Cook County Record

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Clients claim Barnes and Thornburg mishandled settlement negotiations, costing $2M

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Jun 6, 2018

General court 07

CHICAGO — Engineered Abrasives is suing a law firm and its agents, citing allegations of professional negligence.

Engineered Abrasives Inc. and Michael Wern filed a complaint June 1 in Cook County Circuit Court against Grant H. Peters; Joan L. Long; Mark E. Rust and Barnes and Thornburg, LLP, alleging the defendants breached their duty to provide competent legal representation.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs entered into an agreement to represent the defendants in ongoing suit with litigants identified as the Richerne parties. The plaintiffs claim they were advised by the defendants to execute a settlement agreement, but defendants allegedly failed to modify the pre-drafted settlement to include a $719,814 judgment reached in a trademark action. 

As a result, the plaintiffs said the trademark action was unsuccessful, and they suffered damages of more than $2 million. 

The plaintiffs allege the defendants failed to adequately negotiate on their behalf at a settlement conference to ensure that the settlement agreement contained a specific, express provision to indicate that it did not release the judgment obtained in the trademark action and pending trade secrets action.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek damages in excess of the court's jurisdictional requirements, plus interest, attorney's fees, costs of the lawsuit and any and all further relief that is equitable and just. They are represented by Timothy J. Rathbun, Mario P. Carlasare and Meghan E. Preston of Rathbun, Cservenyal & Kozol, LLC in Joliet.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 18-L-5734

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Cook CountyRathbun, Cservenyak and Kozol, LLCCircuit Court of Cook County