Attorneys for plaintiffs John and Crystal Shellabarger filed an unopposed motion to withdraw as counsel on Nov. 18, leaving the couple alone to pursue their medical-malpractice complaint or find new representation.
On March 29, the Shellabargers filed suit against a Nederland physician Dr. Jimmy D. Bell, alleging the doctor failed to adequately treat John Shellabarger's tendon injury.
Court records show Bell performed surgery on John Shellabarger at Renaissance Hospital-Groves on Jan. 17, 2008, and subsequently treated him for post-operative care at his office in Nederland.
In their suit, the couple alleges that during the surgery Dr. Bell failed to utilize the most effective techniques, procedures and treatments to treat a zone 2 flexor tendon injury and failed to refer John Shellabarger immediately for post-operative physical therapy with a competent physical therapist.
Attorneys Robert Talaska and Theodore Skarbowski of the Talaska Law Firm in Houston filed the suit in Jefferson County District Court on their behalf.
In their motion to withdrawal, the attorneys cite "irreconcilable difference between the lawyers and clients, which materially affects the lawyers' ability to go forward with this case."
"Per the plaintiffs wishes, the case shall stay on file and plaintiffs shall act as their own counsel ... until the time another attorney is substituted into the case, if any," the motion states.
The Shellabargers are seeking special, general and exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.
Crystal Shellabarger claims she lost her husband's consortium, enjoyment, society and companionship; suffered mental anguish; and incurred medical costs.
Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the case.
Case No. A186-419