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August 12, 2014

Legal System Catches Up to “Master of Disaster” Mass Tort Trial Lawyer

A Wall Street Journal op-ed today commented on the poetic justice of “class-action kingpin” Stanley Chesley’s recent legal troubles. The famed mass tort trial lawyer who “built a career gaming the legal system for his benefit” may now be held accountable—to the tune of $25 million and possible punitive damages—for having “knowingly participated in a scheme to skim millions of dollars in excess attorney’s fees from unknowing clients.”

As we reported on August 6, Chesley, known as the “Master of Disaster,” won $200 million in a fen-phen diet drug settlement in 2001; two attorneys in the case later went to jail for “cheating their own plaintiffs out of all but $46 million (23%) of that award.” Chesley, who pocketed $20 million of the settlement, was granted immunity in the federal trial but was disbarred in Kentucky last year for his role in the scandal.

According to the article, the July 29 ruling by Boone County Judge James Schrand to hold Chesley jointly and severally liable for the $42 million civil judgment following the scandal is a victory for the legal system and demonstrative of “how common fraud is in the lawsuit-manufacturing industry.”

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