KNBC news reporter Phil Shuman has sued his former lawyer for mishandling his claims against the City of Beverly Hills arising from a 1984 incident in which he allegedly was assaulted by police officers.
Shuman, in an L.A. Superior Court complaint seeking unspecified damages, says his case against Beverly Hills was dismissed because attorney Charles Mathews of Mathews & Evans failed to bring the case to trial within three years as required by California law.
The complaint said a suit against Beverly Hills was filed by Mathews in early 1985 but “sat virtually dormant” until the Superior Court assigned it to an abitrator in late 1989. Shuman claimed the officers attacked him while he was interviewing Academy Awards attendees.
In December 1990, the arbitrator awarded $ 25,000 to Shuman, the suit said, but Beverly Hills asked for a new trial and the court threw out the suit. The dismissal was upheld by the Court of Appeals, the complaint said, because there was no excuse for waiting four and a half years to arbitrate.
“Plaintiff has suffered emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation at having his public name attached to the shoddy practices of defendants and he has been deprived of his recovery for emotional damages against the City of Beverly Hills,” the suit said.