Civil Plaintiff

Legal Malpractice Case Results in $1,680,000 Verdict

Pro Se Attorney Defendant Juan Garcia agreed to represent clients in a wrongful death case stemming from a collision with an 18-wheeler making an improper left turn. Defendant later signed the driver of the auto and the common law wife/mother of minor son without proper notice or waivers from Plaintiffs. When Defendant understood there were multiple conflicts, the case was settled before a proper investigation was completed. When decedent’s wife inquired about her case, the conflicts and malpractice came to light, including the attorney’s not filing suit for the mother within the statute of limitations.

Jury awarded $1,600,000.00 as amount Plaintiffs should have received and $80,000.00 as punitive damages- the amount the attorney charged in legal fees for settling at $200,000.00 and advising the clients they must take the $200,000.00 because they were legally entitled to nothing.

Expert witness and board certified personal injury trial lawyer John David Franz testified to problems in signing competing plaintiffs, ethical violations throughout the representation and in the incorrect legal advice given to Plaintiffs as they were statutory Plaintiffs under the Texas wrongful death statute and heirs of their son’s estate which was suing for Texas survivor claims.

Demetrio Duarte, Jr., of Duarte & Molina, P.C., represented the Plaintiff in this matter.

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