustee fees were unspecified.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs alleged that the amount placed in trust for their child was too much in light of the child’s life expectancy (the trust was funded with nearly $13 million yet the plaintiffs’ expert at trial testified that the child would need approximately $8 million for future care and expenses), thereby increasing the amount that the foundation would likely receive and increasing the amount that the trustee would be paid. The plaintiffs also complained that they were charged $600,000 in litigation expenses for which there were no documentation or receipts provided.
The plaintiffs filed a civil complaint in the New Haven Superior Court and they also filed grievances with the Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee, alleging that their medical malpractice attorneys and the attorney who would be in charge of the foundation conspired to misappropriate $4.34 million in illegal legal fees from the $25 million settlement, and that they failed to provide documentation and proof regarding more than $600,000 in legal expenses they were charged.
A proposed settlement of the grievance would have resulted in the plaintiffs’ medical malpractice lawyers being given a limited reprimand. Following a hearing on February 4, 2016 that challenged the proposed settlement of the grievance, the Connecticut Statewide Grievance Committee rejected the proposed settlement. As a result, the grievances against the lawyers will be heard during a public hearing in the future.
The plaintiffs’ former medical malpractice lawyers are also facing allegations that they failed to honor their retainer agreement with the plaintiffs dated March 21, 2003, which would have entitled the lawyers to a $2.66 million fee instead of the $7 million fee they took after the $25 million settlement was paid.
If you or a loved one may have been injured as a result of medical negligence that occurred in Connecticut or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in your U.S. state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and file a medical malpractice case on your behalf, if appropriate.
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