Texarkana attorneys sued for failing to file lawsuit

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Feb. 4, 2009, 9:18am

Flint and Soyars

TEXARKANA – Two Texarkana attorneys have found themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit after a client sued them for failing to file a personal injury suit before the statute of limitations ran out.

Lucille Beasley states she hired attorneys Bruce Flint and Matthew Q. Soyars on Dec. 28, 2006, to pursue potential litigation from an automobile collision in Memphis, Tenn.

Despite signing an attorney-client agreement, Beasley states she was never seen or spoken to by any attorney. Beasley, an Arkansas resident, claims she was not informed of Tennessee's one year statute of limitations for personal injury claims.

Beasley argues the attorneys breached their contract by failing to file her claim and protect her legal rights. Beasley states she is forever barred from pursuing her claim.

She filed a lawsuit against the attorneys and their firm on Feb. 2 in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to court documents, Beasley was injured in an automobile collision in October 2006. She states her injures are "permanent, partially disabling."

Two months later, Beasley says she signed an attorney-client agreement with the Law Offices of Flint & Soyars LLP, allowing the attorneys to pursue her claims.

She says she relied on television, telephone book and Web site advertising when choosing an attorney.

The agreement stated the attorneys would promptly investigate the incident and file any appropriate claims or lawsuits, Beasley alleges. Beasley agreed to pay 33 and 1/3 percent to the lawyers if a recovery was made before a lawsuit was filed and 40 percent if a lawsuit was filed.

The plaintiff accuses the attorneys of "an unconscionable practice" of including a provision within the agreement that allowed a double recovery from the lawyers collecting a one-third fee for the handling of any personal injury protection plan or medical payments claim.

However, although Beasley signed the fee agreement, according to court documents, "no attorney signed the fee agreement on behalf of any of the defendants."

Further, Beasley never spoke with any attorney during the course of her claim; all of her contact was with legal assistants.

The lawsuit argues the defendants were "negligent in advertising themselves as lawyers who obtain exceptional results and other advertising claims holding themselves out as extraordinary lawyers."

"Plaintiff relied to her detriment on those representations yet was never seen by a lawyer and apparently no lawyer ever worked on her case," the court documents state.

Beasley is seeking more than $75,000 in damages for legal fees, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of time worked.
Little Rock attorney Brent Baber is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge David Folsom is presiding over the litigation but has referred the case to Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven for pre-trial proceedings.

Case No 5:09cv00013

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