A Long Island man who was awarded a historic multimillion-dollar verdict just after fracturing his skull several years back is duking it out with his previous lawyer over $5.5 million — mainly because the attorney’s “greed appreciates no bounds,” new court papers allege.
Mark Perez was sued very last month by his ex-lawyer Benedict Morelli — who statements he’s entitled to the $5.5 million in authorized charges, on top of the much more than $18 million Perez has now paid him, in accordance to filings in Manhattan Supreme Court docket.
“I assume that lawyers should be paid out very well for their perform, a individual like me desires them to combat for them but for Mr. Morelli to choose away so significantly of the settlement, it just seems completely wrong,” Perez recently wrote to the decide who oversaw his private injury trial.
Perez, 38, originally obtained a $102 million jury verdict in 2019 just after suing Stay Country in excess of a fall 6 many years earlier that left him with a broken cranium and needing numerous brain surgeries. A forklift experienced crashed into a 10-foot-tall booth Perez was working on, sending him plummeting at the Jones Seashore Marine Theatre.
Perez and Morelli initially agreed that the notable own personal injury lawyer would get a single-3rd of the award as a contingency cost. But when the verdict went to appeal, Morelli continuously attempted to negotiate an more 10 per cent cost, whilst Perez sought to spend the law firm an hourly charge, according to Perez’s counterclaims to the go well with Morelli filed versus him previous thirty day period.
Morelli held operating the scenario — regardless of Perez allegedly by no means signing an settlement more than the additional cost — and sooner or later secured his client a $55 million settlement with Live Nation’s insurers exterior of the attractiveness courtroom.
In the stop, Perez only received around $28 million from the settlement. The $5.5 million is being held in an escrow account though Perez fights for its return, in addition to all of the service fees he paid Morelli.
“[Morelli] carries on to insist that he ought to be compensated $5.5 million for the submit-trial and appellate perform (on major of the $18,333,333.30 that Mr. Perez has currently paid out in authorized service fees), demonstrating that Morelli’s greed is familiar with no bounds,” Perez’s countersuit alleges.
In the letter to the judge, dated Dec. 9, Perez additional, “I am the a person that life with seizures, surgeries and the frequent concern of a lot more clinical issues.
“I hope you are capable to assistance me now by selecting what should be performed below. Thank you for hearing my demo. I’m hunting forward to relocating on and putting this past upsetting scenario at the rear of me.”
Perez also claims Morelli set him in the center of a price dispute with his very first attorney — a distant relative — producing a rift in his household. And Perez alleges that Morelli didn’t tell him about various prior settlement delivers put up-demo.
On Thursday, Morelli questioned a judge to toss Perez’s counterclaims from him, arguing that he under no circumstances agreed to Perez’s proposed hourly spend fee for the charm get the job done.
Morelli claimed that Perez “chose to stay silent” about the added 10 % charge until eventually the case had wrapped and the settlement was secured.
“Mr. Perez accepted the advantages of the firm’s function with respect to the enchantment, did not terminate the agency, and did not question the agency to stop doing the job on the issue,” Morelli’s attorneys wrote in the Thursday filing. “He chose to continue being silent although the business finished the charm and thus ratified the 10% payment settlement.”
The aftermath of Perez’s slide on June 26, 2013, remaining him needing comprehensive-time care and triggered him to drop his long-phrase relationship, Morelli advised The Post soon immediately after the verdict.
Attorneys on both sides declined to comment.