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- Relevant files
- The lawsuit seeks far more than $50 million in damages in excess of the alleged misuse of settlement cash awarded to Tom Girardi’s clients
- Attorney Jay Edelson claimed he is “self-confident in our ability to verify to a jury that the Girardi Keese agency was performing as a criminal business.”
(Reuters) – Plaintiffs’ legislation company Edelson has sued lawyer Tom Girardi’s estranged spouse and previous users of Girardi’s regulation organization, looking for damages soon after Edelson included settlement payments owed to Girardi’s former clients in litigation more than the 2018 Lion Air crash.
The lawsuit was submitted late Wednesday in San Francisco federal court docket just after a judge in Illinois in April accredited a program for Edelson to pay five people in the Lion Air situation at minimum $2 million.
The new lawsuit towards fact Tv set star Erika Jayne Girardi, her corporation EJ World-wide and former Girardi Keese attorneys David Lira and Keith Griffin says the Girardis took settlement money meant for shoppers and applied them to bankroll their lavish life-style. It calls Erika Girardi the “frontwoman” of the scheme, “providing to the earth (which includes unsuspecting clients) that Girardi Keese was productive.”
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A law firm for Girardi called the lawsuit “yet another misguided try to blame Erika for steps of Tom Girardi and many others of which she had no knowledge and in which she experienced no involvement.”
The lawsuit also names as defendants authorized expert George Hatcher, former Girardi Keese chief financial officer Chris Kamon and the litigation funder California Lawyer Lending II. Kamon could not be achieved, and several other defendants or their attorneys did not quickly answer to requests for remark.
William F. Savino, a lawyer for California Lawyer Lending II, claimed his customer “vigorously” denies Edelson’s claims, such as that its founder ensured the organization received a “initially slash” of settlement funds in the Lion Air situation.
Edelson founder Jay Edelson said in an e mail that the law agency feels “confident in our ability to show to a jury that the Girardi Keese firm was performing as a criminal organization.”
“We hope this circumstance can help respond to some bigger issues: How did the business get away with it for so quite a few yrs? Why has the California bar been absent? And how numerous other men and women were included?” he explained.
The criticism seeks $55 million in punitive or exemplary damages, as nicely as more money damages that are redacted from the court docket submitting.
Underneath the offer permitted in Illinois federal court, the Lion Air crash victims’ people formerly represented by Tom Girardi reassigned their claims to the Edelson firm. Any damages recovered by way of the new lawsuit will initially include legal professional costs for Wisner Regulation Organization, a Chicago business that is now representing the five family members and recoup the fees for Edelson and its insurance provider. Any remaining funds will be divided concerning Edelson and the families.
Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese are not named in the complaint, 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 income was not distributed. Tom Girardi could not right away be arrived at for remark.
The California Supreme Court past thirty day period disbarred Girardi and ordered him to shell out in excess of $2 million in restitution, together with to the youngsters 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 up-to-date with reviews from lawyers symbolizing defendants in the lawsuit.)
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