Students in law schools in California and elsewhere across the country encounter very early in their studies the phrase “capable of repetition,” which means precisely what it sounds like.
To wit: Although a legal case or situation didn’t occur here, it certainly could have occurred here.
We profile such a case in today’s blog post. We note that, although its specifics don’t relate to California or have a close nexus with anything in the state, the central details are closely similar to fact patterns that do routinely feature in legal malpractice cases that are brought by injured plaintiffs across the state.
Although today’s cited case focuses on events that occurred in West Virginia, the narrative will sound all too familiar to our readers across Southern California who pay even a modicum of attention to stories focused upon attorney malfeasance and the resulting harm that if often brings to injured clients.
In a nutshell, the case can be summarized with these few words: Her attorneys failed to communicate.
In fact, the legal malpractice lawsuit that now targets them as defendants alleges that their negligent failure to respond to a client’s multiple queries posed over time ultimately barred a claim seeking workers’ compensation benefits for her children.
The father of the woman’s children died in a work-relating logging accident. Reportedly, she timely asked her legal counsel whether the children might be eligible for workers’ comp payments.
She essentially received a “we’ll get back to you” response to her question … again and again and again, for nearly a year and a half.
By the time she eventually did turn to filing for benefits, she was time barred under state law. Her lawyers’ failure to respond resulted in the benefits application being rejected.
Her sole recourse now is to seek compensation from the attorneys. Her lawsuit is demanding both compensatory and punitive damages.