Kansas plaintiffs dropped from federal Syngenta atrazine class action

Amelia Flood Jul. 12, 2011, 9:00am

Two Kansas cities have been dropped from a proposed multi-state class action against Syngenta Crop Protection LLC and its Swiss parent company Syngenta AG over claims that a weed killer made by the companies contaminates water supplies.

The cities of Plains and Dodge City, Kan. are the latest named plaintiffs to be dropped from the suit led by the City of Greenville, Ill. against the Syngenta defendants.

U.S. District Court Judge J. Phil Gilbert had already dismissed named plaintiffs from Indiana citing their lack of claim under Indiana law.

The stipulation dismissing the two Kansan cities was filed July 11 and is one of a series of moves filed in the case this week.

Greenville proposes to lead a class of municipalities and water providers from states including Missouri, Ohio and Illinois against the Syngenta defendants on claims that are nearly identical to a 2004 Madison County class action that is currently pending against Syngenta Crop Protection.

The claims in both suits center on the weed killer, atrazine, one of Syngenta's products.

Atrazine is commonly used on farm fields.

The plaintiffs in both the Madison County and federal suits allege that atrazine runs off those fields into drinking water supplies that the plaintiffs are then forced to remediate.

The Madison County case is one of five atrazine class actions filed by lead plaintiff the Holiday Shores Sanitary District seven years ago.

The federal case was filed by Greenville last year.

The stipulation for dismissal filed Monday does not give a reason as to why the Kansan cities were dropped from the case.

The Madison County case against Syngenta is set for hearing Friday at 9 a.m. before Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge.

The federal case is set for hearing on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisidiction filed by Sygenta AG later this month.

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