WHEELING – An Ohio County woman is suing Thomas Law Offices after she claims its attorney was negligent with handling an estate.

Mark Thomas is doing business as Thomas Law Office.

Following Dolores Anast’s death on Aug. 9, 2011, Joanna Gusta became the executrix of her estate and hired Thomas to administer the Anast estate, according to a complaint filed May 6 in Ohio Circuit Court.

Gusta claims the estate was not a complex matter and no claims were made against the estate.

By the end of 2012, the only matter remaining to be done to close the estate was to file a Waiver of Final Settlement and the defendant never filed the Waiver of Final Settlement, according to the suit.

Gusta claims in July 2013, she paid the defendant $6,256.25 in legal fees relating to his handling of the Anast estate and on Oct. 28, 2014, the defendant wrongfully, negligently or intentionally transferred $36,000 from the Anast estate account to the Thomas Law Office Trust Account and the plaintiff had never authorized that transfer.

The plaintiff repeatedly attempted to contact Thomas about the status of the estate, the unauthorized transfer and the return of her file, but the defendant has not responded to her numerous inquiries, nor those of counsel, according to the suit.

Gusta claims the defendant’s license to practice law in Ohio was suspended in 2015 and his license to practice law in West Virginia is also suspended.

The defendant never contacted Gusta to advise of his suspended status, nor to make arrangements for someone else to handle her file or close the estate, according to the suit.

Gusta is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Frank X. Duff and Sandra K. Law of Schrader Byrd & Companion PLLC.

Ohio Circuit Court case number: 16-C-132

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