Following a $15 million lawsuit from the Law Finance Group and a $5 million suit from Arizona lender Stillwell Madison over unpaid loans, Thomas is being accused of failing to compensate one of the victims of the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion after he suffered severe injuries and trauma in September 2010.
According to a report from NBC Bay Area, Thomas is being accused of withholding too large a portion of the money PG&E paid to compensate Joseph Ruigomez, who was burned on over 90 percent of his body in the explosion.
Joseph’s girlfriend, Jessica Morales, as well as seven others, died in the explosion.
In 2015, Joseph appeared at a memorial, where he explained the trauma he experienced, saying, “You just got to pound it in your head, she would want you to be happy; try not to let those thoughts torment you … move on.”
Joseph filed a lawsuit against Thomas and his law firm, Girardi Keese, on Wednesday, but he did not reveal how much money had been withheld. In the suit, attorneys for Joseph allege Thomas has breached his contract by failing to pay Joseph the remaining money he is owed.
PG&E paid around $500 million to resolve the lawsuits filed against them after the explosion.
Joseph and his family are relying on being paid the remainder of their settlement to cover his ongoing medical expenses. Thus far, he has undergone 30 procedures.
“It’s been almost nine years since that horrific day in San Bruno,” Joseph said in a statement on Wednesday. “We’re finding it more difficult with each passing cycle, and all I want is to conclude our dealings with Girardi Keese, so our family can try to put this behind us.”
In his own statement to NBC Bay Area, Thomas said he “quite honestly, did a spectacular job’’ with Joseph’s case. He insisted he is currently following the family’s requested schedule of payments.
“We kept the money in trust, and then there was a request for him to get the funds. We sent them half of it as requested, and we informed him he could get the other half July 7. On July 7, we will send the additional $5 million, and we will then calculate the interest,” he shared.
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