- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (AP) - A former attorney who won a $200 million settlement for diet drug clients acknowledged that he owes money to his former clients and said he would be willing to reach a settlement.

The clients of former high-profile class-action attorney Stan Chesley have said that fees were inappropriately charged or stolen from the original $200 million they were awarded in the 2001 fen-phen settlement. Chesley and his lawyers recently told the Cincinnati Enquirer (https://cin.ci/1HzRtr7 ) that he owes his clients money but disputed the notion that he owes the $76 million that the lawyer representing those former clients is seeking.

“I’ve always felt the most I owed was $6 million to $7 million, but nobody ever came to me with that,” Chesley said. “When someone wants to get it done, I will talk. I always thought resolution was the way to go.”

Chesley took more than $20 million in attorney’s fees from the 2001 settlement, which exceeded the amount established by contract.

The Lexington-based lawyer who represents nearly 400 of Chesley’s former clients said that there have been plenty of opportunities for settling the case but that Chesley has instead chosen to fight every step of the way.

“This court proceeding has been going on for more than 11 years,” Angela Ford said. “It’s totally in (Chesley’s) control to settle this … it always has been.”

The case has escalated to the point that a Boone County judge last month issued a bench warrant for Chesley’s arrest late last month after he failed to appear for a hearing. Chesley is still in Ohio and has not decided whether to turn himself in or to agree to the judge’s order, which he and his lawyers say would force him to violate Ohio state law.

Chesley was disbarred by the Kentucky Supreme Court in 2013.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, https://www.enquirer.com

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