Christina Stueve Hodges Jul. 11, 2013, 12:17pm

East St. Louis attorney Rex Carr is fighting a lawsuit filed against him by a couple who claims he and Bruce Carr did not properly “perform their lawyerly duties.”

Bruce K. Siddle and Sandra K. Siddle of PPCT Management Systems allege they hired Rex Carr and Bruce Carr of the Rex Carr Law Firm to file a lawsuit against various doctors and companies. The lawsuit arose from a failed business partnership, where the couple claims to have incurred more than $2 million in damages.

According to court documents, the Siddles agreed to make their company, PPCT, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Homeland Security Corporation (HSC), which was owned by Dr. R. Crants Jr.

PPCT’s function was to provide security management training, a U.S. Court of Appeals judgment states.

“The agreement aimed to allow HSC to compete for a large contract from the Transportation Security Agency,” the judgment says. “In exchange, Siddle took a one-quarter ownership share of HSC and became a member of HSC’s board of directors.”

After learning of fraud allegedly committed by Crants and his son, the Siddles allowed the business venture between HSC and PPCT to falter, according to a court judgment. Both the Siddles and the Crants executed two agreements that led to Crants’s departure from HSC, the judgment states.

Under the agreements, the Siddles released Crants from any claims against him, the judgment says. Therefore, the Siddles were prevented from filing a lawsuit against him.

When the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois saw the Siddles’ complaint, it ruled the agreements were valid, and the Siddles could not file a lawsuit against Crants. The U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court, according to the suit.

The Siddles blame the Carrs and The Rex Carr Law Firm for causing their injuries, saying the attorneys did not provide professional services as they would normally supply. Because of the outcome of the case, the Siddles claim they lost $2,159,738.

Rex Carr responded to the complaint July 2, denying the allegations and stating the plaintiffs contributed to, or were solely responsible for their own harm by failing to exercise reasonable care in providing the Carrs with information needed to advise the plaintiffs on their claims against the defendants.

Carr also stated the plaintiffs ratified and approved the defendants’ actions with respect to the handling of claims against the defendants.

The plaintiffs voluntarily relinquished their right to bring claims against the defendants with respect to their handling of claims against the defendants, according to Carr’s defense.

Carr wrote further:

“Plaintiffs are guilty of collusion, acquiescence, estoppels and waiver, bad motive, unclean hands, and in pari delicto with respect to the allegations brought under this complaint, and further, have no standing to bring such suit.

“Because on information and belief, plaintiffs were attempting to improperly use defendants’ services in order to manipulate the court in order to get out of obligations owed under a proper settlement agreement, plaintiffs are barred by the doctrine of unclean hands from recovery damages from defendants in these proceedings. The court will not aid one who comes to court with unclean hands.”

Carr demands a trial by jury.

The Siddles seek more than $50,000.

They are represented by B. Jay Dowling of the Law Offices of Sterling and Dowling in Fairview Heights.

Rex Carr is representing himself.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-238.

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