Richard Burke

A pair of class action suits over lawnmower horsepower remain in flux in St. Clair County as the judge in the newer suit pushed off a March 4 status conference to May.

Meanwhile, the lead plaintiff in the older suit is seeking to strike down a move that would consolidate his class action suit with one filed a year later by lead plaintiff Rhonda Lemay.

Proposed lead plaintiff Andrew Stone alleges that his suit is older and therefore, Lemay's suit should be lumped in with his.

Both Stone and Lemay propose to lead class against Sears Roebuck and other lawnmower makers and retailers, alleging that they were sold lawnmowers with intentionally mismarked horsepower.

Over 40 similar suits have been filed nationwide.

Lemay filed her suit in February 2009.

Stone filed his in 2008.

When Lemay filed her suit, she filed a motion to consolidate Stone's suit with hers.

In his Oct. 2, 2009 motion to strike that move, Stone contends that according to local rules, Lemay's case should be combined with his because his was filed first.

Both suits remain pending in St. Clair County.

The March 4 status conference was pushed off by order of St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley. Its new date is May 18 at 10 a.m.

It is the second time this year that a status conference in the Lemay case has been pushed back.

Paul Weiss, Richard Burke and others represent Stone.

Lemay is represented by JoDee Favre and others.

Sears is represented by Charles Swartwout and others.

The Lemay case is St. Clair case number 09-L-085.

The Stone case is St. Clair case number 08-L-556.

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