A motorcyclist who sued his lawyer for damages after his brain injury claims that the lawyer had a “staggeringly unfair” history of failing to follow through with his claims, an attorney for the former California prosecutor said Thursday.
Attorney Robert Shapiro filed a lawsuit Wednesday against attorney David Schatz and two former colleagues for allegedly failing to investigate claims of brain injuries brought by motorcyclists after their accidents, and failing to pursue other possible injuries stemming from crashes.
The suit filed in San Francisco claims that after Schatz died in 2010, the former prosecutor “made an unspeakable error in judgment” by “failing to follow up with the injured motorcycler, who was not yet aware of the legal action,” Shapiro’s attorney, David Schulz, said in a statement.
“The defendant’s conduct was breathtaking, outrageous and egregious,” Schulz said.
“Mr. Schatz was a dedicated public servant who was dedicated to protecting motorcyclers from motorist’s recklessness.”
In his lawsuit, Schulz alleged that in the months following his death, the lawyer “failed to disclose a significant number of serious allegations of misconduct” against him.
“I believe the failure to disclose those serious allegations was intentional, intentional and willful,” Schatz’s attorney said.
In addition to the claims of negligence, the suit alleges that the lawyers “failed repeatedly to investigate and prosecute the cases” and that they failed to “ensure that the actions of the defendants were appropriately handled” by their firm.
Schatz was an assistant district attorney in Los Angeles in the early 2000s, when he was a member of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
His lawsuit claims that in 2002, he was “assigned” by the office to investigate a hit-and-run crash involving a motorcycline.
The suit also alleges that Schatz failed to take any action in his investigation of the crash and failed to follow a “detailed investigative plan” to investigate the crash.
Schulz’s lawsuit alleges that in 2005, the crash occurred in which he was riding a Yamaha R1 and a Yamaha RX-7 motorcycle.
The lawsuit claims the crash “caused a traumatic brain injury, permanent damage to his skull and severe brain damage that is not easily reversed.”
Schulz is suing the two defendants, Schatz Sr. and Sr., and two other former Los Angeles District Attorneys, Jeffrey O. Dorn, Robert B. Lefkow and John W. Toth.
It also seeks unspecified damages, attorneys’ fees and costs.
Shapiro, who is now a private attorney in Palm Springs, California, has not responded to a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
Dorn declined to discuss the lawsuit, but said in an email, “I have no comment.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Dorn said the lawsuit was “the most recent in a series of frivolous claims that are filed by lawyers and the press for their own gain.
These suits are used by prosecutors to intimidate defendants, and to threaten their livelihoods.”
The District Attorney declined to provide additional details on the lawsuit.