Du-Con move to quash defense subpoena in Syngenta atrazine case canceled

Amelia Flood Jan. 13, 2011, 6:10am



A motion to quash hearing that had been set Friday in Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge's court has been canceled.

Du-Con, a non-party in one of a series of proposed class actions centering on the weed killer atrazine, was to argue its motion to quash a defense subpoena.

Defendant Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. subpoenaed records from Du-Con and the testimony of one of its employees last year.

The subpoena comes as discovery in one of a series of 2004 cases led by Holiday Shores Sanitation District continues.

Holiday Shores proposes to lead a class of Illinois municipalities and water providers against Syngenta and the other companies that make and distribute atrazine.

The plaintiffs claims that atrazine runs off farm fields into their water supplies and that they must then remediate the contamination.

Syngenta denies the allegations in the plaintiffs' complaint.

The plaintiffs' attorneys – Stephen Tillery, Christie Deaton and others – filed a nearly identical federal class action over atrazine contamination last year.

That case is led by the city of Greenville and would include a class of water providers in Missouri, Kansas, Ohio and other states.

The Greenville case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Neither the older Madison County suit nor the 2010 federal class action have been certified.

Currently, the Syngenta suit is before the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon on other non-party discovery disputes.

In its move to quash the subpoena, Du-Con claims that information Syngenta has requested is in the hands of Holiday Shores.

The company also claims that an employee Syngenta seeks testimony from works at the sanitation district.

Due to those reasons, Du-Con claims it does not have the information requested by the subpoena and seeks to have it killed.

A December hearing on the issue was canceled.

This is the second time the hearing has been pushed back.

Mudge took over the case from former Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack. Stack took it over from Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder.

Bob Perica represents Du-Con.

Kurtis Reeg is lead counsel for Syngenta in the Madison County case and is part of its defense team in the federal suit.

The Syngenta case is Madison case number 04-L-710.

The atrazine class actions are case numbers 04-L-708 to 04-L-713.

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