Lawyers sued over alleged malpractice over Hurricane Katrina claim

By Elizabeth Fitzsousa | Feb 20, 2014

Jacques F. Bezou Jr.

NEW ORLEANS – A local law firm is suing another law firm that allegedly failed to adequately settle a Hurricane Katrina insurance claim on its behalf.

Franklin D. Beahm, a law corporation, filed a legal malpractice suit against Cater & Associates LLC, R. Glenn Cater and David J. Foshee, as well as unnamed insurance companies in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

On Aug. 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina damaged the plaintiff’s office space such that all business operations ceased for several months, the suit claims. Due to his insurance claim being denied, Beahm hired Cater & Associates (C&A) and filed a lawsuit against his former insurer on July 20, 2006. After the suit was filed, Beahm claims C&A and Cater did almost nothing from 2006 through 2009 in prosecution of plaintiff’s claims. The first mediation with his insurer took place in January 2010, in which Beahm alleges no prior discovery had taken place, leading to the mediation being unsuccessful.

Beahm claims he requested discovery as to why his former insurer was taking so long and informed C&A that the matter was not ready for a second mediation

Beahm asserts that C&A failed to keep him adequately advised of developments, did not give adequate advice, failed to conduct meaningful discovery and failed to work-up and prove various claims he asserted.

During the Dec. 6, 2012 second mediation, Beahm claims that Cater, C&A and David Foshee acknowledged that they “had not looked into anything.” Beahm claims that Foshee had been hired a week prior to this mediation.

On Feb. 4, 2013 Beahm alleges he reluctantly agreed to a significantly reduced settlement because all pre-trial deadlines had expired.

Cater, C&A and Foshee are accused of breaches of standards of care and negligence as they allegedly failed to adequately represent, communicate in a timely manner, evaluate the underlying case, conduct discovery and adequately prepare for multiple mediations.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for all just and equitable relief.

Cater, C&A and Foshee deny all allegations of malpractice.

Beahm is represented by Jaques F. Bezou Jr. of the Covngton-based Bezou Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Case no. 2013-11361.

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