Second Suit Filed In Ky. Over Handling Of Fen-Phen Settlement

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - More than four dozen former diet drug users have sued their former attorneys, claiming they were cheated out of a total of $903,000 from a settlement in Mississippi.

The 49 plaintiffs claim attorney J. Brent Austin of Lexington; the defunct Mississippi law firm of Langston, Sweet and Freese; and the Alabama firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles bilked them out of the money. The plaintiffs are asking for a full accounting of settlement funds, damages and a refund of the fees they paid their attorneys.

"The lawyers did not disclose how much each case was settled for," said Angela Ford, the Lexington attorney representing the 49 plaintiffs. "The plaintiffs received approximately $18,000 less than what their contracts with their attorneys said they should receive."

Tom Methvin, the managing shareholder for the Alabama law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, said in a statement that the firm didn't do anything wrong.

"The money referenced in the complaint was not retained by Beasley Allen but was handed to a lawyer in Kentucky to give to his clients," Methvin said. "Beasley Allen did not retain the disputed funds."

Austin did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday afternoon.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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