Fifth District won't hear Liberty Mutual appeal

Steve Korris Oct. 2, 2008, 1:21pm



MOUNT VERNON – The Fifth District Appellate Court won't review a Madison County judge's decision to certify a Lakin Law Firm's class action against Liberty Mutual Insurance.

In a Sept. 10 order, Justices Bruce Stewart, James Wexstten and Stephen Spomer denied a petition from Liberty Mutual for leave to appeal Judge Barbara Crowder's decision.

The order offered no explanation. Simple denials never do.

Crowder, on June 30, certified chiropractor Thomas Kaltenbronn to represent a class of Illinois health care providers.

Providers belong to the class if they treated patients under Liberty Mutual workers compensation policies and the insurer discounted their bills before paying them.

Crowder set the class period from Jan. 1, 1997, to June 30, 2008. She also limited the class action to Illinois and further limited it to workers compensation.

Gail Renshaw of the Lakin firm and Timothy Campbell of Godfrey represented Kaltenbronn at the Fifth District.

Randal Mullendore of Husch Blackwell Sanders in St. Louis and Thomas Keefe Jr., of Belleville, represented Liberty Mutual.

Keefe, a top plaintiff lawyer, popped up on the defense roster a few days before Crowder certified the class action.

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