Another former client of Bill Voss has joined the ranks of disgruntle litigants claiming the Texas attorney’s firm mishandled their insurance lawsuit.
California resident Sharon Wallace originally filed suit against The Voss Law Firm on Dec. 1 in the Superior Court of California, Sacramento, seeking punitive damages for allegedly missing the filing deadline on her claim and forging her signature.
The firm had the case removed to federal court on March 29, court records show.
In her suit, Wallace says she hired The Voss Law Firm on June 15, 2013 to represent her in a breach of contract claim against her insurer, Mercury Insurance Group.
According to court documents, a fire destroyed Wallace’s home on April 30, 2012. After an inspection, Mercury denied the claim, citing arson.
In her suit against Voss, Wallace says she was out of town visiting relatives at the time and the reasons are unknown to her as to why Mercury denied the claim.
A suit was brought against the carrier in state court through the Encino-based Price Law Group on May 21, 2014 (a month after the statute of limitations) and ultimately dismissed five months later.
The Voss Law Firm often subcontracts out-of-state lawsuits to law firms within the state where the incident giving rise to the litigation transpired.
The firm and the law firms it hires have a history of not complying with deadlines, as recently shown in the case of Slinin v. Fidelity National Insurance.
In her suit against The Voss Law Firm, Wallace claims the firm owed her a duty to properly represent her interests in obtaining monies to repair her home.
“Defendants breached these duties owed to plaintiff,” the suit states. “Defendant’s breach was a direct and proximate cause of plaintiff’s damages.”
Wallace alleges the firm “had no clue” as to the proper statute of limitations in the case.
“Defendants had an ethical obligation to keep plaintiff ‘reasonably’ informed about the status of the matter at hand but failed to do so,” the suit states. “Defendants acted as if they were above the (law and the law) did not apply to them.
“Defendants failed to negotiate with Plaintiff after Plaintiff notified The Voss Law Firm of their mistake. At the very least, by tackling the problem head-on, they could have avoided exacerbating the original mistake by not adding unethical violations unbecoming to a so-called ‘high-class’, ‘Super Lawyer’ law firm.”
Wallace also accuses the firm of “blatantly” forging her signature and filing documents after the deadline, in the wrong venue, without her permission.
She further alleges the firm acted with reckless disregard for her rights, entitling her to punitive damages.
Wallace is acting as her own attorney.
The Voss Law Firm is represented by William Munoz and Heather Barnes, attorneys for the Sacramento law firm Murphy, Pearson, Bradley & Feeney.
Filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern California, case No. 2:16-cv-00656