Schedule set in case over Granite City Kraft Foods wages

Amelia Flood Jul. 6, 2011, 7:54am

The course is laid out for a proposed class action brought over allegedly unpaid wages at a Granite City Kraft Foods Global Inc. plant.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis entered an agreed-upon case management order in the suit filed by lead plaintiff Joan Jones.

The order lays out the players in the suit, their attorneys, and the schedule of discovery leading up to the suit's Oct. 1, 2012, trial.

Jones claims that Kraft violated the Illinois Minimum Wage Act and Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act by failing to pay wages to employees at its Granite City plant for time they spent putting on protective gear and completing other tasks.

The proposed class totals about 500 workers at the plant.

Kraft denies the plaintiff's claims.

The company is seeking to have the suit dismissed.

Callis has not yet ruled on the motion to dismiss nor has she certified the class to date.

The suit was filed earlier this year.

According to the July 1 order, discovery has yet to get underway in the suit.

The discovery related to liability and class certification is be finished Oct. 1.

Further discovery related to experts on the matter of class certification is due Dec. 15 and discovery related to damages will be finished June 15, 2012.

The plaintiff is to file her motion for class certification by Jan. 1, 2012.

The parties will then spend the remaining months leading to a Sept. 2, 2012, pre-trial completing matters related to expert witnesses, exhibit lists and other trial matters.

The parties estimate the suit's trial, if it takes place, will take about nine days.

The sides have not discussed a possible settlement of the action to date.

Joseph Phebus, Ryan Bradley, and William Graham Jr. of Urbana currently represent the plaintiff and proposed class. Douglas Phebus of Middleton, Wisc., was granted pro hac vice standing to act with the plaintiff's team in the suit last month.

Daniel Kaplan of Madison, Wisc., and Jonathan Garlough of Chicago represent the defendant. The order indicates Kaplan will be the lead trial attorney in the case for Kraft.

The case is Madison case number 11-L-82.

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