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A Texas engineering consulting firm has filed a negligence lawsuit against Littler Mendelson PC, charging the law firm sent too much information to a plaintiff law firm, which enabled the plaintiff firm to add hundreds more plaintiffs to a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit filed against the consultant.
Houston-based New Tech Global Ventures LLC hired the San Francisco-based law firm to defend it against an FLSA lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Houston in late 2017, according to the lawsuit filed in state court in Houston in New Tech Global Ventures LLC vs. Littler Mendelson. The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 21, and just publicized.
The plaintiff in the case filed the lawsuit on his own behalf and on behalf of other potentially similarly situated “well site” supervisors, according to the lawsuit.
The law firm was charged with only providing the names and addresses for well site supervisors. But “for unknown reasons” it not only sent his information, but included and disclosed “completion” supervisors’ information, as well.
This allowed plaintiff attorneys “to sign up numerous additional ‘completion‘ supervisors as part of the FLSA litigation, which they would not have otherwise had access to or knowledge of, but for Defendant’s negligent production during discovery in the underlying matter,” according to the lawsuit.
“Defendants mistakenly forwarded hundreds of names and contact information to the underlying Plaintiffs’ counsel which should never have been included in the underlying lawsuit,” said the complaint.
“As a result, New Tech Global Ventures LLC was forced to hire new counsel and incurred significant legal fees trying to cure the problems created by Defendants’ negligence.
“New Tech Global Ventures LLC also spent significant money trying to settle the remaining claims including new claims created by Defendants’ negligence and malpractice,” it said.
The lawsuit says also New Tech paid Littler about $244,000 in legal fees, which “was excessive and unconscionable considering the quality of the services provided by Defendants.
“Plaintiffs was forced to retain new counsel to try to cure the problems created by Defendants and attempt to mitigate the damages caused by Defendants’ malpractice,” it said.
The lawsuit, which also names Littler Pittsburgh-based shareholder Terrance Murphy as a defendant, charges the defendants with negligence and violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act and seeks return of the $244,000 as well as legal fees and expenses and damages, among other compensation.
Littler said in a statement, “These allegations are without merit and we will vigorously defend against them. We will have no further comment.” New Tech’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Legal malpractice insurers are seeing a host of “ominous” developments involving claims, most significantly an increase in claim severity, according to a broker survey issued in May.
The Idaho Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of a woman who alleged negligence by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after she was injured slipping in a Wal-Mart store.