Twinkie Offense - New City - April 30, 1998

Twinkie Offense
By: Sam Weller
New City
April 30, 1998

It's June 28, 1997. A Balmy Chicago Night. You're Sprawled on the sofa, tonguing a Twinkie and prepping for the pay-per-view Tyson/Holyfield title bout. It better be good. After all, you shelled out $29.95 for it. Minutes into the fight, you're now knobbling on a ding-dong and Tyson decided to nibble Holyfield's ear-lobe, thus bringing the fight to an unsportsmanlike close. You're on the couch, cup cake in hand, dumbfounded and feeling cheated. What a rip-off. But fret not, between Tyson and Twinkies, you just may be in for some cold compensatory cash.

How are you going to get rich off this thrilla with vanilla? That's where Chicago civil attorney Kenneth Moll comes in. Moll is representing Illinois plaintiffs in two separate, yet equally bizarre, class-action lawsuits. The first case, known as "The Hostess Class Action," was filed February 17 after Ninos Anael, an employee at the Hostess/Dolly Madison factory in Schiller Park, blew the whistle when asbestos near a water heater was illegally removed and carted past some cream-filling vats.

"Anybody that's downed a Twinkie over the past twenty-five years can be part of this," says fellow attorney Larry Drury, who cops to consuming a few Hostess products himself. "Since this lawsuit was filed, we've found out that they [Hostess] have been destroying all the recalled products. There were millions of recalled snacks that were put in a landfill in Moline, Illinois." Moll quickly obtained a court order to stop the construction of Mount Twinkie. "Since then, we've had two independent laboratories do tests on the products and both confirmed that there was asbestos in the cakes."

But the snack-cake caper is not the only case on the agenda. Moll and Drury are determined to make Mike Tyson pay disgruntled pay-per-viewers for "the gross violation of established rules of boxing. We've literally gotten thousands of responses to this case," offers Moll. "And we're just one firm of many handling the case nationally." The lawyers have been soliciting plaintiffs in the Star tabloid and on the official lawsuit website at www.boxinglitigation.com. "The fight did not end like a rained-out Cubs game," says Moll. "Tyson intentionally ended it and we feel he should pay the people back who purchased the fight and also those who attended the fight in person."

Judges are currently reviewing motions filed by the defendants claiming that both lawsuits are light and airy with no substance. Moll, however, foresees delivering a one-two legal punch that will generate some sweet cash.

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