Houston: Hoeffner trial in fifth week

“Houston lawyer Warren Todd Hoeffner is accused of paying $3 million in cash, BMWs, trips, even spa treatments and ‘gentleman’s entertainment’” in a scheme to obtain $34 million in settlements in silicosis litigation. Things began to unravel when Hartford Insurance, which had cut settlements on behalf of a number of defendants, noticed the arrival of a check for $6,000 from Hoeffner to one of its former claims personnel. Hoeffner’s lawyers are arguing that the insurance company employees extorted money and goods from their client by threatening not to approve fair settlements otherwise. [Houston Chronicle, Southeast Texas Record]

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