Benton man pursuing Carbondale attorney in St.. Clair County

Ann Knef Aug. 18, 2005, 1:32am

A Benton man is suing his former Carbondale attorney in St. Clair County Circuit Court for professional malpractice and breach of contract.

Representing himself, Donald R. Browning claims attorney John Womick failed to preserve a witness affidavit submitted by his now-deceased wife, Nancy Browning, who had been involved in an accident at K's Merchandise Mart in Carbondale.

According to the complaint, an accident Aug. 19, 1998, left Nancy Browning brain damaged, which aggravated the decline of her health.

The Brownings, who were pursuing a personal injury claim against K's Merchandise Mart, met with Womick Oct. 19, 1999. Donald Browning was advised by letter on Feb. 22, 2000, that Womick would no longer be representing him due to Nancy Browning's death on Jan. 2, 2000.

Browning hired James R. Williams of Belleville to pursue a claim against K's Merchandise Mart. But on Aug. 13, 2003, summary judgment in favor of K's Merchandise was entered in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Browning is seeking at least $100,000 in damages from Womick.

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