A hearing involving Heartland Institute's motion to stay discovery requests in one of a series of proposed Madison County class actions has been reset.
The parties in the suit brought against Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. over the weed killer atrazine, agreed to move a Feb. 18 hearing to Feb. 23.
The Heartland Institute, a non-party to the suit filed by the Holiday Shores Sanitary district, is asking Circuit Judge William Mudge to stay discovery requests directed to it by Holiday Shores until the institute can appeal to the Illinois State Supreme Court.
The institute has been fighting discovery since last June.
Holiday Shores is seeking documents and communications between Heartland Institute and Syngenta.
Holiday Shores proposes to lead a class of cities and water providers claiming atrazine runs off farm fields and fouls their drinking water supplies.
The contamination, the plaintiffs allege, leads to remediation costs.
The suit is one of six proposed atrazine-centered class actions filed by Holiday Shores seven years ago.
None have been certified to date.
The Syngenta case has made the most progress in part because
Syngenta is the largest maker of the chemical.
A nearly identical federal class action was filed on behalf of the City of Greenville, Ill. last year by Holiday Shores' attorneys Stephen Tillery, Christie Deaton and Christine Moody.
That suit is currently set for possible settlement talks in April.
Holiday Shores issued discovery requests to a number of non-parties in the Syngenta case last year.
They included chemical trade groups, a professor at the University of Chicago and Heartland Institute.
After neither side was satisfied by rulings made by Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder on what was discoverable and what materials were protected by the First Amendment, the parties took their dispute to the appellate court in Mount Vernon.
The appellate court rejected Heartland's appeal.
The institute now plans to take the matter to a higher court.
Mudge is now set to hear the motion at 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 23, according to the notice of hearing filed by the parties earlier this week.
Kurtis Reeg represents Syngenta.
Raymond Bell and Maureen Martin represent Heartland Institute.
Mudge took over the case from Crowder last year along with the other
The Syngenta suit is Madison case number 04-L-710.
The atrazine suits are case numbers 04-L-708 to 04-L-713.