Trials & Litigation

Suit says law firm removed estate administrator in effort to block $2M malpractice case

A Houston law firm did not file an adequate medical expert report as required in a wrongful hospital death case, resulting in the “worst possible outcome” when the case was dismissed, an estate administrator says

Then Jones Morris Klevenhagen tried to block her from bringing a malpractice case against the firm by removing her as administrator of her sister’s estate, says plaintiff Gloria Cegielski in a new lawsuit filed Friday. “After the lawyers suspected a malpractice action, they successfully removed Gloria as the administratix of Mary Ann’s estate in hopes that the statute of limitations would run before a new administratrix would take her place,” the Harris County complaint contends.

It seeks $2 million in damages for alleged negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of the state deceptive trade practices act, including punitives, treble damages and attorney fees, reports Texas Lawyer (sub. req.).

Two lawyers who represented the estate claimed to have “extensive experience in handling medical malpractice/wrongful death cases,” but actually had “little to no experience handling medical malpractice/wrongful death cases,” Cegielski alleges in the suit.

She said an emergency reinstatement as administrator of the estate allowed her to file the suit against the law firm, Texas Lawyer reports.

The two attorneys who worked on the estate case did not immediately respond to the legal publication’s request for comment.

Cegielski is represented by Lance Kassab, a Houston attorney.

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