A lawsuit filed by a man who claims his wife of more than 20 years left him for days in a bathtub without food or water and then allegedly stole his retirement savings is headed to mediation in January.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge ordered plaintiff Thomas Dodd, his wife, Carol Dodd, the Granite City Steel Federal Credit Union and Ameren Services Company to mediation in an order signed Dec. 16.

Thomas Dodd is seeking more than $180,000 from Carol Dodd and additional damages from the other defendants.

The credit union and Ameren have counter claims pending against Carol Dodd.

The Dodds of Granite City are in the process of divorcing.

Thomas Dodd filed suit in 2008 alleging that after a fall in the bathtub, his wife left him for days without help, food or water.

The plaintiff then claims that his wife forged his signature to empty his retirement accounts of the over $180,000.

Ameren was in charge of those accounts.

The suit then contends that Carol Dodd again forged her husband's signature to open two accounts with the money at the Granite City credit union in her name and that of her sister.

Thomas Dodd contends that Ameren and the credit union should have caught the forgeries and stopped his wife's theft.

Carol Dodd and the other defendants deny the claims.

The retirement money is currently frozen in an account at the Bank of Edwardsville pending the outcome of the couple's divorce.

In his order, Mudge called a hearing on the credit union's motion to take the suit to mediation.

The judge set the case for mediation with Mike Constance Jan. 7, 2011 at 9 a.m. The mediation will take place at the office of Ameren's attorney Gary Meadows.

In the order, Mudge writes that Carol Dodd must attend in person although she had asked to attend the conference by phone.

"The Court deems Carol Dodd's in person presence at any such conference to be absolutely essential and her attendance is therefore not excused and she is required to appear in person," the order reads.

The order goes on to state that if the matter is not settled at the mediation, the credit union shall then produce representatives for deposition within three weeks of Jan. 7.

Thomas Burkart represents Thomas Dodd.

Alexander Wilson represents Carol Dodd.

James Craney represents the credit union.

Meadows represents Ameren.

The case was previously assigned to both Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder and then to former Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-606.

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