Phila. firm sues former client, suburban law firm for breach of contract

By Jon Campisi | Sep 20, 2012

A Philadelphia law firm has filed a breach of contract suit against a city woman and a

A Philadelphia law firm has filed a breach of contract suit against a city woman and a

suburban attorney over claims that the woman failed to compensate the firm for legal services that the plaintiff performed in connection with a personal injury case initiated by the woman stemming from a motor vehicle accident.

The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman, P.C, which is based in Northeast Philadelphia, filed the complaint Sept. 14 at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against Tatyana Tukalskaya, the Trevose, Pa. law firm of Gross, Goldfarb & Spigler and Trevose attorney Manuel A. Spigler.

The suit was filed by by Fishman attorney Carl J. D’Adamo.

According to the complaint, Tukalskaya retained the plaintiff’s services following a July 12, 2010, motor vehicle accident that resulted in the woman sustaining bodily injuries.

The two entered into a “legally binding contract” whereby Fishman would begin legal proceedings against the couple responsible for the vehicle accident, the lawsuit states.

The plaintiff soon engaged in pre-litigation work, such as filing a complaint, participating in motion practicing and undertaking other “necessary legal functions” at the request of the defendant.

On June 28, 2012, however, Tukalskaya “disengaged” the plaintiff’s legal services and retained the other defendants named in the lawsuit to represent her in her prior claim, the suit alleges.

Fishman remained in possession of Tukalskaya’s file for two years prior to the woman’s decision to “disengage plaintiff’s legal services and plaintiff expended substantial time and resources on defendant’s case,” the suit alleges.

The plaintiff informed all three defendants in the current case that he has a lien against any third party recovery by Tukalskaya.

The lawsuit states that Tukalskaya’s initial agreement with Fishman contains a provision that stipulates Tukalskaya would agree to pay all costs and expenses incurred by Fishman should the woman decide to discontinue her injury case or retain another attorney.

The complaint contains a breach of contract claim against Tukalskaya, and a claim of intentional interference with contractual relations against the other two defendants.

The plaintiff seeks judgment in the amount of $50,000, plus interest, costs and attorney’s fees.

An arbitration hearing has been scheduled for late May 2013.


The case ID number is 120901700. 

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