Dead defendant's attorney moves to dismiss client

Steve Korris Jul. 20, 2006, 3:17am

Robert Mitchell of Chicago, who died with a Madison County lawsuit hanging over him in a case that had nothing to do with Madison County, still has the suit hanging over him.

Attorney Joe McDonnell of Belleville, who represents Mitchell in a proposed class action suit from 2001, moved July 3 to dismiss Mitchell as a defendant.

Mitchell died March 27. In Illinois a party can substitute a personal representative for a deceased party in 90 days.

After the clock ran out, McDonnell told Circuit Judge Daniel Stack to dismiss Mitchell because plaintiffs had not filed a motion to substitute a personal representative.

Plaintiffs Al Kellerman, of Monroe County, Lillard Hedden of Peoria, and Franck Crabtree of Ada, Okla., sued Mitchell as attorney of a Chicago nonprofit group that bought nursing homes in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

The plaintiffs bought municipal bonds behind the nursing homes. They claimed defaults ruined the investments.

They charged fraud against the nonprofit group, brokers, bankers, attorneys, accountants, and contractors.

After Mitchell died, McDonnell said in an interview that Mitchell had no connection to Madison County. McDonnell said the case had nothing to do with Madison County.

Stack set a hearing on the Mitchell motion Aug. 23.

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