Donald Flack of Korein Tillery
Huck's was named in seven recent lawsuits filed in Madison County by smokers and victims of lung cancer. This Huck's store is located on Pontoon Road in Pontoon Beach.
Attorney Donald Flack of the Belleville firm Korein Tillery filed seven lawsuits in Madison County Circuit Court against Martin & Bayley Inc., the parent company of Huck's convenient stores. The suits claim the retailer unfairly and deceptively schemed to get customers to buy "light" cigarettes.The first suit filed by Michael Kelly of Florida alleges that Huck's violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act. He claims his father, Everett Kelly of Granite City, died from lung cancer on June 4, 2003. Kelly smoked 20-30 Marlboro Lights cigarettes for nearly 30 years.
Stephen Tillery, namesake of Korein Tillery, and three attorneys from SimmonsCooper are listed as co-counsel.
Korein Tillery has more than 10 suits pending in Madison County against Huck's. In most of those cases, Phillip Morris is also listed as a defendant. However, these cases only list Huck's, even though every complaint involves the sale of Philip Morris cigarettes.
The suits allege that Huck's placed cigarettes into the stream of commerce, and "engaged in misrepresentations, unlawful schemes and conduct that induced the plaintiffs' to purchase cigarettes through unfair and deceptive acts."
Huck's is accused of representing that Marlboro and Salem Lights cigarettes are "lights," which implies that they are lower in tar and nicotine. It is also alleged that each milligram of tar from Marlboro and Salem Lights actually increases the mutagenicity of the tar delivered to the consumer and increases the levels of most harmful toxins.
The complaints state that the plaintiffs would not have chosen "light" cigarettes had Huck's been truthful in its advertising.
As a direct and proximate result of Huck's unfair acts, plaintiffs claim they did not receive "light" cigarettes when they purchased Marlboro and Salem Light cigarettes.
Kelly and his mother are seeking damages in their 15-count suit under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act (ICFA), wrongful death, negligence, and family expense. The case (05 L 123 has been to Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.
Another suit filed by Charmaine Beard claims she smoked approximately 30 Salem Lights cigarettes for nearly 27 years. As a result, she suffers from lung cancer. It has cost her medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and a loss of life expectancy.
The five-count suit (05 L 124) seeks damages for violations of the ICFA, negligence, and product liability. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.
Lafy Wilkerson of Monroe County, as executor of the estate of his wife, Amy Wilkerson of Monroe County, claims his wife died of lung cancer on March 24, 2004. Wilkerson is seeking damages in his 15-count suit(05 L 125) filed under the ICFA, wrongful death, negligence, and family expense. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis in Granite City.
A fourth suit(05 L 126) filed by Debra LaTempt of Collinsville--who smoked 30 Marlboro Lights a day for 28 year--is seeking damages for violations of the ICFA, negligence and product liability. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge George Moran Jr.
Lawrence Lucas of Collinsville--who smoked 40 Marlboro Lights cigarettes a day for 22 years--is seeking damages for violations of the ICFA, negligence and product liability. The case (05 L 127) has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.
A suit (05 L 128 filed by Tom and Martnelle Maulding of Collinsville are seeking damages for Tom's lung cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease after smoking nearly 40 Marlboro Lights cigarettes a day for 27 years.
The five-count suit (05 L 128) seeks damages for violations of the ICFA, negligence, and product liability and loss of consortium. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.
The final case (05 L 129) was filed by Herb Ousley, husband of Shermalee Ousley who died of lung cancer on Nov. 14, 2004. She smoked 30 Marlboro Lights cigarettes for almost 25 years.
Ousley's nine-count suit is seeking damages for wrongful death, violations of the ICFA, product liability and expenses related to funeral expenses. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian.
Based in Carmi Ill, Martin & Bayley's operates 150 Huck's Food & Fuel stores in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky.