Defendants in a lawsuit alleging a construction company wrongfully lost ownership interest in another corporation after a loan dispute are asking to transfer the case to Cook County.
Plocher Construction Company claims it invested $200,000 into National Trail Biodiesel, which was started by a group of farmers in and around Newton, Ill., who wanted to construct a biodiesel plant. Plocher then invested another $20,000 into the plant in May 2010, according to the March 21 lawsuit.
Plocher also claims it built a new pole barn in Newton and performed plumbing work for National Trail Biodiesel for a total of $310,000.
Then in May 2010, BN National purchased the National Trail Biodiesel Group and promised Plocher it would repay it for its investments and construction work through 785,000 shares of BN National membership interest, which meant Plocher owned 7.634 percent of the company, the complaint states.
Plocher acted as a member and did not demand the $530,000 it claims it was owed for its investment and work; however, it did seek repayment of a $647,000 promissory note issued by BN National, according to the complaint. BN National agreed to repay the note in $50,000 installments and guaranteed repayment, the complaint states.
Then in March 2012, Plocher allegedly found out its membership interest in BN National had been diluted to 1 percent.
“Upon information and belief, the Board of Managers unilaterally removed or diluted Plocher’s membership interest in BN National as a result of the dispute over the promissory note, a dispute wholly separate from the contract and capital contribution Plocher made to BN National which resulted in the membership interest being issued,” the suit states.
In its complaint, Plocher says BN National refuses to reinstate the construction company’s previous interest.
The defendants in the case wish to have the case transferred to Cook County because that is where the corporate office is located.
Plocher wants to keep at least Counts I-VI in Madison County because the plaintiff resides here.
“When contractual documents are signed in two counties, jurisdiction and venue are appropriate in either county,” Plocher’s response filed on July 9 states.
However, the defendants state in their reply that the entire case should be transferred because the whole thing stems from the same transaction.
“The ‘transaction’ that gives rise to Counts I-VI, Defendants’ alleged wrongful ‘taking’ of Plaintiff’s units in BN National, occurred in Cook County,” the defendants’ reply filed on Aug. 20 states.
Plocher seeks a judgment of more than $1,579,254.14 and damages of more than $50,000. It is also asking the court to order BN National to provide all members with audited and unaudited financial statements and to make corporate record books available to all members. It wants the court to issue a permanent injunction that would make it impossible for BN National to sell or dispose of Plocher’s member interest in BN National.
Anthony Quinoners, Marc Malterer, Joe Jansen, Gary Michl, Franchee Harmon (who is recently deceased), Kami Jewart, Blue Northern Energy and Blue Northern NY Holdings are also named defendants.
Christopher W. Byron and Brian R. Kalb of Byron, Carlson, Petri and Kalb in Edwardsville are representing the plaintiff.
David M. Rownd and James L. Oakley of Thompson Coburn LLP in Chicago; and Juanita Rodriguez of Blue Northern NT Holdings, LLC in Chicago are representing the defendants.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-471