Victims' claims are dismissed after attorney's alleged abandonment; remedy is malpractice not reinstatement
Nine former employees of the Cass County Road Commission sued in Circuit Court. The Road Commission secured an Order requiring them to provide discovery, after their attorney failed to attend a hearing regarding delay in responding. The Road Commission then filed a motion to dismiss the case when the Plaintiffs didn't comply with the court order. The attorney sent a substitute lawyer to attend the hearing and the substitute was unable to argue the motion because of lack of preparation. The case was diismissed and the employees appealed, seeking reinstatement and relief from their attorney's neglect and abandonment of their claim. The Court held that their only remedy was against the attorney; they could not continue the case against the Road Commission with new counsel. The trial court could have granted that relief, however, its failure to do so was not an "abuse of discretion" "inconsistent with substantial justice."