Class action king gets non-royal treatment in divorce court

Steve Korris Jul. 6, 2006, 1:13am

In the Madison County courthouse where Granite City chiropractor Mark Eavenson once reigned as king of class actions, one judge has taken over his bank account and another has kicked Eavenson's friend out of her job handling his business.

In 34 days at the height of the class action craze the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River proposed to certify Eavenson as representative of plaintiff classes in 22 suits.

Most claims involved about the price of a sandwich.

Now Eavenson has surrendered almost half a million dollars to pay off a bad debt in Chicago, and according to his pleadings in divorce court his practice, Multi-Care Specialists, might go out of business.

He sought court permission to sell Multi-Care Specialists but he did not get it.

In the divorce proceedings, Associate Judge Nelson Metz has entered many orders to settle disputes that Mark Eavenson and wife Laura Eavenson could not resolve.

Metz needed the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of Job to divide Cardinal baseball seats between them.

Next he must decide how hard they should work.

Mark's attorney, Erin Reilly, told Metz in March that in the best interest of the parties Laura should seek a full time job with benefits.

Laura's attorney, David Fahrenkamp, asked for a bill of particulars.

Reilly responded, "The petitioner is bright, articulate and presents well." Reilly wrote that Laura's research was instrumental in their acquisition of car washes.

On April 10 Fahrenkamp wrote to Metz that Mark drove three vehicles and took vacations without limit.

Fahrenkamp wrote that Mark spent on his girlfriend and hired her at $25 an hour, "in excess of her actual market value."

On April 14 Cook County Circuit Judge Paddy McNamara entered default judgment for Merrill Lynch Business Financial Services against Multi-Care Specialists.

McNamara ordered Multi-Care to pay $429,121.45 to Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch then filed in Madison County for foreign judgment to execute the order, with interest at nine percent.

On May 17 Mark petitioned Metz to sell Multi-Care Specialists.

Reilly wrote that Mark had ortheoplasty on his left hand. She wrote, "His second joint has continued to deteriorate."

She wrote that his surgeon recommended that he immediately cease manipulation.

She wrote that Multi-Care currently operated at a profit and Mark needed to sell it before resigning or taking disability.

At a June 6 hearing Metz appointed an accountant to collect all income from all sources and pay necessary expenses.

Metz wrote that the accountant could not settle suits or pay anything at the sole instruction of either party.

He wrote that the accountant could pay for a child's college education.

Metz gave Mark 30 days to train a substitute for Kelly Suhre's job in receipts, deposits or any financial transactions.

On June 19 Laura moved to disburse Cardinal tickets. Fahrenkamp wrote that Suhre and her family used the tickets instead of Mark's clients.

On June 28 Associate Judge Lewis Mallott held a hearing on Merrill Lynch's suit for foreign judgment. Robert Bruegge appeared for Merrill Lynch, Reilly for Mark and Fahrenkamp for Laura.

In three-way negotiations, everyone agreed to release half of a disputed account at the Bank of Edwardsville and $200,000 from accounts of Multi-Care Specialists.

On the same day Metz ordered equal division of Cardinal tickets. He ruled that Mark would get tickets that night and Laura would get them two nights later.

Between the games, Metz ruled, Mark and Laura would choose seats for the rest of the season in alternating fashion. Mark would choose first.

Mark's proposed class actions have generally stalled. Seven have been dismissed and one has been transferred to Cook County. No judge has certified any of them as class actions.

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Organizations in this Story

Bank of Edwardsville
330 West Vandalia Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025

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