A Fen-Phen lawyer with amnesia received a favorable ruling in an ongoing, 14-year-old lawsuit.
Gregory Jones worked on Fen-Phen cases for three years at the now defunct Salt Lake City, Utah law firm Mackey Price Thompson & Ostler. Jones was forced to quit because of his dissociative amnesia. Jones worked on Fen-Phen cases for MPTO from 2002 to 2005 and the firm made over $1 million off those cases in that time. Jones sued MPTO in 2006, claiming he was owed part of those fees.
The Utah Supreme Court made numerous rulings in the lawsuit on May 14th. Of particular importance was the court’s reinstatement of Jones’ request for punitive damages and claim of fraudulent transfer. This reinstatement could add to an already existing jury verdict of $647,090. Jones has already been paid $165,000 for his work with MPTO.
“MPTO’s failure to explain its calculation of Jones’ payment, as well as its possible offset for Jones’ alleged mishandling of cases, make it more likely that MPTO also acted to hinder or delay Jones in his efforts to recover his share of the Fen-Phen fees,” Justice Thomas Lee wrote.
“We hold that there was sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude by clear and convincing evidence that MPTO acted with actual intent to hinder or delay Jones.”
The case saw a jury decision in March 2017. The trial judge expressed concerns in June 2017 that MPTO had become Mackey Price LLC to avoid paying Jones the judgment.
The judge included Mackey Price LLC as a judgment debtor later in 2017. Mackey Price LLC appealed and created a new company, Mackey Price Law, in response. Jones argued this abused state LLC and corporation laws and that the companies were equivalent to one another.
The Supreme Court decision failed to add Mackey Price Law to the judgment, instructing the trial court to once again go through the proper process to figure out if the new company should be added to the judgment.
“Once the district court determined that it had jurisdiction over Mackey Price LLC, it should have required Jones to show that Mackey Price LLC was in fact a successor in interest to MPTO,” the ruling says.
“The district court should not have taken Mackey Price LLC’s silence during a special appearance as a concession or endorsement of Jones’ position.”
Some people who took Fen-Phen were diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension or even died after taking the diet drug.