Lakin firm and Pekin Insurance agree to consolidation

Steve Korris Feb. 9, 2006, 12:42am

Two lawsuits with one chiropractor turned into one lawsuit with three chiropractors, in an agreement between the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River and Pekin Insurance.

As January ended, the Lakin firm represented Thomas Kaltenbronn and Frank Bemis in proposed Madison County class actions against Pekin.

Both suits claimed that Pekin improperly reduced payments for treatment of patients who suffered injuries in accidents that Pekin policies covered.

On Feb. 1, Dennis Barton of the Lakin firm and Pekin attorney David Osborne of Chicago agreed to dismiss Kaltenbronn's suit and add him to the Bemis suit.

Barton and Osborne agreed to name Dale Fischer, doing business as Lebanon Chiropractic, as third plaintiff. Fischer had not been a party to either suit.

Barton and Osborne agreed that an amended complaint would not constitute a new action for purposes of the Class Action Fairness Act.

Osborne promised not to remove the case to U.S. District Court under the act.

Circuit Judge George Moran signed the deal and granted leave to amend the complaint. Barton filed an amended complaint on the spot.

A week earlier, Bemis and the Lakin firm came out on the short end of a court order in an almost identical suit against Federated Mutual Insurance.

Circuit Judge Daniel Stack granted a motion of Federated Mutual to compel Bemis to answer interrogatories and produce documents.

Federated Mutual attorney Beth Boggs of Clayton had moved in December to compel a response. Boggs wrote that she requested a response Sept. 14.

Stack gave Bemis 21 days to answer and produce.

Richard Burke of the Lakin firm represents Bemis against Federated Mutual.

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