Plaintiffs in Prairie Farms case request additional time to disclose experts

Christina Stueve Hodges Aug. 20, 2012, 1:27am


The plaintiffs in a breach of contract suit against Prairie Farms Dairy requested a two-week extension to respond to discovery requests in their six-year-old case against Prairie Farms Dairy.

Michael and Denise Richter, owners of Rich-Lane Farms, filed a lawsuit against Prairie Farms Dairy in 2006, claiming that after improving their dairy and buying stock in Prairie Farms as part of a milk marketing agreement, Prairie Farms terminated the agreement and acted oppressively to them as Prairie Farms shareholders.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla on July 13 ordered the Richters to respond to defendant Prairie Farms Dairy's discovery within 30 days.

Hylla also ordered the Richters to supplement discovery by Aug. 13 and to produce all documents by that date.

According to the motion for extension of time filed by the plaintiff's on Aug. 13, one of the experts was unavailable until Aug. 22. The plaintiff would like to discuss the case with the potential expert, before disclosing them as an expert, the motion states.

The Richters' motion states that it has not been brought to prejudice or delay the matter.

Prairie Farms Dairy filed a response to the plaintiff's motion for leave to disclose additional experts July 12, requesting that Hylla deny the plaintiff's motion for leave to disclose additional experts and enter a case management order governing the remainder of discovery and trial.

"Because plaintiffs failed to present a clear, objective reason why they were unable to meet the deadline and why an extension should be granted, the plaintiffs' motion for leave to disclose additional experts must be denied," Prairie Farms Dairy stated.

Prairie Farms claims discovery has been ongoing for nearly six years.

Prairie Farms sought discovery of information relating to the financial condition of the plaintiffs' farm subsequent to 2005, when their membership in Prairie Farms was terminated.

"Plaintiffs' continual promises in the last four years that the information was being compiled and would be produced have remained unfulfilled, and plaintiffs' statements that the information was in the hands of its accountants have been false or inaccurate," Prairie Farms states.

Todd Sivia of Edwardsville represents the Richters.

Donald Schoemaker and Laura Hayden of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale in Belleville represent Prairie Farms.

Madison County case number 06-L-892.

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