A Jefferson Parish couple is suing their former bankruptcy attorney for nearly $400,000 after the lawyer allegedly failed to inform the Internal Revenue Service of the couple's Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according a suit filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Richard and Jacqueline Cassara are suing New Orleans attorney Claude Lightfoot Jr. after he allegedly "failed to include the [IRS]" on a mailing list to creditors and "further failed to take any steps to notify the [IRS] of the filing of Cassara's bankruptcy petition."

The suit was filed pro se and the couple claims that, for five years, they were under the impression that "the debt in favor of the [IRS] was discharged and dischargeable" from the moment they hired Lightfoot in 2005.

According to the lawsuit, the Cassaras became aware that their debt to the IRS "was not dischargeable" in March 2010, and the couple "was caused to pay the [IRS] the sum of $80,245.57," a "sum which would not have been due but for the errors and omissions of" Lightfoot.

The suit claims that Lightfoot "is liable for his negligent acts and omissions" and owes the couple $392,343.79 for pain, suffering, mental anguish, physical illness, loss of income, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, inconvenience, plus interest and all cost.

This case has been assigned to Orleans Parish Chief Judge Lloyd Medley.

Orleans Parish Case 2011-00509

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