Regulation firm sues Erika Girardi, other folks in excess of alleged theft of shopper money

Erika Jayne attends the Elton John Aids Foundation Academy Awards viewing celebration at West Hollywood Park in West Hollywood, California, U.S., March 27, 2022. REUTERS/Aude Guerrucci

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  • The lawsuit seeks far more than $50 million in damages over the alleged misuse of settlement cash awarded to Tom Girardi’s customers
  • Legal professional Jay Edelson explained he is “self-assured in our capacity to prove to a jury that the Girardi Keese firm was performing as a criminal business.”

(Reuters) – Plaintiffs’ regulation company Edelson has sued legal professional Tom Girardi’s estranged spouse and former members of Girardi’s regulation firm, trying to find damages right after Edelson protected settlement payments owed to Girardi’s previous shoppers in litigation about the 2018 Lion Air crash.

The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday in San Francisco federal courtroom following a decide in Illinois in April authorised a plan for Edelson to shell out five people in the Lion Air case at the very least $2 million.

The new lawsuit against reality Television set star Erika Jayne Girardi, her firm EJ World-wide and previous Girardi Keese lawyers David Lira and Keith Griffin states the Girardis took settlement resources meant for purchasers and applied them to bankroll their lavish way of living. It calls Erika Girardi the “frontwoman” of the plan, “promoting to the entire world (such as unsuspecting shoppers) that Girardi Keese was profitable.”

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A law firm for Girardi named the lawsuit “another misguided endeavor to blame Erika for steps of Tom Girardi and some others of which she experienced no understanding and in which she had no involvement.”

The lawsuit also names as defendants legal consultant George Hatcher, former Girardi Keese chief money officer Chris Kamon and the litigation funder California Legal professional Lending II. Kamon could not be achieved, and a number of other defendants or their lawyers did not immediately answer to requests for remark.

William F. Savino, a lawyer for California Lawyer Lending II, claimed his shopper “vigorously” denies Edelson’s claims, which includes that its founder ensured the firm acquired a “1st cut” of settlement money in the Lion Air circumstance.

Edelson founder Jay Edelson mentioned in an e mail that the law firm feels “confident in our capacity to demonstrate to a jury that the Girardi Keese agency was performing as a criminal business.”

“We hope this situation helps respond to some bigger concerns: How did the company get absent with it for so quite a few years? Why has the California bar been absent? And how numerous other people today ended up involved?” he mentioned.

The grievance seeks $55 million in punitive or exemplary damages, as nicely as extra income damages that are redacted from the courtroom filing.

Underneath the deal permitted in Illinois federal court, the Lion Air crash victims’ families formerly represented by Tom Girardi reassigned their promises to the Edelson firm. Any damages recovered as a result of the new lawsuit will 1st include attorney service fees for Wisner Law Agency, a Chicago business that is now representing the 5 family members and recoup the fees for Edelson and its insurer. Any remaining cash will be divided in between Edelson and the family members.

Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese are not named in the complaint, and both equally are in personal bankruptcy proceedings. Tom Girardi has not responded to allegations about the misuse of the Lion Air settlement funds but his lawyers have acknowledged the income was not dispersed. Tom Girardi could not quickly be achieved for comment.

The California Supreme Courtroom previous thirty day period disbarred Girardi and ordered him to pay out in excess of $2 million in restitution, like to the kids of 4 of the Lion Air plaintiffs.

The scenario is Edelson Laptop vs. Lira, et al in the Northern District of California, No. 22-cv-3977.

(This story has been current with responses from legal professionals symbolizing defendants in the lawsuit.)

Read through a lot more:

Girardi legislation organization unethically recruited shoppers in Lion Air crash plan, lawsuit alleges

Court docket backs legislation firm’s offer with Girardi plaintiffs, paving way for lawsuit

Law firm asks decide to enable $50 mln lawsuit towards Erika Girardi, others

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