H&R Block class action settled as two individual claims

Steve Korris Nov. 23, 2010, 5:36am

EAST ST. LOUIS – LakinChapman lawyers settled two individual claims that remained after a giant class action against tax preparer H&R Block slipped away.

U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan announced settlement on Nov. 10, allowing 30 days to prepare final documents.

Lorie Marshall and Debra Ramirez, clients of the former Lakin Law Firm, sued H&R Block companies in 2001, in Madison County.

They claimed H&R Block sold unnecessary "peace of mind" coverage guaranteeing a defense against the Internal Revenue Service in case
of error.

Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn certified national plaintiff and defendant classes, but later decertified the defendant class and shrank the plaintiff class to 11 states.

H&R Block Tax Services, the only remaining defendant, removed the case to federal court as a new action for purposes of the national Class Action Fairness Act.

Reagan remanded the case to Madison County, but Seventh Circuit appeals judges in Chicago ordered him to preside over it.

Reagan scrapped Mendelsohn's order and denied class certification
this year.

Marshall and Ramirez declared they would proceed to trial as individuals, and H&R Block moved for summary judgment.

Reagan set trial, but it won't happen.

He canceled all settings and denied all pending motions as moot.

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