A class action lawsuit against a lending company alleges the company lent money to people and expected to be repaid out of proceeds from personal injury cases.

Lead plaintiff Timothy Rosenburg says he entered into a contract with R.L.J. Lending in July 2007 in which R.L.J. lent him $10,000.

According to the complaint filed July 1 in Madison County Circuit Court, R.L.J. required Rosenburg to assign a personal injury case he filed in Madison County Circuit Court to it. That way, the company could recoup the $10,000 it loaned to Rosenburg.

"In reliance upon the contract and assignment at issue in this case, Defendant RLJ is demanded from Plaintiff, $10,000.00, plus a 14% interest rate, payable from the proceeds of Plaintiff's personal injury action," the suit states.

But Rosenburg contends it is a violation of public policy and Illinois law to allow personal injury cases to be assigned to another party, and so his contract with R.L.J. should be considered void and unenforceable.

The same scenario has happened to many other people across Illinois, and the class includes anyone who recovered any money from a personal injury or workers' compensation action and was then forced to turn the money over to R.L.J., the complaint says.

In the three-count suit, the Rosenburg is asking the court to certify the case as a class action; declare that the class members do not owe R.L.J. any money by virtue of the contract; direct R.L.J. to disgorge any amounts actually paid by class members; declare the contract void; and enjoin R.L.J. from enforcing or collecting any money on the basis of the contract.

Rosenburg and the putative class are also seeking actual and treble damages of more than $50,000, plus additional damages allowed by law in excess of $50,000, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Thomas G. Maag and Peter J. Maag of Wendler Law in Edwardsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-688.

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