Ruth set to hold additional case management conference in '04 Liberty Mutual PPO class action; summary judgment moves still pending

Amelia Flood Jul. 11, 2011, 12:01pm


An additional case management conference is set in a 2004 class action over allegedly improper Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) discounts taken by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Companies.

Dueling summary judgment moves are also still pending in the case filed by lead plaintiff Thomas Kaltenbronn.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth set the suit for additional case management following a conference in late May.

The latest conference in the case is set for July 15 at 9 a.m.

There has been little action in the seven year-old suit since Ruth heard arguments from both Kaltenbronn and the Liberty Mutual defendants on the summary judgment moves at a hearing that lasted over 5 hours on Feb. 4.

Ruth has yet to enter his order on the summary judgment matter.

The most recent filing in the case came May 13 when Liberty Mutual sent Ruth a letter and a copy of a Fifth District Appellate Court decision in a separate case that it seeks to cite as an added authority in favor of its summary judgment move.

The suit is one of a series of PPO class actions filed in early part of the last decade by the then-legal partnership of the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River and the Chicago firm of Freed & Weiss.

The Lakin-Weiss team filed a series of the PPO suits in both Madison and St. Clair counties.

The partnership fell apart in 2007.

Robert Schmieder II is class counsel for the Kaltenbronn plaintiffs.

Thomas Keefe Jr. and Carol Rutter among others represent Liberty Mutual.

The case is Madison case number 04-L-1416.

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