Lawyer wins $46 million settlement

Dec. 20, 2009 at 11:39 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A Texas lawyer won a posthumous $46 million judgment against an attorney known for winning cases involving breast implants, tobacco and drugs, authorities said.

Terry Scarborough of Austin sued on behalf of almost 3,500 former clients of trial lawyer John O'Quinn, who died in a car crash in October, the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman reported Sunday.

O'Quinn was once dubbed by Fortune magazine as "the lawyer from hell." He won billions of dollars from suing manufacturers of breast implants, tobacco companies, the makers of fen-phen, and other companies, the newspaper said.

Scarborough's suit charged O'Quinn illegally withheld large amounts of those settlements he won for clients, especially women whom he represented in breast implant cases.

Scarborough argued it was "a massive breach of fiduciary duty."

"This isn't malpractice," he said. "These women were expertly served by O'Quinn. He got more money for them than any lawyer anywhere. But he charged expenses that were not allowed."

Under terms of the settlement, O'Quinn's clients should receive double what he improperly took from their settlements, Scarborough said.

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