GRETNA – A bicyclist who was allegedly severely injured in an accident when she struck a pipe sticking up from the ground has filed a legal malpractice lawsuit against her attorney who she claims improperly represented her.
Mai Phan, and husband Tam Lam, filed suit against Joy Cressend in the 24th Judicial District Court on Sept. 19.
Phan contends that on Oct. 10, 2010 she entered into a contingency fee retainer agreement with Cressend to represent her in a lawsuit against a property owner where she allegedly had a bicycle accident due to a pipe sticking out of the ground. The plaintiffs assert that on Sept. 20, 2011 the defendant filed a lawsuit on their behalf against persons believed to be property owners as well as a local levee authority who may have had control over the property. However, Phan claims that on Oct. 31, 2012 Cressend filed a motion to dismiss the property owners from the case without ever seeking their testimony and that the levee authority was later dismissed from the case on March 18, 2014. Finally, almost three and a half years after the case was first filed, the plaintiff maintains that Cressend filed an amended petition in the case adjacent to the parish of Jefferson, but due to the delay the parish was exempted as the case has prescribed, leaving no defendants in the case and the plaintiff unable to collect damages.
The defendant is accused of legal malpractice, failing to name all possible known defendants, failing to conduct adequate discovery, voluntarily dismissing defendants in the case without first ascertaining their involvement and amending the claim after the original petition was dismissed.
An unspecified amount in damages is sought for mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of rights and attorney’s fees.
Phan is represented by Julie-Ann A. Duhe-Keating of the Metairie-based The Keating Law Firm.
The case has been assigned to Division J Judge Stephen C. Grefer.
Case no. 742-614.