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Fen-phen victim to Cincinnati's Stan Chesley: Write us a check

Paying up could avoid lengthy civil trial

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CINCINNATI – Jacquelyn McMurtry has a message for former Cincinnati super lawyer Stan Chesley.

The Louisville woman offered this suggestion if Chesley wants to avoid a drawn out civil trial over his role in a controversial 2001 fen-phen settlement:

“All he has to do is write a check for the total amount of money he got from us, and he’ll be done with it,” said McMurtry, one of hundreds of plaintiffs involved in the 2001 settlement. “He can just post it and send it right on to Angela.”

McMurtry was referring to Angela Ford, the Lexington lawyer who is suing on behalf of hundreds of plaintiffs to try to recover money from Chesley and other lawyers involved in the fen-phen case.

The Kentucky Supreme Court issued an opinion Thursday that clears the way for a civil trial against Chesley, and Ford told WCPO Digital in an emailed statement that she plans to seek “a very large verdict on punitive damages” against him.

At issue is whether Chesley was paid more than he was entitled to for his work on the $200 million settlement. He and his lawyers have argued his role was to negotiate the settlement for the plaintiffs, who were being directly represented by three Lexington lawyers who have since been disbarred.

Chesley was paid $20 million, an amount the Kentucky Supreme Court called “unreasonable” when the court voted in March to disbar him. In April, Chesley, who is 77, permanently retired from the practice of law in Ohio rather than face disbarment in his home state.

McMurtry said she’s frustrated that the legal fights continue.

“Something is wrong with the court system that it has to take this long to right this egregious wrong,” she said. “I’m almost speechless.”

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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