Justices to determine whether medical practice’s suit vying for settlement funds stays local

By David Yates | Sep 16, 2013

The Texas Ninth District Court of Appeals will determine whether a Beaumont medical practice’s suit against a law firm that seeks money from a settlement fund should remain locally.

Health and Medical Practice Associates claims it treated a client of attorney Michael Nacol. The client then agreed to repay Health and Medical Practice Associates any money he received from a settlement related to his injury, according to the complaint filed Aug. 30, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court.

Although Health and Medical Practice Associates has repeatedly demanded the money from Nacol, his law firm refuses to pay the company, the suit states.

Court records show Lori Brown and Jeff Musslewhite of Brown & Musslewhite, who are also defendants in the suit, filed a motion to transfer venue since most of the claims in the suit took place in Harris County.

However, Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, denied the motion to transfer on April 9, prompting Brown and Musslewhite to file an appeal two weeks later.

The case has been set for submission on briefs for Sept. 20.

In addition to the money it seeks, Health and Medical Practice Associates is asking for pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, court costs and other relief the court deems just.

In their appeal, Brown and Musslewhite ask: “Did the trial court commit reversible error by denying Appellants' Motion to Transfer Venue as to Appellee Health &Medical Practice Associates, Inc. as a substantial part of the events and omissions giving rise to its causes of action occurred in Harris County, not in Jefferson County?”

Brown and Musslewhite are represented in part by Houston attorney Jerry Young.

Health and Medical Practice Associates is represented by John Werner and Glen Morgan of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont.

Trial Court Case No. B192-976

Appeals Court Case No. 09-13-00192-CV

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