Kuehn hired by funeral home in dispute with former manager

Amelia Flood Mar. 1, 2010, 7:46am


The owners of a funeral home company embroiled in a series of disputes with their former manager have a new attorney.

Defendants and counter plaintiffs Robert and Judith Herr also oppose a Jan. 26 move filed by their former manager, Barry Wilson, seeking summary judgment on the first count of his breach of contract suit against them.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien, acting for presiding judge, Michael O'Malley, signed an order Feb. 2, allowing the Herrs to substitute Belleville attorney Clyde Kuehn for Edwardsville attorneys, Christopher Byron and Brian Kalb.

The Herrs were also allowed to file their second amended complaint against Wilson and other matters.

Wilson alleges in his suit that he was wrongfully terminated from his job as manager of the Herr Funeral Homes.

He seeks damages in excess of $50,000, attorney's fees and the lifting of a non-compete clause that prohibits him from finding similar employment in the same county as the Herrs' business.

The Herrs filed a countersuit against Wilson alleging that he misused company credit cards to buy personal items like beer and a yoga set.

Wilson filed his request for summary judgment on the first count of his suit in late January. His motion contends that there has been no dispute about his termination with warning or cause. He argues that he should be entitled to summary judgment on that count.

The Herrs filed their opposition to the move Feb. 17.

In their motion, the Herrs argue that summary judgment is not an option because Wilson was not terminated without cause.

They contend that their contract with Wilson stipulated he could be fired without written warning if he were to found to be neglecting his duties.

In the motion, the Herrs allege that during continuing employment negotiations with Wilson in December 2008, Robert Herr discovered problems with the company's books. Those finances had been under Wilson's control.

After the two failed to reach an agreement about Wilson's purchase of company stock and due to the situation with the books, the company fired Wilson.

The Herrs allege they were within their rights due to the financial questions and that Wilson is not entitled to summary judgment as a result.

Wilson is represented by Jill Rembusch.

The Herrs are represented by Kuehn.

The case is St. Clair case number 09-L-345.

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