Counsel substituted in suit that blames Merrill Lynch for risky investment

David Yates Feb. 2, 2011, 5:50am

A notice of substitution of counsel was filed Jan. 31 in a case alleging Merrill Lynch and broker Robert T. Shriver poorly invested a Port Neches couple's money.

In their suit, filed Aug. 20, 2009, Earl and Mary Duhon maintain they thought they were putting their money in conservative and safe investments, but claim Shriver had actually sunk their funds into risky securities.

Court records show the Duhons agreed to purchase the securities Shriver recommended, but later discovered their money was placed in various investments that placed their principal at risk. They also realized inappropriate fees were incurred on their various investments.

They blamed Merrill Lynch and Shriver for breach of contract, for violating provisions of Texas's securities statutes, for violating the Texas Business and Commerce Code and for intentionally misrepresenting material facts.

The case was stayed and entered arbitration on Jan. 13, 2010.

A year later, attorneys Chris Portner and Trent Bond of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont notified the court that Thomas Kiehnhoff, also an attorney with the firm, would be the new attorney of record for the couple.

The Duhons are seeking all sums they lost in the account on all transactions made or not made, all lost opportunities incurred as a result of the defendants' acts and a rescission of any or all transactions.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. A184-751

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