New kid takes over for over-committed vapor plaintiffs

Steve Korris Nov. 21, 2006, 4:29pm

Judge Daniel Stack

Some kids have time for class action lawsuits and some kids don't.

Attorneys in a class action over refinery vapors in Hartford withdrew parents Eric and Tina Rose as plaintiffs Nov. 8, along with minor child Derek Rose.

Attorney Stan Faulkner wrote, "Due to the press of other commitments, these plaintiffs cannot devote the necessary energies to fulfill their duties as class representatives."

Faulkner moved to add another minor, Wesley Lamere, to the plaintiff roster.

Faulkner identified Wesley as child of Chris and Loral Lamere of 106 East Elm Street, but he did not add the parents to the roster.

The switch raises the familiar question of exactly what class action plaintiffs do.

Madison County circuit court has considered class claims of senile plaintiffs and bored plaintiffs.

The court has considered class claims of individuals who file suits in batches, like class action king Mark Eavenson.

The court has considered class claims of individuals living hundreds of miles away.

The court has considered claims of friends and employees of class action attorneys.

For nearly three years the Lakin Law Firm has pursued a class action with nothing but a corpse as its certified class representative.

In the Hartford case, Circuit Judge Daniel Stack conditionally certified Harry and Ruth Goforth as lead plaintiffs against a Shell Oil subsidiary and Premcor Refining Group.

He also certified the three Roses, Tim and Kim Sullivan, Michael Hanbaum and John Copeland as class representatives.

Shell and Premcor have agreed to settle claims that the Hartford refinery created an underground pool of petroleum that sends vapors into homes with every rainfall.

The defendants negotiated the settlement with the Edwardsville firm of Mark Goldenberg. Faulkner works for Goldenberg.

A team of Missouri attorneys with a separate suit against Shell, Premcor and other oil companies have tried to block the settlement.

Stack cannot sign a settlement order until he holds a fairness hearing.

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