The daughter of Antoinette Brown, the woman who was fatally mauled by dogs in a South Dallas neighborhood in early May, has sued a Dallas City Council member and a Georgia-based attorney based on claims that they improperly solicited her on the day after her mother was buried in hopes that she would file a wrongful death claim against the city. In the lawsuit, Matisha Ward alleges that Dallas City Councilwoman Tiffinni Young repeatedly contacted her with text messages and told her during a private meeting that she had legal claims against the City. The day after Ms. Brown’s funeral, Ms. Young contacted Ms. Ward by text and arranged a phone call involving Atlanta personal injury attorney Christopher Chestnut. Ms. Ward recorded that conversation, and submitted a transcript as part of her lawsuit.
On the call, Ms. Young asks Ms. Ward if she had spoken to an attorney. When Ms. Ward says she had not, Ms. Young introduces Mr. Chestnut. I have one sitting right here,” Ms. Young says on the recording. “Do you want to talk with him? At the conclusion of the five-minute call, Mr. Chestnut indicates he will forward his contact information and that the councilwoman “will call you back. Ms. Ward was never contacted again by Ms. Young or Mr. Chestnut, and she never initiated any contact with either. It is shocking and disheartening to have this level of collusion between an elected official and an attorney not even licensed to practice law in Texas,” says attorney Tom Carse of the Carse Law Firm, who has filed a barratry action on behalf of Ms. Ward. “My client was frustrated and grieving, but understood that something was wrong about that conversation. Under Texas law anyone can face a barratry claim for the improper solicitation of legal representation, even those who are not licensed attorneys. Other attorneys representing Ms. Ward later issued a demand letter to the City of Dallas seeking $5 million based on the negligence that led to her mother’s death.
To speak with Mr. Carse or Ms. Ward, or for more information, please contact Barry Pound at 800-559-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org.