Syngenta files motion to compel in Greenville federal atrazine class action

Amelia Flood Jul. 20, 2011, 2:44am


The defendant in a proposed federal class action over water contamination allegedly caused by the weed killer atrazine is asking a federal judge to compel each plaintiff currently listed in the suit to answer discovery questions including those related to damages and water testing results.

Defendant Syngenta Crop Protection LLC filed its motion to compel in the suit led by the City of Greenville, Ill. on July 15.

Meanwhile, two Kansas cities were recently dropped from the suit and their claims were dismissed without prejudice on July 11.

The City of Greenville filed the suit against Syngenta and its Swiss parent company Syngenta AG last year.

In the case, Greenville proposes to lead a multi-state class of water providers and municipalities who allege that atrazine runs off farm fields and contaminates drinking water supplies.

The claims are virtually identical to six 2004 class actions filed by the Holiday Shores Sanitary District that remain pending in Madison County.

Syngenta Crop Protection is named as a defendant in one of those six cases.

The Syngenta case pending in Edwardsville has progressed furthest since 2004.

Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge recently heard arguments related to confidential documents involving Syngenta's public relations efforts.

Mudge is set to hear more arguments in the suit next month.

In its motion to compel, Syngenta is seeking a computation of damages from each of the plaintiffs currently in the case and all water testing results.

If certified, the Greenville suit could include plaintiffs from Missouri, Ohio and other states.

The two Kansas cities dropped from the case a week ago were Dodge City and Plains.

Several plaintiffs from Indiana were previously dismissed from the Greenville suit after the federal court ruled that they were not entitled to remedies under Indiana law.

The court is also set to hear a motion to dismiss the claims against Syngenta AG for lack of personal jurisdiction July 27 at 10 a.m.

Kurtis Reeg represents Syngenta. Stephen Tillery represents the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Court Judge J. Phil Gilbert and Magistrate Phillip Frazier preside in the Greenville case.

The underlying Madison County case filed by lead plaintiff the Holiday Shores Sanitary District is Madison case number 04-L-710.

The federal case is case number 3:10-cv-00188-JPG-PMF.

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