Work comp claimant sues lawyer over settlement

Andrea Dearden Oct. 19, 2011, 3:38am

A man from the Village of Bluford is suing a Belleville lawyer after he allegedly failed to include long-term disability in a workers' compensation settlement.

Rick Mason filed a lawsuit Oct. 4 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Gary L. Bement and the law firm of Bement & Stubblefield.

Mason says he was hurt on the job in March 2008 and hired Bement to represent him in an injury claim six months later. In October 2009, Mason's employer allegedly made a settlement offer of nearly $25,000 and included payments of long-term disability for five years.

Mason says he accepted the offer when Bement presented it to him. However, when the settlement contracts were drawn, signed and submitted, Mason says the long-term disability was not included as part of the signed agreement.

Mason claims he found out about the omission when he asked Bement how the payments would be received. Mason says Bement told him he never put the acceptance of the company's offer in writing, thus it wasn't included in the settlement.

Mason accuses Bement and his law firm of negligence and asks for more than $50,000 in damages plus court fees. He is represented by attorneys Jeffrey S. Deutschman and Jonathan Mann of Chicago.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-562

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