Class action scrapped for lack of members

Steve Korris Jan. 25, 2007, 5:39am

Paul Marks

Paul Marks of the Lakin Law Firm settled a proposed Madison County class action after discovering he could not round up enough plaintiffs for a class.

He admitted the shortage in a settlement approval motion he signed Jan. 8, along with Robert Shultz for Genworth Life Insurance.

"Plaintiffs have adduced facts that show, without regard to other defenses Genworth Life could raise on the merits and to class certification, that the 'numerosity' element of the motion for class certification cannot be satisfied," the motion stated.

No Lakin Law Firm suit ever amounted to less.

When it started in 2005, Wilma Kern and Judith Chapman sued General Electric Capital Assurance Company.

Kern and Chapman filed suit and moved for class certification Feb. 16, 2005, ahead of the effective date of the national Class Action Fairness Act.

They claimed breach of contract, consumer fraud and unjust enrichment.

According to the approval motion that Marks and Shultz signed, neither side put up much of a fight.

They wrote that by agreement the defendant, renamed Genworth, did not respond to the class certification motion.

They wrote that after Genworth moved to dismiss, they agreed that the plaintiffs would not respond to that motion.

On the death of Wilma Kern her son, Mark Kern, substituted as her executor.

The substitute plaintiff was not the Mark Kern who runs the St. Clair County board, but the Mark Kern who runs Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill.

Both sides agreed to keep the settlement confidential.

Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder read the settlement in her chambers Jan. 11. She approved it.

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