Cottrell claims co-defendant fraudulently included in suit

By Steve Gonzalez | Oct 6, 2005

Cottrell Inc. removed a personal injury complaint seeking $1 million in damages to federal court asserting that co-defendant Cassens was fraudulently included in the lawsuit.

In the recent removal notice, Dan Ball of Bryan Cave--representing Cottrell--claims Cassens never owned, designed, leased, tested or manufactured the alleged faulty rig in question, therefore Cassens should not be included.

"Because there was fraud in the pleading of jurisdictional facts with regard to the defendants, Plaintiffs cannot and have not stated a cause of action against them under Illinois law, therefore the claims against the Cassens defendants should have never been brought and they should be dismissed immediately," Ball wrote in his removal notice.

The case involves truck driver Larry Sandage and his wife, Sheila, who filed a 19-count lawsuit on Nov. 19 in Madison County against Cottrell Inc., Lisa Shashek, Cassens & Sons Inc., Cassens Corporation, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, and other "unknown" defendants.

While attempting to perform his normal work activities in the intended fashion, Sandage claims he sustained severe and permanent injuries to his neck and right shoulder. Sandage also claims he suffered repetitive trauma while exerting required and foreseeable force and pressure on the ratchet system.

His disfiguring injuries are permanent in nature, Sandage claims, and as a result he suffered and will continue to suffer pain and mental anguish.

He also claims that he has been required to spend large sums of money in order to obtain medical treatment for his injuries and will be required to expend large sums of money in order to obtain medical treatment in the future.

In addition to "large sums of money" to pay for medical treatment, Sandage claims his condition "is such that he may be forced to expend money for vocational rehab or convalescent care," according to the complaint.

The couple is represented by Charles Armbruster III of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River.

U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan has been assigned the case.

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