Minneapolis, MN litigator David Olsen talks about certain professional malpractice litigation cases he’s worked on.
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I have done legal malpractice, other professional malpractice involving architects, engineers, any of the professions, really. Probably one of the more interesting ones I had in that area we represented a school district who had built a large suburban high school and we sued the architects and engineers for professional malpractice. That was an interesting case and a hard fought case, which we ultimately settled and after a mini jury trial, which the court ordered. The case started because the architects and engineers sued for nonpayment the school district just decided at one point that there were so many defects in the building that they weren’t going to pay for certain defects. And the architects and engineers in my opinion at least were foolish enough to bring a suit on that.
So we came in, we countersued for many times more than what the nonpayment alleged was. And the school itself we found floors that were uneven, we found staircases that didn’t have the right safety features on them and it just went on and on. We found leaks, we found a number of different things, and it was all because, at least we alleged that it was because of the architectural malpractice and the engineering malpractice and that was resolved very favorably for the school district.
One in particular that stands out as being egregious in my mind at least is where a lawyer had agreed to bring suit, a product liability suit on behalf of client suing a number of different entities involved in an explosion on his farm. The lawyer missed the statute of limitations as to one of those defendants and then tried to manipulate the case to put all of the liability on the other two defendants. Which would have been fine except he never told his client about it and in the end, it didn’t work out well for his client.
So we took that suit and it’s the first time I sued a lawyer and I can see how personal the lawyer took it. It was one of those cases that as an attorney was difficult because you can see yourself in that position but he could’ve and should’ve done the right thing by telling his client, he didn’t, and we got a good result for ours.