Attorney accused of missing deadline to file client's suit

By Lawrence Smith | May 4, 2012

CHARLESTON – A Charleston attorney is accused of missing a filing deadline in a former client's personal injury suit.

CHARLESTON – A Charleston attorney is accused of missing a filing deadline in a former client's personal injury suit.

Henry E. Wood III is named in a breach of contract suit filed by Reba Comer. In her suit filed April 26 in Kanawha Circuit Court, Comer, 53, of Charleston, alleges Wood, 57, a sole practitioner in Kanawha City, failed to take action in helping to compensate her for medical bills she incurred from a 2008 automobile accident.

According to her suit, a vehicle driven by Katie Light collided with Comer's vehicle on April 28, 2008. The time, and place of the collision is not specified.

Nevertheless, Comer alleges as a result, her arm, and head hit the steering wheel causing her to loose a molar. Also, she says the collision resulted in her vehicle being declared a total loss.

The details of the accident are contained in retainer agreement she signed with Wood on Jan. 26, 2010, that Comer included as an attachment to her suit. The agreement does not contain Wood's signature.

However, Comer also included a letter Wood sent to Westfield Insurance Agency dated Feb. 2, 2010. In it, Wood demands that Leah Thorpe, a senior customer representative with Westfield, to "not directly contact my client at this point," but instead to "direct all inquiries through my office."

In her suit, Comer attached another letter dated May 14, 2010, from another Westfield representative, Gary E. McClintock, to Wood. In the letter, McClintock memorialized a telephone conversation he had with Wood the day before in which Wood "advised that a lawsuit was not filed in this matter."

"As the statute of limitations has expired," McClintock said in his letter, "we will close our file as no claim is being presented."

Comer seeks $13,800 in compensatory damages, $10,300 to cover her visits to King Chiropractic, and $3,500 to pay Simpson Dental for replacing her tooth. Also, she seeks $170 in punitive damages.

Comer is representing herself. The case is assigned to Judge James C. Stucky.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 12-C-747

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