The suit accuses the defendants of breach of contract, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty.
The lawsuit alleges that Thomas Girardi ripped off the law firm after they agreed to work together. The plaintiff alleges that in 2008-2009 their firm entered into written retainer agreements with 1,524 people “who each retained Plaintiff to represent them in connection with claims arising from their or their loved one’s personal injuries sustained from exposure to toxic chemicals emanating from several TXI cement manufacturing facilities in California.”
The Law Office of Robert P. Finn claims that they referred all of the clients to Thomas Girardi’s firm, and the two firms agreed to rep the clients together and split the fees.
The TXI cases were “ultimately resolved with a cash settlement, and Defendants received fees, 50% of which should have been held in trust for Plaintiff in addition to the amount owed by Plaintiff for costs. Rather than honoring their obligation under the contract to pay Plaintiff 50% of fees plus costs due Plaintiff, Defendants kept the money for themselves.”
The plaintiff alleges that Girardi enacted “a scheme to keep Plaintiff unaware that they had received fees from the TXI cases and prevented Plaintiff from learning that the money for fees and costs had been received by Defendants.”
The law firm claims that Girardi and his firm came up with a string of excuses to excuse their non-payment.
The legal docs state, “Plaintiff has repeatedly asked Defendants to provide an accounting of the amounts owed under the fee splitting agreement, but Defendants have refused to provide the requested accounting. Defendants unfulfilled promises of payment have caused Plaintiff to believe that Defendants have already taken the attorneys fees from the settlement amount and retained for itself the 50% of the fees and costs owed to Plaintiff.”
“Plaintiff is now informed and believes that Defendant may have misallocated and misappropriated funds by unlawfully claiming entitlement to reimbursement for purported costs that are either overstated, misstated, unlawful to claim as costs and/or that were used for the personal expenditures of Defendants, and Defendants have refused to provide any accounting that would allow Plaintiff to determine the amounts owed to Plaintiff.”
The firm is suing Girardi for accounting, compensatory damages, and interest.
Girardi has not commented on the case.
Last year, a lender named Stillwell Madison sued Girardi and his wife for $3 million. The company alleged that Girardi and his firm took out a $5 million loan in 2016, promising to pay back the loan with case profits. Stillwell Madison accused Girardi of using profits to fund his posh lifestyle with his wife, instead of repaying the loan. The lawsuit is ongoing.
Girardi also settled a separate $15 million lawsuit.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is on hiatus.