Plaintiff files 2,796 pages of expert reports in nursing home bond issue class

Steve Korris Jun. 6, 2008, 7:35am

Stack has 12 days to read 2,796 pages of expert reports.

Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack should procure plenty of midnight oil, for class action attorneys expect him to read 2,796 pages of expert reports in 12 days.

Christopher Threlkeld, of the Edwardsville firm of Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld and Dawson, filed the reports May 30.

He submitted them in opposition to a motion of Wells Fargo bank for summary judgment in a suit over bond issues for nursing homes.

Stack has set a hearing on summary judgment June 11.

Threlkeld filed a motion the day before he filed the reports, warning of their bulk and declaring he wouldn't attach them to motions and briefs but would simply refer to them.

Next day, without waiting for Stack to grant the motion, he filed a class certification brief with references to the reports rather than attachments.

He provided no page numbers or other clues, so Stack and defense counsel must scour 2,796 pages and guess which passages support which arguments.

He promised "detailed factual analysis of each defendant's actions with respect to the Ponzi scheme 'hatched' and operated out of Illinois," but did not explain how to find it.

He had not previously described the case as a Ponzi scheme. But, 10 times in 13 pages he called the bond issues a Ponzi scheme.

He traced the method to Charles Ponzi of Boston and defined it as "a type of fraud which requires an ever increasing stream of investors in order to fund obligations to the earlier investors, with a resulting pyramiding of the liability of the enterprise."

Plaintiffs Al Kellerman, Lillard Hedden and William Tennison claim they purchased virtually worthless bonds behind nursing homes in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Malachi Corporation, a Chicago nonprofit group, issued the bonds.

In 2001, plaintiffs sued Malachi Corporation, individual board members, broker Marion Bass Securities, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third banks, law firms, underwriters, accountants and others connected to the bond issues.

Local lawyers filed the suit in association with Motley Rice, class action giants from South Carolina.

Plaintiffs seek to pursue a class action on behalf of 695 bondholders.

Threlkeld wrote that Illinois law would govern all their claims.

He wrote that "many of the class members are elderly, in poor health, and are unable to pursue this litigation."

Two plaintiffs withdrew due to declining health, he wrote.

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Wells Fargo
402 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

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