• Report: #991916

Complaint Review: Attorney Elliot Zinger & Associates

  • Submitted: Sat, January 05, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, January 05, 2013

  • Reported By: reeseycup — Freeport Illinois United States of America
Attorney Elliot Zinger & Associates
10 S. LaSalle St. Suite 1420 Chicago, Illinois United States of America
  • Phone: 312-785-9494
  • Web:
  • Category: Lawyers

Attorney Elliot Zinger & Associates Misreprensentated himself as my Attorney and used me to get information to work for someone else before I gave him permission Chicago, Illinois

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: A simple misunderstanding

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I first contacted Attorney Elliot Zinger in Sept. 2010 about a week after the sudden death of my son. I contacted him because he came highly recomended from a very well respected person in my community to help me to file a lawsuit against the local hospital here. I contacted him first by phone on Sept. 3, 2010 and from there it went to e-mails, text messages me faxing him what I had of medical records and when he said the faxes were blurry and he could not read them I made copies and paid money to mail them to his office for him and then on Sept. 16, 2010 he drove to my home to meet with myself and my best friend to discuss the specifics of what happened to my son and get information. I told him that the two of us had all the information he would need. He at this meeting asked me "does your son have any children?" I told him "yes....two." He asked "how old are the children?." I gave him their ages (both minors under 18). He asked me "where do they live?" I answered "here in town." He asked "with their mother?" I answered "yes." He then went on to ask me "what happened to your son?" So at this time I gave him the grandkids names/ages as well as the name and age of their mother on Sept. 16, 2010. Myself and my girlfriend went on to tell him what happened to my son durring his hospital stay and were able to go into specific detail because we were each taking notes of pretty much everything they did and said durring his hospital stay. I slept in the chair next to my son's hospital bed in ICU on Sunday night and Monday night. Tuesday night I went home because my son told me to go home that he didn't want me to miss any more work tomorrow. So I went home that evening and went to work on Wensday morning. On Sept. 16, 2010 myself, My friend and Attorney Zinger went to the local hospital and requested my son's medical records together and recieved them.  My son was released from the hospital and about 13 days later I went to his room to take him breakfast on Sunday morning and found him dead lying across his bed.  Four days after the Sept. 16, 2010 visit to my home on Sept. 20, 2010 Attorney Zinger returned to my home because I contacted him and told him I had set up a meeting in my home with the local Coroner to discuss face to face what the autopsy findings were as far as what actually happened to my son. This was not something that I wanted to hear over the phone. I contacted him the day before to let him know I felt this was a meeting he should be at. His reply was "Oh great...I'll be there!" He did arrive at that meeting. Also present besides myself were my son's father, 2 of my best friends, the County Coroner, as well as Attorney Zinger. We discussed the autopsy findings asked questions, looked for a certin document from the hospital that the coroner had in her posession that was pulled directly from the hospital the day they did my son's autopsy but this paper was NOT in the copy that Attorney Zinger paid for on Sept. 16 when him, myself and my friend went to the hospital and pulled the records for our self. So after the discussion on the autopsy report and looking for this paper that had disappeared Attorney Zinger said "Sounds like Malpractice to me!" and at this time he pushed a paper in front of me and told me sign"right here." The paper was titled "Attorney Medical Malpractice Retainer Agreement" on the top of this paper he had his name filled in along with the name of the city where I live in the upper right hand coroner. the place he told me to sign was in the lowere right side of the paper. But the rest of the spaces on the document were blank. There was no date or anything. Just his name in that coroner. Myself and my son's father looked at the paper and looked at each other and then looked at Attorney Zinger. He knew what we were looking at. He told me "Oh.... I'll fill those in later". So I trusted him and signed my name to this contract that had no other information on it but his name, the city I live in and now my name, Thinking he was at this point working for me to seek justice for me on behalf of myself and my grandchildren. My was I sadly mistaken.    We worked together and communicated for nearly 7 months by phone, e-mails, text messages reguarding information surrounding my son's case. From Sept. 2010 through Feb. 2011 he would send me information about my son's case and contact me with things that he wanted me to do here in the city where I lived to help the case. I still have every single e-mail that was sent between us from the very 1st to the very last. Early Feb. 2011 I recieved a phone call from Attorney Zinger and he told me it was now time for him to talk to the children's mother. He asked me if I'd been "keeping her informed as to what was going on?"I told him she knew I'd contacted an attorney but I had not told her everything I knew or that had been discovered so far. He said "it's time to set up an estate. Would anyone have a problem with you being administrator of your son's estate?" my response was no...Why would they?" His response to me was...."well you never know." I at that time gave him the grandkids mother's phone numbers to contact her. In late Feb. 2011 he contacted me and told me He had some papers he need myself and my son's father to sign for him. I told him yes and that I would contact my son's father about this. I called my son's father and told him about the papers and his immidiate response to me was "what kind of papers? he needs to give me the papers and I take them to another attorney and have them looked at before I sign anything...he can't just put something in front of me and expect me to  sign it!" In the early part of March 2011 I recieved a voice mail from my grandkids mother saying "thanks for letting me be a part of what's going on."   The next two weeks would be an eye opener for me.     I contacted the Attorney on a Saturday morning in early March and asked him if he got in contact with my grandkids mother. He responded at that time that he was meeting with her the next day @ 2pm and after he met with her he would come by my house to meet with me. I was wondering why there had to be seperate meetings but I though he needed to ask her personal questions about their relationship not knowing I was being removed from the case I innitiated by the person I hired to representate the case for me by the people I was trying to help in the first place. I asked him if by tomorrow he ment Sunday or Monday and he said Sunday. I said OK." I took him out to her house because he could not find it yet I was not invited in and they were discussing MY case! He arrived at my house after he met with her and present were myself and my best friend and Attorney Zinger. He proceeded to tell me that "You have a problem with her and she DEFINIATLY has a problem with you." He said he asked her "why didn't you call me to file the lawsuit and why did his mom call?" and she told him that "she just took over and did not give me a chance to do anything." He also told me "you need to get a working relationship with your grandkids mother." Well this was news to me....I did not know we did not have one. He also told me "She says it'll be anybody but you." Still not telling me exactlly what he was talking about.   When I refused to appoligize to her for anything.....(I told him I don't know what you want me to do ...but what ever it is I'm NOT going to do it. I did what I was supposed to do which was bury my son. I was his mother. I had the insurance. I called an Attorney because I had all the information. She did not know anything to tell him. As far as she was concerned from what she knew he was just DEAD.) If I had not taken care of things he'd still be laying upstairs across his bed. No one helped me pay for anything for the funeral or anything else. So I'm not apoligizing to her for anything...." The three of us talked a few more minutes and he left. Something was not feeling quite right.   Two days late the other grandmother called me and told me that her daughter made he administrator over my son's estate. I blew up!!!!!   The next morning I called Attorney Zinger and told him this and he said " They said they would be ok with "allowing" you to be special administrator.  Still not having anything explained to me in detail I asked him " is there anything else she can do to cause trouble in this? Hypothetically if the hospital says they'll offer $50.000 for my son's death if I say no and she says yes who has the final say me or her?" It was at this time nearly 7 months after I first contacted him that he told me "At this point Ms. Haynes you don't have any more say over anything. Her mother is handeling everything from now on. The administrator over the decenents estate handles all the affairs. Since you were not appointed to be administrator you no longer have a say in the matter." I was on my lunch break and screamed "how can that be possible????? I'm the one that called you to handle this for me. I signed the contract with you and gave you all the information about what happened to my son, did all your work here and now you tell me I don't have any say in my own case????? for my own child?????? how can that be possible?" Suddenly he had a court case to go to he would call me later.   I asked him "what were the papers that you told me in early Feb. 2011 that he needed myself and my son's father to sign?  He asked me "What papers? There are no papers?."  SMH!!!!      I fired him and told him to go work for the grandkids mother since  it was obvious he was not working for me any way and never was. He told me "I didn't mean to start World War III!" I asked him "What are you going to do now...work for her?" He answered "Well yes she did ask me if I would take the case over for her." I gave him permission to copy my records after he said he was going to work for her. But he was planning to do it even before I gave him permission to do so. I told him I could not allow my name to be on a piece of paper for my child and be told I did not have a voice at all in anything. I requested my son's records be returned to me and to sit down and talk to him since we started face to face let's end the same way. He made 3 seperate appointments to come talk to us and did not show for any of them. There was a different excuse each time.    When the medical records arrived upon going through them I came across the Attorney Medical Malpractice Retainer Agreement  that I signed on Sept. 20, 2010. Exactlly like it was when I saw it last. Those blank spaces that he was going to fill in later..... were still blank. He never filled in anything else on that paper. It seems that there was no need to fill in a date on that contract because he knew he was not really working for me any way. That was his way of using me to get all the information he needed to get the case started and then move on to the real client. Of whom could not give him any information because they did not know what happened in the first place.  My grandkids mother claims that when he came to her house during that March meeting  he told her "you have the right to do this, you have the right to do that" and she claims that she "didn't know what he was talking about." But also in the documents he sent to me was a piece of paper in his hand writting that says right up under her name "made her sign up". So it might be some truth to what she said.   Attorney Elliot Zinger worked with me for nearly 7 months NEVER telling me what my rights were/were not in the case I contacted him to handle for me in referance to my son's death. Contact Via telephone, e-mails, text messages and face to face visits. Yet for some reason he was able to meet with my grandkids mother and her mom either in the first telephone call or visit to her home tell her what her rights were in the case I called him to handle for me which was to get my grandchildren taken care of in the first place. If they were taken care of that was also helping their mother at the same time. In the process of telling her what her rights were in the case I contacted him to handle for me on behalf of my grandchildren he was telling them what my rights were NOT. Information he never shared with me until after he'd removed me from my own case.  So actually when he told me I had no say over anything any more he was still under the supposed contract with me. And still telling me nothing.   Even after he'd done all of this I asked him to keep me informed as to how things were going with the case and told him I'd help in any way possible with the case. He promised in writting that he would do that. I have yet to hear from him and that corospodence was in March 2011.   I filed a ARDC complaint after I tried to contact him once after he said he would keep me informed and he did not return my calls. I Sent the ARDC complaint in August 2011 after 6 months of not hearing from himabout my son's case. The complaint was recieved at the ARDC early Sept. 2011 but he did not respond. I called back a couple of weeks later and they some how had not mailed it to him that's why he had not responded it was still in the file cabinet. So it was actually mailed to him mid Sept. 2011. When he recieved a copy of my complaint he called me then leaving a message on my cell phone "Ms. _______ I recieved your ARDC complaint today. I know why you would do something like this. This puts us in a dire situation. I just don't understand why." It took him from Oct. 2011 until Jan. 2012 to get his response to the ARDC. ( that is usually a set response time but it's not set at a 4 months)  I recieved the response from the ARDC that he had is Attorney send them saying that basically I was "lying" and that "the law restricts Attorney Zinger from disclosing any information about his representation in the estate of ___________ ____________." So he knew when he put in that letter that he would keep me informed about the case that he had no plan in doing so. Again He'd gotten the information to build his case. He no longer needed me. This is my child. I contacted him to handle this for me and now I am the one that everything is a secret from. I'm not even informed when a court date is for my own child. The law says they don't have to tell me anything.   Myself and 4 other people sent responses in to the ARDC in early 2012 in referance to what his reply to my complaint was. All of us telling what was discussed in the meetings with Attorney Zinger durring the course of our interactions with him in those almost 7 months.

 My son's dad gave Attorney Zinger his phone # 's in Sept. 2010 and asked him to keep him informed as to the status of the case. Attorney Zinger shook his hand told him he certinly would and my son's father has not heard from him since that day. The fact that he never told me he was not working for me and that the time could possibly come when I would have no voice at all in the case I contacted him to handle for me. In one of our phone conversations I asked him why he didn't tell me that there might come a point in this that I might not have a say and thankfully I had my phone on speaker and the lady in the room heard his response very clearly. He said very quickly "I thought you knew." I at that time told him the phone was on speaker and someone else heard him say that. His response was a simple "oh."    I sent the ARDC plenty of documents to support my case. The Retainer Agreement with the signatures and all the blank spaces, the paper with the names of her and the grandkids. all the e-mails between us, the paper where he has written under her name "Made her sign up" among many other things to show that I was his client and he did not represent me at all, did not inform me at all, knew exactlly what he was doing from the very begining, lied when he said he'd keep me informed knowing by law he could not once they got rid of me.  Lied about coming to talk to me when I requested him to do so,  Other paperwork with false information in them and after almost a year of investigating I recieved my reply from the ARDC that they are closing the case because they don't think they have a good enough case to win at the Hearing Board.    I spoke with the Attorney Peter Apostol that was supposed to be handeling the case and asked him if the letter was simply stating that they the the ARDC believed what he said ( he told them he told me he was representing the estate and that I only hired him to investigate my son's death. But the paper I signed did not say Attorney Medical Maplractice Investigation Agreement...it said Retainer agreement) verses all the written statements and the documents I had sent them. He said "No That's not it at all. That they don't condone what he did. They don't agree with the way he handled the case at all.  They feel really bad for what I've been through with everything reguarding my son's death and then all of this But with what I sent them with the evidence that they have they don't think it's enough to prove Attorney Misconduct or to win a misconduct case if it goes to the Hearing Board."  I at that time asked "if this is just like this whole series of events never took place and he just goes on to do this again to someone else if he chooses to do so?" The Attorney I was talking to said "That's not the case. This whole investigation along with everything I sent them will remain in his file for 3 years from the date of them closing their it and if anything else comes in on him in that 3 year period of time they will be able to refer back to the this case and referr to it in deciding the next case if in fact there is one. If you come up with something else you can send it in and we maybe can re-open this and take another look at it." I was told by this same Attorney when I called him about this in mid Aug. 2011 "Send me everything you got on ....This is going in his file THIS TIME." Which was a key indicator to me he's done things before that never made it to his file. So I take comfort in at least knowing I was able to do that.     I had promised both Attorney Zinger and the ARDC that win or loose I was going to make sure people knew what the Medical facility did to my son and what Attorney Zinger did and how he decieved me and lied to me and now lying about me. This is my first step to doing exactly that. I have documentation to back up every thing I have written in this report.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/05/2013 03:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/attorney-elliot-zinger-associates/chicago-illinois-60603/attorney-elliot-zinger-associates-misreprensentated-himself-as-my-attorney-and-used-me-991916. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

A simple misunderstanding

AUTHOR: Elliot Zinger, Esq. - ()

Dear Ms. Haynes,

First of all, I am most sympathetic to your situation as Savolis' mother and I understand the upset expressed in your complaint here at not being appointed administrator of your son's estate.

As I told you in our last discussion in court, however, I have never wilfully misrepresented anything to you about your son's case. When you first called me, the case was being investigated by my office; that is why the contract was left blank. We as attorneys need a signature from an heir to obtain medical information. Please remember that most of the time in medical malpractice investigations, there turns out to be no case at all. In Illinois, the records have to be reviewed by an expert in the field who ceritfies that there is malpractice before there is a case that can be filed and before anyone can be appointed as Administrator of the Estate.

When I met you, I assumed (and perhaps, as it turned out, mistakenly so) that you would be the person who would eventually be appointed by the court as the administarator of the estate since you knew the most about the facts. An Administrator is generally appointed as the figure head over the litigation. The administrator does not receive the money if the case is successful, the heirs do. I never had any reason to mislead you and would never do that. In 33 years of practicing law, I have never once been the subject of a complaint that was substantiated in any way by the ARDC or by any other body.

Had I known there was friction between you and  the mother of your grandchildren to the extent it turned out to be, I would have be much more careful to get the situation clarified and straightened out earlier, even if I didn't know there was a valid claim against the hospital. I will take that lesson with me.

I also tried back then (and again recently) to make it right by you by getting you to be appointed to be a special assistant to the Estate, but apparently that has not worked out either.

Very truly yours,

Elliot R. Zinger, Attorney

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