ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46)- Imagine getting into a bad accident, then hiring a lawyer who ends up stealing all your settlement money.
One local couple said that’s exactly what happened to them and they reached out to CBS46.
“It’s getting more and more frustrating, we just can’t seem to get any justice from anybody,” said Freeman Donald.
Freeman Donald, a 24-year retired army veteran, and his wife Lisa were in a bad accident back in 2011.
“He ran through the stop sign and hit us,” Donald said, “My wife, her spine was severed. She was almost paralyzed, and I had broken bones in my leg, my left leg, my ankle, and my knee cap collapsed.”
That’s when they hired attorney Ted Wooten of Fayetteville, Georgia, to help them get money to cover their growing medical bills.
“He was talking to our insurance company, our medical insurance, back and forth, months were going by and we just didn’t hear anything,” added Donald.
Until about a year later.
“The money from the settlement from the insurance companies was supposed to go into an escrow account until everything was completed,” Donald said. “He sat there and told us he spent all the money out of the account. We found out that he had problems with other cases and in his personal life, and he was just taking money out of the account the whole time, and we didn’t know it.”
The Donalds went right to the police and State Bar Association to report Wooten.
Wooten was disbarred, but years later, they’re still struggling to get answers from anybody, including the District Attorney’s Office. But the couple is out $110,000, and still waiting on justice.
“We’ve been going back and forth with them now for about 4 or 5 years, I’ve been trying to get something done, and they keep promising us what they’re going to do,” Donald added. “They told us they were going to put a warrant out, get him arrested, he was going to have to pay, do some time, whatever.”
“That’s the part that’s really been bothering us, why, we keep asking why, what’s going on? What’s taking so long? Why do you keep promising us things? And nothing is happening,” said Donald.
The District Attorney’s Office said there was a different District Attorney at the time of the accident, and they will be looking into this more carefully now.
CBS46 reporter Melissa Stern is following this story and will update you when they provide us with more answers.