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Apr 02,2009
Lawyers accused of fraud in fen-phen case
by UPI

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Attorneys William Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr. defrauded their clients in a diet-drug case out of $94.6 million, an assistant U.S. attorney alleges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney E.J. Walbourn said in U.S. District Court the two defendants facing wire fraud charges allegedly took an unfair percentage of a $200 million settlement of a 2001 case involving the diet drug, fen-phen, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal said Thursday.

The settlement came after the anti-obesity drug was pulled from U.S. pharmacies after it was found to cause heart valve damage in consumers.

Lawyer Hale Almand, who is representing Gallion in the ongoing fraud case, insists his client merely followed the advice of class-action attorney Stan Chesley in settling the 2001 class-action suit.

"They relied on Stan Chesley to tell them what they should and shouldn't do," Almand said of Gallion and Cunningham. "And there is no doubt that much of the advice given by Chesley was bad advice."

The Courier-Journal said the legal duo's last trial ended last July with a hung jury.

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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