Joseph Ruigomez, along with his parents, Jaime and Kathleen, filed a lawsuit connected to Girardi’s involuntary bankruptcy case, according to court documents obtained by Radar Online.
Girardi and his law firm were forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy by his creditors, in December. The court appointed a trustee to oversee negotiations with creditors and determine assets that could be sold to pay off Tom’s debts. The trustee revealed that Girardi allegedly has $74 million in assets and $56 million in liabilities. The former famed attorney’s creditors are lining up to collect what they are owed.
Ruigomez alleges that he is owed $11.5 million and that the figure should not be discharged in the bankruptcy case. Girardi and his firm, Girardi Keese, repped Ruigomez in a personal injury lawsuit filed against Pacific Gas and Electric Company. A San Bruno gas pipeline explosion injured several people in September, 2010, and Ruigomez suffered burns over 90% of his body. Ruigomez’s girlfriend, Jessica Morales, was killed in the blast.
PG&E agreed to settle the lawsuit with a $11 million payout, but Ruigomez claims that Girardi never delivered the payment in full. The family states in court documents that Girardi received the funds but instead of giving them the cash, he promised to “invest” the money for them. The lawyer told them that the investment would guarantee a rate of at least 6.5%. Girardi reportedly came through with a couple of installments, but the family demanded the full amount after the payments stopped.
“Despite repeated promises to pay the Ruigomezs their remaining amount due, Debtor and GK failed to pay the Ruigomezs the entirety of their funds due and owing,” the legal docs state.
The family does not believe that Girardi actually invested the funds, in light of the former attorney’s own financial issues.
Ruigomez’s family says that they are owed $11,747,245.95 and are requesting that the judgement not be discharged as part of Girardi’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Girardi and the RHOBH star are currently embroiled in a divorce, and the bankruptcy bombshell only added to the once distinguished attorney’s financial woes.
As previously reported, shortly after the news of the breakup broke, class action firm Edelson PC accused the couple of embezzling settlement funds for families of the victims of Lion Air Flight 610, a crash that killed 189 people, in 2018. The law firm accused the couple of staging the split because they “are on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds.”
The suit states, “Tom has resorted to embezzling the proceeds of settlements that should have been directed to his clients— including, as the basis for this Complaint, the widows and orphans who lost loved ones in the tragic crash of Lion Air Flight 610 — in order to continue funding his and Erika’s lavish Beverly Hills lifestyles.”
Erika is expected to address the split from her husband and the subsequent legal drama in the upcoming season of Bravo series.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns to Bravo Wednesday, May 19, at 8 pm, ET.