CHARLESTON – A man who hired a former attorney to handle an auto accident case for him has sued the lawyer, claiming he allowed the statute of limitations to run out.
Lucas Swisher filed his lawsuit against R. Michael Martin in Kanawha Circuit Court. Martin did operate R. Michael Martin & Associates.
In his complaint, Swisher says he seriously injured in a collision in 2011 in Tennessee when the car he was riding in was hit by an uninsured negligent driver. He says he retained Martin to handle the matter with the insurance company for his mother, who was driving the vehicle.
“However, before the settlement was consummated, defendant negligently allowed the statute of limitations to run,” the complaint states. “Plaintiff has called the defendant’s office on numerous occasions in an attempt to inquire as to the status of the claim, but defendant finally admitted that the statute of limitations had run and the insurance carrier refused to pay because it was not legally required to make payment after the running of the statute of limitations.”
Swisher says Martin’s negligence caused him to not recovery any money from the insurer, and he says Martin failed to provide any reason for his negligence other than that “he was experiencing adverse health conditions which interfered with his ability to properly protect plaintiff’s interest during the time he represented him.”
More than a lawsuits have been filed against Martin since January for professional negligence, and he also recently was sued by the West Virginia Power baseball team for nonpayment on a suite at Appalachian Power Park. Martin consented to voluntary disbarment in January.
Swisher seeks compensatory damages for the money he was entitled to through the insurance company, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney fees, court costs and documentation of the work Martin did on his behalf.
He is being represented by Stephen P. Swisher of Stephen P. Swisher PLLC in Dunbar. The complaint doesn’t say if the lawyer and plaintiff are related.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-1416