LA SALLE - Lawyers suing State Farm for $8 billion plead that it took months to find prospective plaintiff Laurie Loger, and claim the difficulty in locating her merits an exception to a deadline that would prohibit her addition to the case.
However, an internet search of Loger almost instantly found Loger identified as manager of Eastside Shell convenience store in LaSalle this January, and other sources also placed her in LaSalle.
When reached by phone, she referred the call to a lawyer.
Attorney Patrick Pendley and his associates propose to substitute Loger for Carly Morse of Maryland.
Morse, Mark Hale of New York state, and Todd Shadle of Texas, sued State Farm in U.S. district court at East St. Louis in 2012.
They claim State Farm fraudulently secured the election of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier in 2004, in order to overturn a billion dollar judgment for a class of policy holders.
Morse, Hale, and Shadle, who all belonged to the class that lost the judgment, petitioned for triple damages and 15 years of interest.
In January, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams set a May deadline for amending their complaint.
In September, Hale and Shadle moved to withdraw Morse and add Loger.
State Farm objected, and called on Williams to honor the deadline.
On Oct. 1, on behalf of Hale and Shadle, Steven Blonder of Chicago wrote that plaintiffs diligently pursued the addition of Loger.
“At the outset of this litigation, plaintiffs’ counsel sought the participation of many named representatives, including Ms. Loger and other representatives from Illinois,” Blonder wrote.
"With their 13 year old contact information, however, plaintiffs’ counsel were unable to contact Ms. Loger despite their many attempts.
“Recently, after Ms. Morse expressed her desire to withdraw, plaintiffs’ counsel resumed their attempts to locate Ms. Loger.
"Even then, it took several more months of effort, and ultimately the participation of a private investigator, to find Ms. Loger.
“Finally, after receiving confirmation of her participation, plaintiffs moved swiftly, drafting and filing the instant motion within a single business day.
“This is a very significant lawsuit involving allegations, and now evidence, of extreme corporate misconduct and judicial manipulation at the highest level.”