Prairie Farms says plaintiffs are seeking to shift burden of producing discovery

Christina Stueve Feb. 28, 2012, 10:28am


Defense attorney Donald Schoemaker certified Friday in Madison County Circuit Court that he mailed documents to fulfill the plaintiff's request for information in a case filed against his client Prairie Farms Dairy.

Michael and Denise Richter, owners of Rich-Lane Farms, claim that after improving their dairy and buying stock in Prairie Farms as part of a milk marketing agreement, Prairie Farms terminated that agreement in 2005 and "acted in a manner illegal or oppressive" to the plaintiffs as Prairie Farms shareholders.

Circuit Judge David Hylla on Dec. 16 granted Prairie Farms Dairy's motion to compel plaintiff Michael and Denise Richter to respond to questions and requests for information within 30 days.

Defendant Prairie Farms Dairy filed a motion to quash a subpoena on Feb. 6. stating that "after years of evading their duties to diligently respond to discovery requests, the plaintiffs are now seeking to shift the burden of producing their own documents onto Prairie Farms."

The plaintiffs were ordered to provide affidavits of compliance.

The Richters are seeking damages in excess of $50,000, attorney's fees and costs in a suit they filed in 2006.

Attorney David Antognoli of Edwardsville withdrew his representation of the Richters in May.

Todd Sivia became the lawyer for the Richters on Nov. 4.

Laura Oberkfell also represents Prairie Farms.

Madison County case number 06-L-892.

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