Kentucky fen-phen: we’d have been justified taking 85 percent

by Walter Olson on June 18, 2008

Perfectly jaw-dropping testimony at the ongoing Covington, Ky. trial:

Attorney William Gallion testified yesterday that he and his co-defendants would have been “legally justified” in taking as much as $170 million from Kentucky’s $200 million fen-phen settlement — because, he said, their clients’ cases were worth only $30 million.

“We were like an insurance company where the hurricane didn’t strike, so we got to keep the premium,” the suspended Lexington lawyer testified in his diet-drug fraud trial in U.S. District Court.

The lawyers, it seemed, had structured the settlement so as to reserve the gigantic helping of gravy in question for the supposed disposition of certain contingencies which then conveniently failed to materialize. Judge William Bertelsman immediately told the jury that Gallion’s interpretation of the law was wrong. (Andrew Wolfson, “Judge, lawyer clash at fen-phen trial”, Louisville Courier Journal, Jun. 14).

And on Monday, famed Cincinnati attorney Stan Chesley — who has been given immunity — testified, assailing the conduct of the three defendants and conveying his complete shock that they would structure the settlement so unfavorably to clients. (Jason Riley, “Chesley rakes diet-drug trio”, Courier-Journal, Jun. 17; Jim Hannah, “Chesley: Fen-phen role slim”, Cincinnati Enquirer, Jun. 17). For a different viewpoint, see Peter Bronson, “Where’s Chesley?”, Cincinnati Enquirer, Jun. 12. More: Herald-Leader.

{ 3 comments }

1 ML Hrnss 06.18.08 at 4:05 pm

They were like an insuance company where the hurricane didnt strike???? How stupid of a comment. A hurricane did strike in my case, a so called heart attack, which almost killed me. They were attornies, not insurance agents, guess they didnt know where they schooled at, since Mills stayed drunk all the time and the others just thought of ways to take our money. Dirty, nasty, committed crooks is what they are, all of them!!! Hope they all rot in jail. Just hope we have a jury that is taking all these comments in!!!! None of them that took money from this settlement outside their 30% fee should be hung!! What a pitiful injustice to all of us clients. What goes around comes around. Look out you flea bitten criminals, no wander you have been jailed since August of 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 William Nuesslein 06.20.08 at 8:20 am

ML Hrnss,

Whether the lawyers toke 30% or 85% doesn’t matter much because there should have not been any payments at all. Certainly our economy cannot afford to make every heart attack survivor a millionaire, and, unless we do, somebody is going to feel short changed. Why not take comfort in your survival.

3 Hank Rearend 07.21.08 at 11:37 am

Stan Chesley is “shocked” like Louie in Casablanca to find there’s gambling going on.

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