(Photo: Robert Kneschke/ Fotolia) (Photo: Robert Kneschke/ Fotolia)

A Sandy Springs attorney has filed a libel suit against a chiropractor who badmouthed the lawyer in an online forum, accusing her of not paying a client’s medical bills following a settlement and having “questionable ethics,” among other jabs.

Attorney Adanna Ugwonali declined to discuss her suit against ProHealth Integrated Medical and its owner Dr. C. Paul Willis, who has clinics in Roswell and Lawrenceville that provide chiropractic and medical care.  

“I would prefer to wait until after the disposition of the case to discuss,” Ugwonali said in a short telephone conversation. She is representing herself.

Willis is away from his practice and did not respond to an email query that included a copy of the suit.   

Ugwonali’s complaint said that on June 20 Willis contacted her office asking about a former client’s medical bills, saying ProHealth had not been paid.

Willis was told that the lawyer’s office hadn’t signed any “medical lien or letter of protection” and to “contact the client for payment.”

Willis never spoke directly to Ugwonali, it said.

On June 22, Willis posted a lengthy Google Review of Ugwonali’s practice. He cited “Unsavory business practices with this law firm I experienced solely as a doctor who has provided Injury care and rehabilitation to a client of Attorney Ada Ungwonali.”

Willis added that he “perceived much like a scam and left me feeling cheated.” (The spelling and punctuation reflect the original post, which misspells Ugwonali’s name throughout.)

Willis said he provided “thousands of dollars worth of medical care and agreed to wait for payment which is due at claim settlement.”

“I also provided medical records with a bill for services rendered with which the attorney uses to calculate the clients damages and financial recovery/settlement are based on,” it said. “Ada Ungwonali settled the case, kept the money and didn’t pay the patients bill.”

The post went on to accuse Ugwonali of “questionable ethics” that mean “the patient will now have to deal with ruining there a good name and credit score,” going on to advise readers to “be careful.”

The post is still online and one of a dozen otherwise glowing customer reviews of Ugwonali’s practice.

On June 25, Ugwonali sued Willis and ProHealth in Fulton County Superior Court, asserting claims for libel and defamation and seeking an injunction mandating the removal of the offensive posting and barring Willis from making further “libelous statements” about her. It also seeks attorney fees and punitive damages.”

The complaint reiterates that Ugwonali “did not have a lien or letter of protection and did as the client instructed [her] to do during the disbursement of the matter.”

The complaint claims that Willis’ comments insinuate that Ugwonali stole money and defrauded Willis and his clinic, but they are “not supported by any factual allegation” and were “expressly calculated to injure the reputation of Ugwonali Law Group.”  

Ugwonali is a 2007 graduate of Rutgers University Law School and joined the State Bar of Georgia in 2014. According to her firm’s website she specializes in personal injury and civil rights law.