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- The lawsuit seeks far more than $50 million in damages about the alleged misuse of settlement funds awarded to Tom Girardi’s purchasers
- Lawyer Jay Edelson said he is “assured in our capacity to verify to a jury that the Girardi Keese agency was acting as a legal enterprise.”
(Reuters) – Plaintiffs’ legislation business Edelson has sued lawyer Tom Girardi’s estranged spouse and previous customers of Girardi’s law organization, seeking damages following Edelson coated settlement payments owed to Girardi’s former consumers in litigation over the 2018 Lion Air crash.
The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday in San Francisco federal courtroom just after a judge in Illinois in April approved a prepare for Edelson to pay out five family members in the Lion Air case at minimum $2 million.
The new lawsuit against truth Tv star Erika Jayne Girardi, her firm EJ World and previous Girardi Keese lawyers David Lira and Keith Griffin claims the Girardis took settlement money meant for consumers and employed them to bankroll their lavish life style. It phone calls Erika Girardi the “frontwoman” of the scheme, “promoting to the earth (including unsuspecting consumers) that Girardi Keese was successful.”
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A attorney for Girardi termed the lawsuit “a further misguided attempt to blame Erika for steps of Tom Girardi and others of which she had no information and in which she experienced no involvement.”
The lawsuit also names as defendants authorized expert George Hatcher, former Girardi Keese chief economical officer Chris Kamon and the litigation funder California Lawyer Lending II. Kamon could not be arrived at, and quite a few other defendants or their lawyers did not instantly reply to requests for comment.
William F. Savino, a law firm for California Legal professional Lending II, said his shopper “vigorously” denies Edelson’s claims, such as that its founder ensured the corporation obtained a “to start with slice” of settlement cash in the Lion Air situation.
Edelson founder Jay Edelson reported in an electronic mail that the law firm feels “confident in our capability to demonstrate to a jury that the Girardi Keese company was performing as a legal company.”
“We hope this case can help answer some greater queries: How did the business get away with it for so quite a few years? Why has the California bar been absent? And how lots of other men and women ended up included?” he stated.
The criticism seeks $55 million in punitive or exemplary damages, as well as further cash damages that are redacted from the court docket submitting.
Underneath the offer approved in Illinois federal courtroom, the Lion Air crash victims’ households formerly represented by Tom Girardi reassigned their statements to the Edelson firm. Any damages recovered by means of the new lawsuit will 1st include lawyer expenses for Wisner Regulation Business, a Chicago firm that is now representing the five people and recoup the expenditures for Edelson and its insurance company. Any remaining funds will be divided among Edelson and the people.
Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese are not named in the grievance, and both of those are in bankruptcy proceedings. Tom Girardi has not responded to allegations about the misuse of the Lion Air settlement resources but his attorneys have acknowledged the funds was not dispersed. Tom Girardi could not immediately be reached for remark.
The California Supreme Court docket last month disbarred Girardi and ordered him to pay out over $2 million in restitution, which includes to the little ones of four of the Lion Air plaintiffs.
The situation is Edelson Personal computer vs. Lira, et al in the Northern District of California, No. 22-cv-3977.
(This tale has been updated with reviews from lawyers representing defendants in the lawsuit.)
Examine far more:
Girardi law firm unethically recruited consumers in Lion Air crash scheme, lawsuit alleges
Courtroom backs regulation firm’s deal with Girardi plaintiffs, paving way for lawsuit
Regulation business asks decide to make it possible for $50 mln lawsuit towards Erika Girardi, other individuals
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