Trials & Litigation

Lawyer who pointed client in accident case to high-interest loan did nothing wrong, judge rules


Unable to work after a 2001 accident in which the Chicago commuter train she was riding hit a car at a railroad crossing, Debbie Crim eventually asked her lawyer for a loan to help with her medical bills and living expenses.

Peter Vrdolyak instead referred her to Client Funding Solutions, which gave her $108,500. The lender charges interest rates of up to 60 percent, and the amount Crim owed eventually soared to $413,000. Although Vrdolyak helped Crim win a $2.4 million award, she sued him and the Vrdolyak Law Group in federal court in Chicago, accusing them of working with the “predatory” lender to strip her of assets, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

This week, a federal judge in Chicago ruled that Vrdolyak and his law firm had done nothing wrong. They had no financial relationship with CFS, said U.S. District Judge Robert Dow in his written opinion. “No evidence demonstrates that Peter Vrdolyak acted dishonestly, in bad faith, or contrary to Crim’s interests.”

Vrdolyak said he is pleased with the ruling. The article doesn’t include any comment from his former client or her current counsel.

An earlier Chicago Sun-Times article provides additional details about Crim’s allegations.

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