Safety expert, sales person removes Cottrell case to federal court

Christina Stueve Hodges Oct. 22, 2012, 6:54am

A lawsuit filed by car hauler designer Cottrell that claims a safety expert and sales person used inside information against the company has been removed to federal court.

Cottrell sued J. Nigel Ellis, Dynamic Scientific Controls, Ellis Ladder Improvements and Ellis Litigation Services Aug. 28 in Madison County.

J. Nigel Ellis, Dynamic Scientific Controls, Inc., Ellis Ladder Improvements, and Ellis Litigation Support, filed Oct. 12 to remove the lawsuit to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

According to the notice to remove the case to federal court, the plaintiff is a Georgia corporation. Ellis is a citizen of Delaware.

Dynamic Scientific Controls and Ellis Ladder Improvements are both Delaware corporations, Defendant Ellis Litigation Support is the fictitious name under which Defendant Scientific Controls has done business.

Based on the allegations in the complaint, the lawsuit exceeds $1 million.

In the complaint, Cottrell allegedly talked with Ellis, who was selling a fall safety design, his companies, Dynamic Scientific Controls and Ellis Ladder Improvements, developed.

Before agreeing to discussions, Cottrell inquired if Ellis worked with attorneys and told him it would stop communicating if he was, according to the complaint. Trusting Ellis when he denied working with attorneys, Cottrell continued discussions, the suit states.

Unknown to Cottrell, Ellis was talking to Brian Wendler, an attorney who filed lawsuits against Cottrell, according to the complaint.

Wendler employed Ellis as a witness in lawsuits against Cottrell, the suit claims.

In its complaint, Cottrell alleged fraudulent misrepresentation, violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, fraud and civil conspiracy against the defense.

Christopher W. Byron and Christopher J. Petri of Byron, Carlson, Petri and Kalb in Edwardsville will represent the plaintiff.

Jeffrey Muskopf of St. Louis represents the defense.

The case was assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1373.

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