SPRINGFIELD – When a crash turned Alan Zuckerman's 1995 Dodge Caravan into a total loss it apparently turned him into a total loss as a class action plaintiff for the Lakin Law Firm.

Zuckerman represents a class of Chrysler owners in a Lakin suit over flaky paint, but according to DaimlerChrysler he no longer owns the Caravan.

Zuckerman admitted in written responses that the Caravan was totaled, Howard Feldman of Springfield wrote in an April brief.

DaimlerChrysler had served a deposition notice on Zuckerman but Tim Londrigan, local counsel for the Lakins, had moved to strike it.

At a hearing April 27, Sangamon County Circuit Judge Patrick Kelley denied the Lakin motion.

The docket does not show whether the deposition happened. As of July 12, Zuckerman remained on the plaintiff roster.

The Lakins lost two plaintiffs in the suit last December. One sold his vehicle and one suffered a stroke.

Three plaintiffs remain – Thomas Boxdorfer and Joanna Lane of Madison County and Deborah Franke of St. Clair County.

The Lakins originally sued DaimlerChrysler in Madison County, in 2000. They had filed a similar suit for other plaintiffs against Ford in 1999.

Both cases popped up from a new connection between the Lakins and the Chicago firm of Freed & Weiss.

Freed & Weiss had sued over flaky paint in courts around the nation.

In the DaimlerChrysler case, Circuit Judge Philip Kardis denied a defense motion for transfer to Sangamon County.

In 2003 the Fifth District appellate court reversed Kardis.

In 2004 Kardis sent the case to Sangamon County.

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