In a turn of tables, a Norwalk attorney and judge is on trial for poorly representing his own clients.
Mark and Victoria Swabley, Norwalk, hired Paul G. Lux in late 2003 to represent them in a personal injury lawsuit. The couple sought compensation for suffering, both physically and economically, sustained from a January 2002 automobile accident.
They now allege Lux was negligent with the case and failed to timely file their civil suit.
In addition to operating his private attorney practice in Norwalk, Lux works part-time as judge in the Erie County Court in Milan.
Lux represented the Swableys until November 2004 when they said the case was dismissed because he did not file the personal injury suit on time. The suit deadline was January 2004.
According to Erie County Court of Common Pleas documents, the Swableys allege Lux's "failure to timely file the plaintiff's personal injury suit was the result of a failure to exercise reasonable care, skill and due diligence in representing the plaintiffs."
Both Lux and his attorney, James P. Sammon, declined to comment on the matter outside of the courtroom Monday.
Because the suit was not filed by the deadline, the plaintiffs lost their right to compensation from the accident. They then hired another attorney to aid them.
The Swableys are asking for $50,000 in addition to monetary compensation to cover their attorney fees and costs of action.
Yesterday the jury heard testimony from several medical professionals who treated Mark Swabley after he sustained injuries in the accident and a State Highway Patrol officer.
The trial continues today and is being presided over by a visiting Judge Charles Abood from Lucas County.
Earlier this month Erie County Commissioners voted to approve a request by Lux to make the judge's position a full-time job, to be effective January 2008, pending approval by Ohio legislature.