Dead plaintiff to remain on case for at least a few more weeks

By Steve Korris | Aug 21, 2008

Brad Lakin

Judge Stack

Manuel Hernandez's ghost has led a Lakin Law Firm class action suit for four and a half years and will continue leading it for at least a few more weeks.

Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack has set a Nov. 5 hearing on a motion to substitute live plaintiffs for Hernandez.

In 2003, Stack certified Hernandez as representative of a class alleging that American Family Insurance improperly reduced payouts on medical bills from car crashes.

Hernandez died in 2004, but Lakin lawyers didn't tell Stack he died.

Stack continued to hold hearings and sign orders for Hernandez.

American Family Insurance announced his death almost two years after he died.

The Lakins tried to substitute his widow, Nora Hernandez, but Stack ruled that she couldn't represent the class because she didn't belong to it.

The Lakins now seek to certify Kruse and Manley Clinic of Chiropractic, East Washington Chiropractic, and Greenville Rehab and Pain Clinic as class representatives.

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