Herndon remands Cottrell, Cassens personal injury suit to Madison County

Steve Korris May 8, 2009, 4:12am


EAST ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge David Herndon has remanded to Madison County a personal injury suit that John Sheffer of Tennessee filed against Georgia trailer maker Cottrell Inc. and three businesses of the Cassens family in Edwardsville.

In an April 30 order Herndon rejected Cottrell's claim that Sheffer fraudulently joined Cassens & Sons as a defendant in order to defeat federal jurisdiction.

Herndon wrote that "the record does not support Cottrell's contention that there is no possibility that Sheffer could ever recover against Cassens & Sons."

That made it unnecessary to determine whether Sheffer fraudulently joined the other family businesses, Cassens Corporation and Marysville Releasing.

Sheffer worked as a mechanic for another family business, Cassens Transport, in Smyrna, Tenn.

Brian Wendler and Thomas Maag filed suit for him in November.

They alleged that in 2007 he injured his head, neck and shoulders while trying to release a wheel from a Cottrell rig.

Along with Cottrell and Cassens family businesses, Sheffer seeks damages from truck maker Navistar and wheel maker Fontaine Fifth Wheel.

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