HOUSTON - Another Hurricane Sandy lawsuit brought through the Houston-area Voss Law Firm was recently tossed due to apparent neglect.
In October 2012, Sandy decimated the New Jersey and New York coastlines, killing hundreds and causing more than $68 billion in damages.
Soon after, Bill Voss, the firm’s founder, set up shop and flooded the east coast with advertisements in search of clients.
Partnered with the New Jersey firm Harbatkin & Levasseur, the Voss Law Firm filed hundreds of lawsuits, many of which have been dismissed for various reasons of neglect, like failure to prosecute for example, court records show.
And such appears to be the case of Voss client Edward Slinin, who, along with M Realty Corp., filed suit against Fidelity National Insurance on June 3, 2014, in a New York federal court, alleging the insurer failed pay full insurance proceeds for their Brooklyn property following Sandy.
Court records show that on July 10, 2014, the trial court ordered the parties to file a status report within three weeks. The Judge even mailed a copy of the order to Scott Hunziker, a Voss Law Firm attorney.
The plaintiffs did not comply.
In October 2014, Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak recommended the case be dismissed for failure to prosecute unless the plaintiffs advised the court that they had performed service of process within two weeks, which they did not.
On April 1, 2015, Judge Pollak ordered David Harbatkin of Harbatkin & Levasseur to appear and explain the lack of progress in the action and other Sandy litigation handled by the law firm, noting that the attorney had not even contacted many of the individuals he claimed to represent before filing claims on their behalf, court records show.
The Harbatkin & Levasseur law firm was hired as local counsel after responding to a Voss Law Firm craigslist ad, according to an article in the New Jersey Law Journal.
Judge Pollak ultimately relieved Harbatkin, and the Voss Law Firm brought in James Costo, Esq. to take over. A new ruling was soon issued, ordering the parties to exchange all mandatory disclosures by Nov. 16.
On the day of the deadline, Fidelity notified the court that although it had produced its required disclosures, it had received nothing from the plaintiffs, court records show.
On Nov. 23 Judge Pollak issued another order that required the plaintiffs to indicate whether they intended to proceed, giving them a week to respond or face having the suit dismissed for failure to prosecute.
And again, the plaintiffs failed to comply.
On March 1, four months later, U.S. District Judge Roslynn Mauskopf adopted Pollak’s recommendations and entered an order of dismissal for failure to prosecute, court records show.
Case No. 14-CV-3483