The parties in one of a series of proposed class action suits over alleged water contamination by the weed killer atrazine have pushed back a hearing on a move to quash a discovery request.

Attorneys for lead plaintiff Holiday Shores Sanitary District, defendant Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. and non-party Du-Con took the order to Madison County Circuit Judge William Mudge Friday.

That motion pushed back a Dec. 17 hearing on Syngenta's show cause motion and Du-Con's motion to quash Syngenta's discovery subpoena to Jan. 14 at 9 a.m.

Holiday Shores proposes to lead a class of Illinois municipalities and water providers against Syngenta and the other makers and distributors of atrazine.

The plaintiffs claim that atrazine runs off farm fields and contaminates drinking water that they must then remediate.

The plaintiffs also contend that atrazine in amounts lower than a three parts per billion limit set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can cause human health problems.

The suit is one of six proposed atrazine class actions filed in 2004 that are ongoing in Madison County.

None have been certified as yet.

Syngenta and the other defendants deny the claims.

Syngenta has tried unsuccessfully to have the Madison County case dismissed.

The suit is currently at the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon due to issues related to an order covering third party discovery signed by then presiding judge Madison County Circuit
Judge Barbara Crowder in September.

Additionally, Holiday Shores' attorneys, Stephen Tillery, Christie Deaton and others, filed a nearly identical federal class action over alleged atrazine contamination in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

That suit, headed by lead plaintiff the City of Greenville, Ill., includes a potential class of water providers in Missouri, Kansas, Ohio and other states.

Plaintiffs from Indiana were thrown out of the federal suit earlier this year when U.S. District Court Judge J. Phil Gilbert found that Indiana law did not give them remedy.

Du-Con filed to quash a discovery subpoena issued by Syngenta Nov. 16.

In its filing, Du-Con claims that the documents the defendant seeks are in the hands of Holiday Shores and that an employee Syngenta wishes to depose works at the sanitary district, not at Du-Con's sites.

According to the Friday order, Du-Con attorney Bob Perica asked for a continuance.

The other parties agreed.

The hearing was also set to take up a defense motion for rule to
show cause.

A copy of that motion was not available Monday.

Tillery and his team represent the plaintiffs in all of the atrazine cases.

Kurtis Reeg, Paul Knobbe, Timothy McGuire and others represent Syngenta.

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

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

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Syngenta U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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