Allstate wants class decertified based on Avery

Steve Korris Aug. 17, 2006, 4:23am

Allstate Insurance has asked Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron for an order decertifying a Lakin Law Firm class action just like an order Byron signed for insurer GEICO.

Attorney Jill Sundberg argued in an Aug. 4 motion that last year's Illinois Supreme Court decision in Avery v. State Farm required decertification of Dennis Strasen as class representative in a claim against Allstate.

In June Byron relied on Avery in decertifying a class action, Billups v. GEICO, over payments for wrecked vehicles.

Sundberg wrote that, "…all the same reasons that led this Court to decertify the Billups class apply with full force here."

Byron certified Strasen and other plaintiffs as class representatives in 2001, in their claims that Allstate wrongly reduced payouts on medical bills.

Sundberg wrote in her decertification motion that Byron emphasized the provisional nature of his certification order.

She wrote that he stated he would rescind it if he later determined that he granted it improvidently.

Under Avery, she wrote, individual issues would predominate over class issues.

She also asked for decertification due to a conflict between insured drivers who want lower premiums and medical providers "who only want their bills paid in full, regardless of reasonableness or necessity, which would then lead to higher premiums and less available coverage for insureds."

She filed 1,887 pages of supporting documents.

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