Illinois Supreme Court orders review of Travelers class certification

By Steve Korris | Jul 16, 2009



MOUNT VERNON – Illinois Supreme Court Justices have ordered appeals judges in Mount Vernon to review Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack's certification of a LakinChapman class action against Travelers Casualty and Surety.

On May 28 the Supreme Court directed the Fifth District appellate court to vacate a Jan. 28 order denying an appeal from Travelers.

Fifth District judges complied, granting leave to appeal on July 6.

Last year Stack certified chiropractors Richard Coy and Frank Bemis to represent a class of Illinois health providers with workers compensation patients.

Coy and Bemis claim Travelers promised incentives to join a network of preferred providers but didn't keep the promises.

At the Supreme Court, Travelers lawyer Troy Bozarth of Edwardsville argued that Stack's order conflicted with the Court's 2005 decision in Avery v. State Farm.

The Avery decision wiped out a $1.2 billion judgment from Williamson County.

Bozarth argued that under Avery, Stack improperly interpreted different contracts as a single contract.

He argued that under Avery, Stack improperly allowed a consumer fraud claim without a showing of deception or damage.

The Supreme Court didn't decide the case but issued a supervisory order holding the Fifth District responsible for a decision.

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