Attorney, client at odds over WhidbeyHealth settlement

WhidbeyHealth Public Hospital District settled an age discrimination lawsuit in August, but the plaintiff and his attorney are still arguing over money.

Seattle attorney Gregory Albert filed a motion to resolve an attorney lien in U.S. District Court Oct. 10. He is asking the federal judge to award him fees and costs that his client, Dr. James Elbaor, refuses to pay.

The hospital district settled a lawsuit with Elbaor for $1.5 million. Under the terms of their agreement, Albert is entitled to 28.5 percent of gross recovery and his costs during litigation, according to the attorney’s complaint.

The attorney and client disagree about whether percentage of recovery should be calculated before or after the costs are taken out of the settlement.

Albert wrote that he is owed $15,000 in attorney fees and $15,000 in cost reimbursements, which Elbaor refuses to pay.

Albert traveled to three different states to take depositions, drafted 25 interrogatories and 45 requests for production and reviewed more than 3,000 pages, the claims states.

Albert claimed that he “has gone to painstaking efforts to resolve this nonsensical dispute without the court.”

Albert wrote that Elbaor became preoccupied with reducing the attorney’s fees and reimbursements throughout litigation, continually asking Albert to reduce his fees; Elbaor allegedly increased his demand to the hospital district by $2 million when Albert refused and even altered the settlement agreement to reflect a smaller fee without his attorney’s knowledge, the document state.

Albert also wrote that Elbaor is trying to set him up for malpractice claims.

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