A Florida businessman is suing the law firm of the late John O’Quinn, claiming the Houston firm provided him with false information that led to around $100 million in damages.
Rodney Young and his company, Eagletech Communications Inc., filed suit April 28 in Harris County Court against the O’Quinn Law Firm and the estate of John M. O’Quinn.
According to the complaint, on Sept. 27, 2001, the O’Quinn Law Firm entered into a Power of Attorney and Contingency Fee Contract with Eagletech in Broward County, Fla.
Pursuant to the contract, Eagletech filed three lawsuits regarding claims to financial transactions. The company sued Bryn Mawr Investment Group Inc. in November 2001, Christopher Flannery in June 2003 and Citigroup Inc. in May 2007.
John O’Quinn stated in 2001 press release “our client and its shareholders … have been victimized and damaged by predatory financing schemes involving numerous market makers and others designed to enrich the financiers to the ruination of the companies financed.”
According to court documents, Young had concerns about the legal power of some of the defense counsel, but was told by O’Quinn that the defendants “could not outspend him” because he made such a large amount of money from tobacco lawsuits. He allegedly told Young that the Eagletech lawsuits had the potential to be “bigger than the tobacco cases” and told Young he would “never quit on the cases.”
However, on Oct. 29, 2009, John O’Quinn was killed in a car accident in Houston.
The complaint states that on April 15, 2010, the O’Quinn Law Firm “induced” Young to reach a $525,000 settlement in the suit against Christopher Flannery.
Young alleges that the firm failed to disclose that it intended to withdraw and terminate its representation of Young and Eagletech in the lawsuits against Mawr and Citigroup once the settlement with Flannery had been reached and the attorneys’ fees had been paid.
“Pursuant to the settlement and under the fee arrangement contained in the contract, O’Quinn Law Firm was paid $490,000 while the remaining $35,000 was paid to Eagletech,” the suit states.
Young claims that had he known the law firm was going to withdraw its representation in the other suits, he “would not have agreed to enter into the Flannery Lawsuit settlement agreement.”
e says his company was “left in peril” without representation in ongoing litigation. Young states the O’Quinn Law Firm was obligated to put the interests of Young and Eagletech first, “ahead of the firm’s own interests.”
According to the suit, the firm’s fraudulent omission and material misrepresentations cost Eagletech actual damages of $490,000 paid to the O’Quinn firm. In addition, Young claims the loss associated with the Eagletech lawsuits is in excess of $100 million for the decrease in value of the suits, the ability to pursue full recovery, fees and costs.
The law firm is accused of breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent inducement, fraud and constructive fraud, breach of contract and malpractice/negligence.
Young and Eagletech are seeking compensatory damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, interest and other just and proper relief. A jury trial is requested.
Lloyd E. Kelley of Houston is representing the plaintiffs.
Harris County Case No. 2014-23798