Plaintiff’s attorney sues former employer for fees in former cases

By Kyle Barnett | May 30, 2013

GRETNA – A New Orleans attorney who left her former law firm before some of her cases were settled is suing, along with her newly created law firm, for the fees the law firm received when those cases settled.

Sangisetty & Samuels LLC and Kara Hadican Samuels filed suit against Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer LLC in the 24th Judicial District Court on April 8. Samuels claims she became an associate attorney at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer in 2004 and a partner in the law firm on Jan. 1, 2010.

In 2009, the plaintiff alleges she took on 32 cases from plaintiffs who had been clients of a fertility clinic that had misplaced or destroyed their embryos. Samuels asserts she was to receive 33 1/3 percent of all final settlements in the cases.

The plaintiff claims she left the Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer in May 2011 and subsequently 28 of the fertility clinic cases she originally handled signed up to be represented by her new firm Sangisetty & Samuels.

Samuels says the cases had been part of a class action law suit that was later decertified. After the remaining four cases that were still being represented by attorneys at Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer settled the plaintiff asserts she should have received a fee for her work on the case, but never did.

The defendant is accused of withholding attorney’s fees and being contractually obligated to the plaintiff.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for the attorney’s fees in dispute.

The plaintiffs are represented by Jennifer L. Thornton of New Orleans-based Stanley, Reuter, Ross, Thornton and Alford LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Walter J. Rothscild.

Case no. 725-678.

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