Mendelsohn vacates Moran's transfer

Steve Korris Dec. 29, 2005, 9:40am

Circuit Judge George Moran

Stephen Tillery

Madison County Circuit Judge George Moran bounced a class action suit against drug maker Pfizer to Chicago in November, but the suit has bounced back to Edwardsville.

Associate Circuit Judge Ralph Mendelsohn has vacated a Nov. 28 order in which Moran transferred the case to Cook County.

Moran had ruled that under a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision in Gridley vs. State Farm, he had to transfer the case.

"Venue is not proper in Madison County," he wrote. "Pfizer is not doing business in Madison County."

In the suit, plaintiffs Ricky Lott of Madison, Gerald Sumner of Belleville, Sandy Becker of Pontoon Beach and Mike Baldwin of Smithton claim that Pfizer's false and misleading statements inflated the value of pain relievers Celebrex and Bextra.

Plaintiff attorney Stephen Tillery moved Moran to reconsider the order. Moran set a hearing Dec. 21, but five days before it he disqualified himself.

Chief Judge Edward Ferguson assigned Mendelsohn to the case.

Mendelsohn held the hearing and vacated the order.

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