Attorney Jeffrey Lowe of Clayton, Mo., allowed a generous deadline in a case with hundreds of millions of plaintiffs to slip away.

Lowe, pursuing a suit in Madison County over cords on window blinds, requested and received an extension of time to propose an order denying a motion to dismiss.

Circuit Judge David Hylla had asked Lowe and window blind companies for proposed orders at an Aug. 4 hearing on the motion.

He gave them 30 days, but it took Lowe 79 days to file a proposed order.

When it arrived, defense attorney Russell Scott of Belleville moved to strike it.

Scott called it a 29 page version of Lowe's memorandum against the motion.

"Plaintiffs should not be permitted to take advantage of the Court's request for a proposed order to argue their case once again," Scott wrote.

Lowe moved for an extension on Nov. 10, offering four excuses.

First, he wrote that he "incorrectly diaried the date."

Second, he wrote that he was "primarily responsible for 40 Zyprexa cases."

Third, he wrote that for two weeks in September he assisted in a trial in St. Louis County "which is a medical malpractice case involving a brain damaged child."

Fourth, he wrote that he worked half days for a month due to his wife's illness.

"As a result, plaintiffs' counsel was unable to put the proposed orders in final form," he wrote.

"If the court wishes, plaintiffs' counsel can shorten the proposed order," he wrote.

Lowe represents plaintiffs claiming they bought window blinds without knowing that cords on the blinds could strangle them.

He seeks damages equal to the difference between what customers paid and what they would have paid if they had known the hazard.

He has estimated his class in the hundreds of millions.

Scott represents 3-Day Blinds, Comfortex Corp., Hunter Douglas Window Coverings, Lewis Hyman Inc., Lotus and Windoware Inc., Richfield Window Coverings and Springs Window Fashions.

Lowe also seeks damages from All Strong Industry, Beautiful Window Enterprise, Dolgencorp Inc., Ikea USA, Marietta Drapery and Window Coverings OEM Shades and Royal Window Coverings.

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