Jackson attorney subject of two legal malpractice suits

By Lawrence Smith | Jan 15, 2009

RIPLEY – Two Jackson County businesses have filed separate lawsuits against a Jackson County attorney over alleged legal malpractice.

On Jan. 5, both Belt Transfer Inc. of Ravenswood and Central Industrial Maintenance Inc. of Millwood filed lawsuits against David K. Moore in Jackson Circuit Court.

Though the suits are separate, both were filed with the assistance of Parkersburg attorney William Crichton V, and allege Moore failed to pursue valid legal claims each had against other possible defendants.

According to Belt's complaint and suit, they contracted with Moore in June 2007 "to take such action as necessary to collect upon a property damage claim against Mae Helen Norvell in the amount of $10,000." It is unclear was to how Norvell damaged Belt's property.

However, Moore on June 26, 2007 wrote Norvell's insurer a letter informing them of the damage and his intention to "proceed with our other options" if a valid offer to settle the claim was not forthcoming.

Believing Moore was proceeding with a lawsuit, Belt alleges it was unaware he failed to take any action in the case until the two-year statute of limitations expired.

Similarly, CIM alleges Moore failed to timely file a lawsuit on their behalf.

According to its complaint and suit, CIM alleges it hired Moore in July 2007 to file a mechanics lien against Double "C" Enterprises and Lifetite Metal Products Manufacturers. The amount of the lien was $156,000.

The lien, records show, was filed with the Jackson County Clerk on July 27, 2007. However, CIM alleges Moore "negligently failed to advise Plaintiff of the necessity to file a suit within six (6) months to preserve and enforce the subject mechanics lien."
Because the suit was not filed, the lien, pursuant to state code, was discharged on Jan. 30, 2008.

Both Belt and CIM allege Moore committed legal malpractice by "fail[ing] to adequately and properly represent the interests of the Plaintiff[s]." Belt and CIM are asking for $10,000 and $156,000 in compensatory damages, respectively, plus costs, fees and interest.

When contacted by The West Virginia Record about the suits, Moore declined to comment.

The case has been assigned to Judge Thomas C. Evans III.

Jackson Circuit Court, Case Nos. 09-C-01 & 02

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