Whirlpool wants to change venue

Seeks to move a class-action lawsuit from Sandusky County Court in to a federal court in Toledo.
Tom Jackson
May 10, 2013

Whirlpool Corp. seeks to move a class-action lawsuit from a county court in Fremont to a federal court in Toledo.

A Fremont law firm filed the suit March 28 on behalf of Tim Lagrou and others who claim a group of patients became sick with cancer because someone dumped toxic substances at the former Whirlpool Park in Green Springs. 

The lawsuit was assigned to Sandusky County Common Pleas Court Judge John Dewey.

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In a court filing, however, Whirlpool argues the federal court in Toledo is the proper place to handle the case. The law firm that filed the original suit is fighting the move and wants to keep the case in Fremont.

Whirlpool spokeswoman Kristine Vernier said the company is invoking a federal law, the Class Action Fairness Act.

“This act was passed by Congress so that cases like this would be managed in the federal courts,” she said.

Whirlpool’s attorneys said the fairness act applies to class-action cases involving a supposed class of more than 100 members and diverse parties. The company is headquartered in Michigan, the filing notes. 

The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $5 million, which would meet another requirement of the fairness act, according to Whirlpool’s court filings. 

The Albrechta & Coble law firm in Fremont filed the original lawsuit. Attorney Joe Albrechta said his firm is preparing to file a response explaining why the case should stay in Fremont.

“It’s a matter of state injury. It’s a matter involving individuals in the state of Ohio. It is a particularly local matter, confined to a very small geographic area,” Albrechta said.

The docket in federal court lists seven Whirlpool attorneys from law firms in Cleveland, Denver and Charleston, S.C., Albrechta said. 

He hinted that he’ll soon be bringing in additional attorneys to help his small law firm.

“Stay tuned,” he said.

Comments

grandmasgirl

While I am so sorry that cancer has taken so many children in the Clyde area, I still can't figure out why they insist on blaming Whirlpool. I took my children to Whirlpool park for many years. No one in my family has cancer (that we know of). Cancer is prevalent in this area, both children and adults. I hope they find the reason for the high rate of cancer in this area. If it turns out to be Whirlpool, so be it, but let's not jump the gun.

OMGreally

you must have missed the article about whirlpool park...and by saying your family is fine, doesnt make the park safe...just means you may have gotten lucky

The Big Dog's back

It's really a shame that people have the mentality that if it's not happening to them, it must not be true.

gene44870

From the looks of things in Fremont , they just might be wise to move to the federal level and not Sandusky County . I mean comeon just look at the way the murder case in sandusky county has been investigated and the end is no where in sight .
I know myself I wouldnt trust something as this case to have a fair shake in Fremont or Sandusky County Common Pleas Court

luvblues2

There is NO MURDER case in Fremont. How many times do you need to be told? It's a homicide case. LOOK IT UP.

rjk1915

There may be no case at all . Someplace always has to be the worst, without discernable cause, as any statistician can tell you. The defense will probably be based on that.

Kmf1984

If there is a connection, wasn't it legal to dump while they were doing it? Did they build the park overtop knowing leaving it there would be harmful? It is VERY unfortunate what has happened, but if was no intentional harm done (by that I mean dumping illegally, and knowingly leaving toxins on the site in a fashion that can be harmful) I don't see how they are to blame. In the world we live in now, these things are inevitable. I dont mean to sound cold and heartless but I don't think anyone meant for this to happen