Financial Company’s Reckless Incompetence Costs Accident Victim Millions

MIAMI (March 3, 2014) – Attorneys for a severely disabled Lauderhill, Fla. woman recently amended a lawsuit against The Northern Trust Company to include a claim for punitive damages.  Citing reckless and grossly negligent behavior and conduct that constitutes conscious disregard or indifference to the rights of victim Cristal Marie McBean, the amended complaint adds punitive damages to a case that already seeks to recover $7.6 million.  Following a tragic accident that left McBean permanently disabled, the family entrusted her substantial financial settlement to Northern Trust, but instead the company squandered her money and left her nearly destitute according to the suit filed by attorneys at Stewart, Tilghman, Fox, Bianchi & Cain, P.A.

McBean received a substantial financial settlement after an accident while still a child.  From February of 1996 until August of 2012, Northern Trust served as her financial guardian but, according to the lawsuit, failed to set up a special needs trust on her behalf.   A significant portion of McBean’s extensive medical bills – $4.6 million – would have been paid by Medicaid had such a trust been established. The guardianship lost that money plus $3 million in interest that would have been earned on that money. According to the lawsuit, it wasn’t until McBean’s settlement money nearly ran out that Northern Trust investigated a special needs trust.

“Northern Trust was clueless about how to protect Cristal’s assets and its money managers repeatedly failed her,” said attorney Gary Fox.  To allow $4.6 million to be squandered for a period of 16 years goes beyond just negligence and represents conduct that was in reckless disregard of rights of a severely injured child.  Other Northern Trust clients might have been victimized in the same way.”

The amended lawsuit, filed in Broward Circuit Court, seeks punitive damages due to Northern Trust’s reckless actions and gross negligence.

Based in Miami, Stewart, Tilghman, Fox, Bianchi & Cain, P.A. represents clients in lawsuits arising from accidents, defective products, medical and legal malpractice, breach of contract and fraud among other practice areas.  More information on the firm is available at  Copies of the lawsuit is available for download here.

Prior media coverage including visuals available at American Lawyer and Sun-Sentinel.


Contact: John P. David or Melissa Hamann