Woman reaches settlement with attorney accused of submitting BP oil spill claim without consent

David Yates Jun. 13, 2013, 3:32pm

A notice of non-suit with prejudice has been filed in a lawsuit alleging an attorney submitted a BP oil spill claim without the consent of his client. 

Last June, Nederland resident Maxie Nguyen sued Robert A. McAllister Jr. and Associates PC, alleging the law firm submitted a BP oil spill claim on her behalf without consent, taking attorney’s fees out of the award and asserted liens for damages.

On Sept. 20 a discovery control plan order was entered in the case, setting the suit for a May 2013 trial.

However, the plaintiff filed a notice of non-suit on March 5, stating she settled her claim.

The lawsuit alleged that on Jan. 24, 2010, the Eagle Otome Tanker collided with a barge, releasing approximately 462,000 gallons of oil into the Sabine Neches Waterway in Port Arthur. Nguyen contracted the Houston law firm to represent her for damages related to the incident.

On April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded. Nguyen says she did not sign a new contract with the firm or modify her existing contract.

“Upon information and belief, plaintiff alleges that defendant took the documentation provided as part of the Sabine Spill litigation and submitted them to the funds set up to compensate victims of the Deepwater Spill,” the suit states.

“Plaintiff was not informed and did not consent the defendant’s representation … for damages from the Deepwater Spill, prior to the submission of the documentation.”

The suit went on to state that the firm did recover funds for Nguyen and took attorney’s fees out of the money and has since asserted liens against Nguyen’s recovery for damages related to the Deepwater Spill.

Nguyen was asking the court to declare that the firm is not entitled to any future settlement funds related to the Deepwater Spill.

Beaumont attorney Brent Coon represented her.

Ironically, as the Record previously reported, Coon himself has been accused of irregularities with some of his client's signatures. In April a federal judge ruled that one BP client's signature was indeed a forgery.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, presided over the case.

Case No. A192-518

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