Family of slain UPMC employee sues former attorneys
The parents of a Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic employee killed when a mentally ill gunman opened fire in the lobby of the hospital filed a lawsuit against their former attorneys this week, claiming they breached their contract and failed to properly represent them.
John F. Shick, 30, of Oakland walked into Western Psych armed with two handguns on March 8, 2012, killing Michael Schaab, 25, of Regent Square and wounding four others.
Three weeks after the shooting, Schaab's parents, Harry and Mary Schaab of Salem, Westmoreland County, hired the Downtown law firm Farrell & Reisinger to sue UPMC and others they held responsible for their son's death.
According to the lawsuit filed Monday, the Schaabs negotiated a $1.5 million settlement with the region's largest health care provider in July 2012, but the settlement precluded them from suing anyone else associated with UPMC for the death of their son. The initial lawsuit was one of five filed by victims of the shooting against UPMC, Shick's mother, Susan, and others in the 20 months since the incident.
The Schaabs claim their attorneys spent several months trying to get them to sign the agreement, even though they knew they wanted others to be held accountable. After failing to reach an agreement, Farrell & Reisinger filed a lien against Michael Schaab's estate for $514,061.
Attorney Tom Farrell declined to comment Wednesday. The Schaabs could not be reached.
In an expert report filed with the Schaabs' lawsuit, attorney Barbara S. Rosenberg said Farrell & Reisinger breached several of their legal duties, including representing their clients' interests “diligently and competently,” and do not deserve to be paid.
“Farrell & Reisinger violated these duties in his representation of the Schaabs,” Rosenberg said in her 28-page report.
Common Pleas Judge Lawrence O'Toole last week granted the Schaabs $986,000 from the settlement with UPMC. He put $514,000 into escrow until an agreement is reached with their former attorneys.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Mitchell to miss beginning of training camp
- Steelers won’t negotiate Roethlisberger extension until after season
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- Megan’s Law offender in Greensburg arrested when girl, 13, found hiding in shower
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Mile-high edge? Hurdle knows Coors Field
- Washington County man accused of homicide in more trouble
- NFL notebook: Colts RB Ballard suffers another season-ending injury
- Oglethorpe: A week in the life of a smalltown boy
- Saturday’s scouting report: Pirates at Rockies
- Plug-in Accord makes gas station visits rare