Family bank records sought by plaintiffs in Cassens personal injury suit

By Steve Korris | Jun 6, 2008



Now that attorneys Brian Wendler, Thomas Maag and Charles Armbruster have secured court orders delving deeply into automotive businesses of the Cassens family, they want to examine family bank accounts and 600,000 checks at the Bank of Edwardsville.

"The interrelationship of the various Cassens defendants is very much in issue in this action," Wendler wrote to Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla on April 22.

"The Bank of Edwardsville is known to be majority owned by the Cassens family members," Wendler wrote.

He told Hylla the bank won't have to sort through 600,000 checks because he, Maag and Armbruster will sort through the checks themselves.

Wendler claims they need the information for a personal injury suit they filed last year on behalf of Michael Mandeville.

In April the bank intervened in the suit and moved to quash a subpoena from Wendler seeking every check Cassens Transport has drawn on the bank since Jan. 1, 1999.

The bank estimated that the company draws 5,190 checks per month.

On May 23, Kay Cassens intervened and joined the motion to quash the subpoena.

Her attorney, Joseph Brown of Edwardsville, wrote that she has a constitutional right of privacy in her banking records.

"Petitioner is not a party to this action and has not placed her financial condition at issue," he wrote.

Hylla has set a hearing on Wendler's request June 19.

Wendler represents Teamster truckers who haul cars for Cassens Transport.

When they suffer injuries, they cannot sue Cassens Transport because their remedies lie in workers' compensation.

Instead, Wendler, Maag and Armbruster sue other Cassens businesses.

They also sue trailer maker Cottrell Inc., of Georgia.

They gather claims of all auto haulers in Madison County regardless of residence or place of injury. In this way they keep many cases active at all times and obtain a stream of discovery orders opening the books of the defendants.

Mandeville's complaint does not state where he lives or where his injury occurred. It states that he fell off a trailer.

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