Atrazine cases set for case management May 26

Amelia Flood May 19, 2010, 7:25am


A case management conference is set next week in a series of proposed class actions over water contamination allegedly caused by a common weed killer.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder will hear all pending motions in six cases against makers and distributors of atrazine May 26 at 1:30 p.m.

There have not been any new filings to date in the cases.

The lead plaintiffs in the case, Holiday Shores Sanitation District and seven Illinois cities and towns, propose to lead a class of Illinois water providers.

They allege the herbicide contaminates their drinking water supplies.
Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that atrazine is safe in drinking water up to three parts per billion, the plaintiffs allege that smaller amounts can cause medical problems in human beings.

Most recently in the case, the defendants in the various suits lost out on an attempt to spin off co-plaintiffs Carlinville, Flora, Mattoon, Hillsboro, Fairfield, Litchfield and Mount Olive.

The defendants had wanted those cities' claims transferred back to their home counties.

Crowder denied that move in all of the cases.

Meanwhile, the attorneys for the plaintiffs, Stephen Tillery and Christine Moody, have filed a separate federal class action combining the claims of water providers in Missouri, Kansas and other state related to atrazine.

The federal case also remains pending.

The six year-old Madison County atrazine suits have only recently
begun discovery.

Crowder took over the suits last year from Madison County Circuit
Judge Daniel Stack due to his impending retirement.

The defendants and their representation are:

Sipcam AgroUSA is represented by Geoffrey Bryce.

Growmark and Dow Chemical Company are represented by Robert Shultz Jr.

Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. is represented by Kurtis Reeg.

United Agri-Products Inc. is represented by Reeg in a special limited appearance.

Drexel Chemical Company is represented by Daniel Cray.

Makhteshim-Agan of North America is represented by Russell Scott.

The atrazine cases are Madison case numbers 04-L-708 to 04-L-713.

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Organizations in this Story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460

Dow Chemical
2030 Dow Center
Midland, MI 48674

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