THEIR VIEW: Lawyer fees in King case an absolute outrage

By VIC SPROUSE Once again, the people who were victims of insane "Doctor" John King were butchered. This time, not with a scalpel, but a pen. The law firm of Curry and Tolliver, who collected patients injured by King's botched surgeries, were awarded a cool $1.2 million for "all" that legal work that went into this case. The firm has fought hard to insure the outrageous level of fees and the victims awards were not made public. Luckily, Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding in Putnam County refused and said the public deserved to know exactly what was going on. And, of course, NOW, we can all see why the law firm objected to the settlements being made public. Why? Because they are pulling down a whopping 40 percent contingency fee for a set of cases that were won the minute the clients walked in the door. You have to love our legal system that makes lawyers filthy rich off the misfortunes of others. Would they not have felt better had they barged into these people's homes with ski masks and sawed off shotguns and taken the 40 percent versus sitting behind a desk, collecting cases and pulling down a astronomical $1.2 million on the FIRST set of settlements -- with more to come? Of course, I think those "lawyers" who were part of the 6th grade trial team at Dunbar Middle school could have probably "won" the cases against John King, but the Curry and Tolliver firm were first in and rounded up a large number of the victims. Now, of course, these lawsuits were settled and the $1.2 million is most likely the tip of the iceberg for what that firm will pull down in a jackpot winning payday. But, hey, the victims DID get $1.23 million. Now, if this isn't the poster child for capping contingency fees (40 percent for THESE cases is an outrage) that lawyers can charge, I'm not sure what is. Were these victims in any shape to go 'shopping around' law firms to see which ones would offer them the chance to keep the most of the money entitled to them? Of course not. My guess is the victims of Doctor King were in such a state of near insanity from the butchering they received they didn't realize or care just how much the law firm who collected the victims would take home. Now, there are other lawyers out there that will cash in, William Druckman, has pending cases as does a few others, so their payday is not far off. But, Curry and Tolliver collected the most clients and turned around and charged a 40% contingency fee for a case that was won the minute it was gained. So, the victims of these horrendous acts receive $1.23 million and the lawyers who took the case receive $1.2 million. Absolutely crazy. It's an outrage and second injustice to these poor people. Have they not suffered enough? Would the law firm not have cleared a great pay day if say they would have ONLY received $500,000 in the award so that the actual victims could receive what was justly do them? Once again it's a case of the lawyers getting rich while the actual victims get a whopping 40% off the top of what they deserve. Geez Louise. Who says we don't need lawsuit reform?

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