CHARLESTON – A Charleston attorney is accused of encouraging a client to commit fraud after he missed the deadline to file her personal injury suit against a national restaurant chain.
J. Timothy DiPiero is named as a co-defendant in a legal malpractice suit filed by Bobbie K. Glock. In her complaint filed May 7 in Kanawha Circuit Court, Glock, 56, a South Charleston resident, alleges DiPiero,63, hatched a scheme to get her medical bills written off after he both filed her lawsuit against Bob Evans restaurant past the statute of limitations, and later asked it be dismissed without her knowledge or consent.
According to her complaint, Glock alleges she was injured on Dec. 21, 2009, at the South Charleston location of the Ohio-based restaurant after she tripped and fell on the upturned edge of floor mat. Two years later, she signed an agreement with DiPiero, and his firm, DiTrapano, Barrett and DiPiero, to pursue a personal injury claim against Bob Evans, store manager Cory Pope and Arrow Uniform-Taylor, the makers of the floor mat.
Sometime after signing the agreement, Glock alleges DiPiero made a settlement offer with one of the co-defendants for $275,000. The suit does not specify which one or why it was rejected.
Nevertheless, DiPiero on Feb. 1, filed her suit in Kanawha Circuit Court. In the suit, which was assigned case number 12-C-209, DiPiero alleged Glock "'sustained severe and permanent damage to her wrist which required two surgeries, and her knee which requires surgery."
On March 16, counsel for Arrow Uniform-Taylor, Linnsey M. Amores and Chanin Wolfinbarger Krivonyak, asked the suit be dismissed as it was filed six weeks past the two-year statute of limitations. Records show, DiPiero on March 27 agreed to voluntary dismiss the suit with prejudice against all three co-defendants.
In her suit, Glock avers she neither agreed to voluntarily dismiss the suit nor gave DiPiero permission to dismiss it. Despite that, she says on March 30 she received an e-mail message from one of the firm's paralegals, Kathy J. Kennedy, suggesting a way to ease her financial burden.
In the message, Kennedy said, "Tim came up with a plan ..." that would have her "fill out a financial affidavit regarding what you own."
After that "you and I are going to go around to all the providers you treated with and explain the situation about your case being dismissed and you not having any money to pay the balances."
In the message, Kennedy added, "I can't accompany you as an employee of DB&D though so we will just pretend that I am a friend with you trying to help out." She concluded the message saying, "I am going to try and have the affidavit ready by the end of the day Monday so if Tuesday is good for you then I'm thinking we can do it then."
According to her suit, Glock did not go along with DiPiero's plan, and declined to sign the financial affidavit. Both DiPiero, and the DiTrapano, Barrett and DiPiero firm, which is named as co-defendant in the suit, committed legal malpractice, Glock maintains, when DiPiero, "made a fraudulent misrepresentation to the Court when he advised [it] that [she] agreed to voluntarily dismiss her claims or action against the defendants ... with prejudice" and "attempted to persuade [her] to become part of a conspiracy to defraud providers that provided medical care and treatment to [her] after her fall at the Bob Evans restaurant on December 21, 2009."
As a result, Glock maintains she has "lost her right to purse monetary recovery" for her alleged injuries.
Glock seeks unspecified damages, attorneys fees and court costs. She is represented by Cynthia M. Ranson with the Ranson Law Offices in Charleston.
The case is assigned to Judge James C. Stucky.
DiPiero was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia before entering private practice. He also was a law clerk to Charles H. Haden II for seven months while Judge Haden was Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. He clerked for another 18 months when Haden was appointed to the federal bench as the U.S. District Judge for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia.
DiPiero has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America as well as West Virginia Super Lawyers. His practice areas include personal injury, medical malpractice, criminal law, professional malpractice law and entertainment, sports and leisure law.
Since 1999, DiPiero has represented professional athletes as a certified contract advisor for both the National Football Players Association and the National Basketball Players Association. His most notable client was Randy Moss.
DiPiero has coached youth football, basketball and baseball. He also has been involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 12-C-823