Attorneys get caught committing fraud when filing an unlawful asbestos lawsuit

This Wall Street Journal editorial piece describes how plaintiffs’ attorneys were found to have filed corrupt cases on behalf of their clients.

The case involved an asbestos lawsuit brought against Illinois Central Railroad Company. Jurors found that the attorneys; William Guy and Thomas Brock, committed fraud since they knew their clients has lied about taking part in an earlier lawsuit.

The attorneys were ordered to pay $210,000 in actual damages and a further $210,000 in punitive damages to Illinois Central. The WSJ believes that this is the first time that lawyers have ever been punished for filing fraudulent asbestos lawsuits.

The attorneys’ clients; Warren Turner and Willie Harried had filed previous law suits in Jefferson County, Mississippi in 1995. At that time they had received settlements of $800,000 and $1.2 million. Later in 2003, in a lawsuit filed by their attorneys, they received an additional $120,000 and $90,000.

Because of the 1995 settlement, this subsequent filing was classed as “double dipping”. An investigator for Illinois Central discovered it and when they were sued, Turner and Harried stated that they had told their attorneys about the earlier settlement, but the attorneys pressed ahead regardless.

In addition to the fines, Mississippi Bar can strip these two sleazy attorneys of their licenses to send out a message for all who show such a blatant disregard for the law.

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