Ruth to hear motions in settled 1999 Allstate class action case

Amelia Flood Dec. 17, 2009, 10:45am


Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth will hear motions in a 10-year old class action suit against Allstate Dec. 23 at 9 a.m.

The case involving lead plaintiff Dennis Strasen settled earlier this year. According to the case docket, the 1999 suit alleging Allstate made up disputes over reasonable medical claims, was dismissed with prejudice Nov. 25 pending final approval of the settlement.

The original suit was filed by former Wood River attorney Tom Lakin, who is currently serving a prison term on drug charges. Then the case went to his son, Brad Lakin of the renamed firm LakinChapman.

Allstate stood accused of fraud and breach of contract.

The case grew in complexity as numerous attorneys took part in it or filed similar suits.

Attorneys Jonathan Flaum, Michael Freed, Edward Joyce, and Arthur Aufmann and others also were added onto the suit's legal team before the settlement was reached.

Chicago attorneys Larry Drury, David Sullivan and Kirsten Knudsen had filed similar suits in Cook County in 1994 and 1995.

The case became a nationwide class action when then-presiding judge Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron certified it for all states but Massachusetts.

Two Cook County plaintiffs then moved to intervene in the Madison County case.

In 2003, those claims were consolidated with the Strasen case and three others' claims.

Several suits ensued when a Lakin partnership with Weiss fell apart prior to the case's settlement.

About $9 million in legal fees will be divided amongst the plaintiff's attorneys. Brad Lakin filed a motion on that issue Nov. 25.

Strasen and five other named plaintiffs will each receive about $12,000.

Allstate was represented by Troy Bozarth.

The case is Madison case number 99-L-1040.

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