Ark. judge puts class action ruling on backburner while mulling murder case

Michelle Keahey Oct. 4, 2012, 11:52am


TEXARKANA, Ark. (Legal Newsline) - Miller County, Ark., Circuit Court Judge Kirk Johnson said Thursday it could take him a couple of weeks to form his opinion on the defendant's motion to stay a class action pending in his court.

Plaintiff Greg Knowles filed the class action in April 2011 against Standard Fire Insurance claiming that the company failed to pay general contractors' overhead and profit charges on some to some of its insureds.

The case was recently granted Certiorari before the Supreme Court over whether the plaintiff can keep the case out of federal court by stipulating, on behalf of class members, that they will not seek more than $5 million in total damages.

At the hearing, Little Rock attorney Lyn Pruitt, on behalf of defendant Standard Fire Insurance, argued that a motion to stay the case should be granted "out of respect to our highest Court."

Attorneys for the plaintiff argued that bringing the case to a halt would not serve the public interest of the citizens of Arkansas.

At the end of arguments, Johnson told the parties that he has a capital murder case which will take precedence over any ruling in the class action.

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