Hylla set for final settlement approval hearing in Booher '01 United Life Insurance class action

Amelia Flood Feb. 4, 2011, 1:45am


Barring any issues with added documentation of attorneys' fees and costs, Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla could put an end to a 10 year-old class action against United Life Insurance Company today.

Hylla is set to hear arguments for the final approval of the $160,000 settlement at 9:30 a.m.

Lead plaintiff Christopher Booher, a high school classmate of attorney Bradley Lakin, alleges he and other car buyers were gypped out of savings they could have negotiated on credit insurance sold by United Life.

The settlement grants about $19.50 in relief to individual class members.

Booher would take home $2,500.

His attorneys, including class counsel Robert Schmieder II, would take home about $64,000 in fees and costs.

United Life would not admit fault under the settlement.

The settlement is the result of mediation.

The suit is one of at least two that Booher has headed.

The case is one of a number of class actions filed by the partnership of the Lakin Law Firm – now LakinChapman LLC – and the Freed & Weiss firm of Chicago.

That partnership collapsed in 2007.

The Booher United Life action was originally certified as a national class.

It was trimmed down to an Illinois-centered action in 2006.

Hylla heard arguments for the settlements' approval last month but questioned Schmieder at length about the attorneys' fees.

The judge asked for more documentation of how many hours the class attorneys logged and what their costs were.

Schmieder told Hylla that the $64,000 is actually less than what his firm should have earned.

The plaintiffs submitted the extra documentation late last month.

Hylla has the settlement's approval currently under advisement.

James Garrison represents United Life.

Former Madison County Circuit Judges Phillip Kardis and Don Weber once oversaw the suit.

Kardis certified the national class that Weber trimmed down.

The case is Madison case number 01-L-1824.

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