Sunday, April 27, 2008

Musgrave previously sanctioned over '79 plane crash settlement

CHARLESTON - Failing to return a settlement check is not the only time a Point Pleasant attorney has mishandled legal matters involving a physician. Nearly 20 years ago, Raymond G. Musgrave had to answer for "gross incompetency" in settling the estate of a doctor and his wife who died in the worst single-airplane crash in American history.

On April 4, the Lawyer Disciplinary Board, the prosecutorial arm of the state Bar Association, filed a formal state of charges against Musgrave with the state Supreme Court. In its statement, the Board found probable cause that Musgrave violated at least two Rules of Professional Conduct in not turning over $15,000 awarded to Dr. Danny R. Westmoreland in 2004. The statement of charges, records show, came almost three years to the day Westmoreland filed his complaint with Musgrave with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Bar's investigative arm.

The Bar took three years to investigate a complaint filed against Musgrave in 1988 by the family members of Dr. Roy and Marian E. Eshenaur. The family accused Musgrave of "gross incompetency" in not properly settling the Eshenaur's estates nine years after they died in a 1979 plane crash in Chicago. In 1991, the Bar closed its investigation into the Eshenaur family's complaint finding merit to their allegations.

Alcohol played an apparent role in Musgrave's conduct as the Bar ordered Musgrave to abstain from consuming it, and into recovery treatment.

For more on this story, go to The West Virginia Record.

Photo: An amateur picture of American Airlines Flight 191 taken moments before it crashed at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on May 25, 1979 killing all 271 passengers and crew members aboard, includingMason County residents Dr. Roy and Marian E. Eshenaur

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