Attorney blamed for bad advice in legal malpractice suit

Steve Gonzalez Sep. 27, 2005, 7:14am

A railroad worker who settled his Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) suit for $300,000 filed a legal malpractice suit against the lawyer who represented him.

William Lee claims he was an employee of Alton & Southern Railway and sustained injuries in 1990, 1994, and 1996 and hired Belleville Attorney Paul Storment to represent him.

According to the complaint filed Sept. 21 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, Lee was fired for unsafe practices while his lawsuit was pending. However, he was offered a settlement of $300,000 for his injuries.

Lee claims he accepted the settlement which eliminated any possibility of reinstatement with the union and any possibility of obtaining relief against the union in an action for inadequate representation.

“Because of the advice given by Storment, Lee settled his FELA case for an inadequate sum in the belief given to him by Storment that he would be able to make up the difference by pursuing the union when he, in fact, could not pursue the union for the difference,” the complaint states.

“As a result of Storment’s advice and mishandling of Lee’s case, Lee has incurred damages of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Lee is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages from Storment.

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