February 29, 2012
$923,000 Judgment Won in Legal Malpractice Case after Lawyers Failed to Read Statute
On February 29, 2012, our attorneys won a judgment totaling $923,000 following a bench trial on a legal malpractice claim in the Allen County Superior Court. The counterclaim defendants in the case were attorneys from one of Indiana’s largest law firms who had been hired to defend a corporate client against claims involving wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury. A 2001 amendment to the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act provided a defense that should have been relied upon to obtain an early and inexpensive exit from the 2005 lawsuit. The lawyers, however, did not read the amendment until two years later. In the meantime, substantial and unnecessary expenses were incurred by the corporate client.
The company hired Henry Price, Ron Waicukauski and Brad Catlin of Price Waicukauski Joven & Catlin, LLC to pursue their legal malpractice claim. After several years of litigation and four days of trial in August 2011 and closing arguments on December 13, judgment was rendered on February 29, 2012. The court concluded that the company’s lawyers in the underlying case committed malpractice by failing to read the 2001 statutory amendment when they responded to the complaint and this failure led to damages totaling $923,000. The losing lawyers are now appealing.