NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A well-known, personal injury lawyer is in big trouble. Clients say he reached big cash settlements on cases, but kept the money for himself.
The Board of Professional Responsibility temporarily suspended John Lyndon Lowery's law license after they considered him to be a potential harm to the public. In addition, a Grand Jury indicted the Nashville personal injury lawyer on theft and forgery charges.
"I found out that he settled my case without my knowledge," said Erin, one of his former clients.
She asked that we not use her last name.
"I was in a serious car accident," said Erin.
She suffered a permanent back injury in the wreck. Then Erin had to hire another attorney to figure out what Lowery did with her $25,000 insurance settlement.
"Well, it's a case of a lawyer who settled a case and didn't tell the client and the client didn't receive any of the money," said George Nolan, Erin's new attorney.
Erin said Lowery had kept put her off blaming legal delays. But the truth was, "he had settled my case two years ago," said Erin.
She only learned that after contacting the insurance company and was shown a copy of the settlement check with her signature. She said she never signed any settlement check.
"It's a terrible thing for a lawyer to mistreat a client's funds," said Nolan.
Lowery declined comment for this story but in filings with the Supreme Court he admits he violated certain rules of ethics and that he intended to pay all monies taken back to these clients.
The filings also revealed Lowery is seeking help for depression, stress, grief and other issues.
Erin said said she is still hurting and buried in medical bills.
"It hurts. You trust someone to handle this for you. t was a tough time for me and my family," said Erin.
Lowery's temporary suspension remains in place. His criminal case is scheduled for November.
At least three of Lowery's former clients have already come forward with complaints.
It's possible others will do so now that the case has gone public.