Mudge sets date to review documents in Syngenta atrazine case

Amelia Flood May 16, 2011, 10:29am


Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge has set a June date to privately review documents in a 2004 proposed class action against Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. over alleged water contamination caused by atrazine.

According to the case docket sheet, Mudge has set June 22 as the day he will review documents in the suit in camera, or in private.

A number of discovery disputes and other matters have been pending before Mudge in the suit filed by lead plaintiff Holiday Shores Sanitary District Shores.

Holiday Shores currently leads six proposed class actions against Syngenta and other groups over virtually identical claims.

Holiday Shores contends that it and a possible class of Illinois water providers have been forced to remediate their water supplies after atrazine made by Syngenta and other companies runs off farm fields into those water supplies.

Atrazine is a weed killer commonly used by farmers.

The 2004 Madison County case has sparked a nearly identical federal class action against Syngenta and its parent company.

That case, led by the City of Greenville, Ill., is pending in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

None of the Madison County cases have been certified to date nor has the proposed multi-state federal class.

Mudge canceled a May 6 hearing in the suit after ruling that Syngenta must turn over documents related to work done on its behalf by a public relations firm in Chicago.

Other disputes in the case have centered on discovery from non-parties on the case and when an expert witness was retained by Syngenta.

Stephen Tillery is lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

Kurtis Reeg leads the defendants' team.

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

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

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