Allstate Insurance Co. is seeking at least $5.8 million from a Kansas City-area lawyer and his former law firm, claiming they botched the company’s representation in an insurance dispute.
The federal legal malpractice lawsuit, filed Thursday in Kansas City, names Paul Hasty Jr. and his former employer, Wallace Saunders Austin Brown & Enochs.
Hasty had been Allstate’s attorney in a bad faith claim against the insurer. In its complaint, the company said Hasty and Wallace Saunders “failed utterly to protect the legal interests of Allstate,” leading to a 2006 jury verdict totaling $16.3 million.
An appeals court upheld the verdict in 2008, ruling that many of the company’s defenses had been waived because Hasty failed to preserve them at trial.
Hasty is now with Schmitt Manz Swanson & Mulhern in Kansas City. “I don’t discuss lawsuits with the press,” Hasty said when asked for comment today.
Hasty was reprimanded by the Missouri Supreme Court in November 2008 for professional conduct violations related to a similar case.
Wallace Saunder’s director, Michael L. Brown, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The case is Allstate Insurance Co. v. Hasty et al., 4:10-cv-209.