St. Croix County Civil Court – 10-15-2014

St. Croix County Civil Court – 10-15-2014

[emember_protected] Robert and Theresa Widiker, Hudson, filed suit against Kemper Independence Insurance Company, Madison.

According to the complaint, at about 7:45 a.m. on April 19, 2013, Robert Widiker, who was working as a St. Croix County sheriff’s deputy, was occupying a legally parked 2007 Chrysler Pacifica owned by the Sheriff’s Department when a motor vehicle collision occurred.

The suit says Jessica L. Peterson of Hammond, who was driving another vehicle, caused the accident. According to online court records, she was later found guilty of not keeping her car’s windows reasonably clean and fined $190.

According to the civil complaint, Widiker sustained a concussion and injuries to his spinal column and left shoulder.

The complaint says Peterson had no insurance, and the Sheriff’s Department did not provide any uninsured motorist coverage.

Widiker is making claim under the uninsured-motorist provisions of his personal policy with Kemper Independence and is asking for $750,000 in damages. His wife is asking for $50,000.


In a decision filed Sept. 24, Judge Edward Vlack affirmed a decision by the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission that the Holmen School District did not discriminate against Randal V. Stanke, Hudson, when it failed to interview him for three school principal positions.

Judge Vlack agreed with the LIRC “that the record contains sufficient evidence to conclude that (the Holmen School District) was not concerned with Mr. Stanke’s creed either real or perceived.” The judge deferred to the LIRC’s expertise and affirmed its decision.

According to background in the decision, Stanke — who has 23 years of experience as a teacher, assistant principal and elementary principal — applied for principal jobs in the Holmen district. One of the posted qualifications was five years of public education experience in teaching and/or administration, and all of Stanke’s experience was in private religious schools.

He was not called for an interview, but both sides agreed that, except for the lack of public school experience, he qualified for the positions.

In May 2010 Stanke filed a complaint with the Equal Rights Division of the Department of Workforce Development, alleging discrimination based on creed and age.

An Equal Rights officer found there was no probable cause to believe the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act was violated. Stanke appealed.

Following a hearing, an administrative law judge also found no probable cause that Holmen violated the act or that requiring five years of public education experience constituted discrimination.

In February 2014 the Labor and Industry Review Commission agreed and adopted the administrative law judge’s findings and conclusions as its own. Stanke asked the county court to review the decision.

Before submitting applications for any of the positions, Stanke emailed the district, mentioning his over 20 years of experience and asking if public education experience was required.

He received a reply suggesting that he apply and saying that his experience might be reviewed if no one with the public education experience applied.

When he wasn’t interviewed for any of the jobs, Stanke wrote to the district, raising his concern that he wasn’t considered because of his creed or religion.

The district administrator replied that the district had received about 80 applications for one job, 90 for another and 60 for the third. Twelve applicants were interviewed. Each, and undoubtedly a number of others, met the qualifications listed in the job posting, according to the decision.

Vlack wrote that Stanke’s religious school experience was not the issue, but his lack of experience in public schools meant he didn’t meet one of the prerequisites for the jobs.


A case filed first in Small Claims Court was moved into Civil Court because the disputed value now exceeds $10,000.

Asking for return of property, Theodor John Beyer, Hudson, filed a small claims case against Jay Penfield and Trever Sire, both of Hudson.

Beyer claimed the items Penfield and Sire should return to him include numerous manuals, class handouts, an air monitor, chemical and demonstration materials valued at $1,000, a rock tumbler, Indian artifacts, a mini-bike, KBG Inc. invoice books, a shotgun, a boat motor, bee hives, a rocking chair, a pop-up tent, an aquarium and bookshelves.

In reply to that first claim, Penfield and Sire said the property allegedly held would have been retained by Ex Environmental Inc. and not by them. They said Beyer was a former employee of Ex Environmental and when he stared work, the company began paying his phone bill with the understanding that that phone number would be the main contact for the company. They also said that when he was fired, Beyer took numerous items belonging to the company, and although they tried many times to arrange an exchange, he refused to return company property and they kept his things as assurance they would receive their property from him.

Penfield and Sire claimed the value of the property Beyer took exceeded $8,000 and included an iPhone, an air monitor, a radio, class materials, a full-face respirator and associated equipment, a truck topper and a trailer hitch.

They also said that while employed by Ex Environmental, Beyer began using company materials to perform identical work for which he was hired, billed for his services and wrongfully obtained and kept over $20,000.

In reply to their counterclaim, Beyer said Penfield and Sire unjustly used his phone number and contacts to enrich themselves, they have impeded the exchange of property, they failed to fairly compensate him, and when he tried to return most of their items to their attorney, the lawyer refused to give a receipt. Beyer claimed Ex Environmental accounts receivable were in excess of $548,000 for 2013 and more than $200,000 in 2014 for which Sire and Penfield refused to fairly compensate him and instead fired him in June.


Edith Faye Campbell, Minneapolis, filed suit against Universal Hospitalities LLC, dba Agave Kitchen, Hudson, and Owners Insurance Company.

According to the complaint, at about 6 p.m. Oct. 1, 2011, Campbell was a patron at the restaurant. As she attempted to sit down on a high-top chair, she placed her hand under the metal seat, which unbeknownst to her, was detached from the frame of the chair. As she put her weight on the seat, her left index finger was crushed between the seat and the frame, says the complaint.

The suit alleges Universal Hospitalities was “negligent in failing to inspect, maintain and repair the premises with regard to the chair in which (Campbell) attempted to sit and other negligent acts.”

The suit says the restaurant breached the duty it owes to its patrons under the Wisconsin Safe Place Statute.


Steven L. and Maria J.G. Lindblom, Hudson, filed suit against Donald E. and Anne M. Moe, Spring, Texas, and Glen Johnson Construction Inc., Hudson.

According to the complaint, the Lindbloms bought the house on Topaz Lane from the Moes. The house was built by Glen Johnson Construction.

The Lindbloms claim the Moes “failed to disclose all defects and adverse conditions relating to the home.”

The complaint says that on the Real Estate Condition Report, the Moes indicated, among other things, that they were unaware of defects with the roof; defects with the basement or foundation, including cracks, seepage and bulges; the presence of basement leaks that would initiate the growth of unsafe levels of mold; or defects of the structure of the property.

The Lindbloms, who paid $292,000 for the house, say that shortly after they bought it, they experienced “significant water intrusion in the basement.”

The suit alleges unjust enrichment, misrepresentation, negligence and breach of disclosure against the Moes. The suit also alleges the builder was negligent for failing to grade the yard in compliance with building code and that failure contributed to the water-intrusion problem in the basement.

The Moes are asking for actual and consequential damages and for treble damages allowed under state law.


At the request of the boy’s attorney, Judge Howard Cameron appointed lawyer Julie Weber guardian ad litem to represent the interests of Carter Sorenson, Baldwin.

According to information in the court file, the boy was injured in an automobile accident, but no lawsuit has been filed yet. The file doesn’t say where or when the accident occurred.


David Olson, Woodville, filed suit against Olson’s Woodville Meats Inc., Woodville, Kevin Olson, Spring Valley, and Cory Olson, Spring Valley.

David Olson is asking the court to order Olson’s Woodville Meats and Kevin and Cory Olson to immediately surrender their ownership rights to all assets of the company and the two men to surrender their shares in Woodville Meats to David Olson.

According to the complaint, the First Bank of Baldwin had previously filed suit against the company and the Olsons in 2012. On Aug. 1, 2012, the parties entered into a forbearance agreement, setting forth obligations with which David, Woodville Meats, Kevin, Cory and the bank were required to comply. Then that lawsuit was dismissed.

The new suit says Olson’s Meats and Kevin and Cory Olson have failed to make payments on the bank loan and have not provided monthly financial statements to David.

The complaint says the forbearance agreement stated that if the meat company and Cory and Kevin failed to meet any of their obligations, they will transfer ownership and all rights to assets, equipment and stock of the company.


TCF National Bank, Minneapolis, filed suit against Eric Sylte, Somerset.

According to the complaint, Sylte borrowed money, defaulted by failing to make timely payments and now owes $43,587.


Lisa Bills, Hudson, filed suit against Ford Motor Company, Madison.

According to the complaint, on July 3, 2012, Bills bought a 2012 Ford Focus from Hudson Ford, paying $25,488.

The lawsuit says that shortly after buying the car, Bills realized the transmission was defective “as evidenced by grinding noise, shuddering and jerking on acceleration and loud noise when shifting.”

Bills says she took the Focus to an authorized service dealer numerous times, and it was repaired multiple times for the same defect, but the defect remains uncorrected.

She says she has lost confidence in the car’s safety and reliability and believes the written warranty was breached.

Bills is asking for loss in value of the vehicle, incurred or needed costs of repair and all incidental and consequential damages.


Jeffrey J. Egan, New Richmond, filed suit against Johnson Motor Sales, New Richmond, and Harco National Insurance Company, Madison.

According to the complaint, on Feb. 3 Egan was injured as a result of a fall at Johnson Motor Sales. He claims the company or its employees were negligent and were in violation of the Wisconsin Safe Place Statute.


River Falls Healthcare LLC dba Kinnic Health & Rehab, River Falls, filed suit against Carolyn Hengst, Chetek, and Laurie Hengst, River Falls.

Carolyn Hengst was James Hengst’s wife. According to the complaint, Laurie Hengst was his adult daughter and was appointed his guardian and guardian of his estate.

The suit says the daughter hired Kinnic to provide health care, personal care and residential services to her father from Nov. 11, 2013, until he died on July 27.

The suit says Laurie Hengst signed an admission agreement when her father was accepted into the home, but although it’s believed he had sufficient income and assets to pay for services, bills were not paid.

The suit says regular statements were sent to Laurie Hengst and she has not objected to the accuracy of the statements, but she has not paid the $36,962 owed.


Ronald J. Germain, Deer Park, was ordered to pay $19,884 to LVNV Funding I Inc., Plymouth, Minn. The case involves a charge account issued by Beneficial Finance I.


A jury trial set for Sept. 26 was cancelled after Michael L. Bucher, 37, Baldwin, pleaded no contest and was found guilty of operating while under the influence.

Bucher had appealed his earlier conviction in Hammond Municipal Court. The charge is the result of a Nov. 17, 2012, traffic stop in Hammond.

The county judge ordered Bucher to pay a fine of $731 plus $118 for a blood draw, and his license was revoked for six months.

Case settled

The judge was notified that an out-of-court settlement has been reached, and a Sept. 23 hearing was cancelled in a personal injury case brought by Melissa A. and Scott Smith, Glenwood City, against Judith G. and Kamrowski, Baldwin,  State Farm Fire & Casualty Company and Austin Mutual Insurance Company.

The case involved an automobile accident that occurred Nov. 17, 2009, in St. Croix County.

Foreclosure sales

Judge Eric Lundell confirmed the sale of property in a foreclosure action brought by JPMorgan Chase Bank against Heather K. and David A. Hicks.

The property – located at 230 N. Arch Ave., New Richmond – was sold to the bank for $123,250. The amount owed when the foreclosure judgment was signed in February was $157,132.


Judge Howard Cameron confirmed the sale of property in a foreclosure action brought by Wells Fargo Bank against Lloyd R., Nellie M. and Richard L. Anderson.

The property – located at 123 Maple St., Glenwood City – was sold to North South LLC for $15,784. The amount owed when the foreclosure judgment was signed in January was $58,793.

Foreclosure judgment

Foreclosure was granted in a case filed by Bank of America against Derek D. and Rebecca M. Soderstrom, Roberts.

According to the judgment, the Soderstroms owe $219,302; 6-month redemption period.

Foreclosure filing

JPMorgan Chase Bank against Marc and Heidi Cherry, Somerset. According to the complaint, the Cherrys owe $209,053. [/emember_protected]