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Legal Ethics

Fen-Phen Lawyers to Pay $60 Million

Posted Aug 6, 2007 7:41 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Kentucky judge has ordered three lawyers accused of misappropriating proceeds from a diet drug settlement to repay their former clients $62 million.

Judge William Wehr ruled Friday that the Lexington lawyers owed $42 million taken from the settlement and $20.1 million in interest, the Associated Press reports. The lawyers are Melbourne Mills, Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion.

Their clients’ case against the makers of the diet drug fen-phen settled for $200 million in 2001. The 440 clients collected about $74 million out of that amount.

Jurors still must decide whether the three lawyers are liable for punitive damages, the Courier-Journal reports. That trial has been postponed until after the lawyers stand trial on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for allegedly keeping settlement proceeds. (See this ABAJournal.com post for more information on the charges.)

A settlement conference in the civil case was scheduled for today, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

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