Prolific complaint against Cassens sprouts new life

Steve Korris Jul. 2, 2006, 10:29am

Like an ugly weed no one can pull, Thomas Maag's lawsuit against the Cassens family and its businesses just keeps growing.

Six days before a scheduled hearing on a motion to dismiss Maag's first amended complaint on behalf of Keith and Cindy Yount, Maag filed a second amended complaint.

The new complaint accuses three defendants that he accused in his original complaint in January, plus 16 more defendants, plus "unknown defendants."

For most defendants, the new complaint does not specifically allege any wrongdoing. Maag closes his 40-page complaint with a blanket claim against "all named defendants," underlining the words.

By filing it June 22, Maag prevented Cassens and Sons from arguing a motion to dismiss at a June 28 hearing before Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

Stack reset the hearing Aug. 29.

Keith Yount claims he suffered an injury in 2004 on his job hauling cars for Cassens.

Charles Armbruster of the Lakin Law Firm signed the original complaint as lead counsel, with Maag's name below. Maag had just switched from the Lakin firm to Wendler and Ezra.

The complaint named Cassens family member Lisa Shashek as lead defendant, along with Cassens and Sons and Cassens Corporation.

Armbruster also signed a motion for an emergency order requiring Cassens and Sons and Cassens Corporation to produce evidence before the statute of limitations ran out.

Maag filed the suit at the courthouse Jan. 26. Chief Judge Edward Ferguson assigned the suit to Circuit Judge Don Weber.

Maag took the file to Associate Judge Barbara Crowder, who signed an emergency order.

The Lakin firm substituted Weber off the case, and Ferguson assigned it to Stack.

Stack pronounced Crowder's order void.

Maag and Armbruster amended the complaint to add defendants, then amended it again to add still more.

The new complaint names five individuals in the Cassens family, an employee, six Cassens businesses, two Cassens trusts, trailer maker Cottrell Inc., KSL leasing, FTL Inc., Bankhead Transportation Equipment, Marysville Releasing Inc., and unknown defendants.

Maag signed the new complaint. Armbruster's name appears below Maag's signature.

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