Thomas Maag goes to work for Wendler & Ezra

Ann Knef Feb. 8, 2006, 3:07pm

Plaintiff's attorney Thomas Maag, who has litigated class action lawsuits against corporate giants such as Wal-Mart, AT&T and Jack-in-the-Box, is no longer associated with The Lakin Law Firm of Wood River.

Maag has joined the Collinsville plaintiff's firm Wendler & Ezra, according to court documents.

The Record discovered that Maag switched firms as it reported on a case involving plaintiffs Keith Yount and Cindy Yount who are suing Lisa Shashek, Cassens & Sons, Cassens Corporation and "unknown defendants."

Maag represents the Younts, who are alleging that Keith Yount suffered an injury March 11, 2004, while working for Cassens Transport. (See related story).

Maag is the son of former appellate court judge Gordon E. Maag, who lost his bid for Illinois Supreme Court justice to Lloyd Karmeier in November 2004.

A week after the election, Thomas Maag filed a civil lawsuit against Karmeier campaign worker Steve Tomaszewski charging him with "trespassing" and "slander of title" for placing Republican political signs on land owned by Maag in Collinsville.

The suit was later dropped by Maag.

In addition to pursuing class action lawsuits, Maag also has represented Madison County plaintiffs Armettia Peach and Connie Gibbs.

Peach sued Granite City and won a $104,000 default judgment because the city approved a home inspection in spite of alleged defects, and because the city allegedly did not answer the complaint.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian stayed Peach's suit against Granite City and city resident Kevin Link, over Maag's objection on Dec. 2, 2005.

Matoesian said he lacked jurisdiction because Maag appealed an Aug. 16 order in which Matoesian vacated a default judgment against Granite City.

Connie Gibbs was represented by Maag in a suit against Toys-R-Us, filed in 2004 in Madison County Circuit Court. Gibbs claimed the company fired her after she got sick in order to avoid paying her pension.

According to Gibbs' complaint, she worked at the Toys-R-Us store in Fairview Heights for almost five years before an illness forced her to take "authorized sick leave time."

The complaint said that Toys-R-Us used Gibbs' illness as a pretext to fire her so the company wouldn't have to pay her pension, which would have vested upon her five-year anniversary as an employee.

The suit accused Toys-R-Us of defaming Gibbs by suggesting to her next employer that she was "engaging in illegal conduct at the store."

Gibbs also alleged her former managers at Toys-R-Us got her fired from her next job, at Jack-in-the-Box.

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