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Illinois Class Action Complaint Against Syngenta

Illinois Class Action Complaint Against Syngenta

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07/10/2013

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1
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
 C
ITY OF
G
REENVILLE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
V
ILLAGE OF
)C
OULTERVILLE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
V
ILLAGE OF
E
VANSVILLE
, )I
LLINOIS
;
 
V
ILLAGE OF
F
ARINA
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
C
ITY OF
)G
ILLESPIE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
C
ITY OF
C
AMERON
,
 
M
ISSOURI
;
 
)C
ITY OF
C
ONCORDIA
,
 
M
ISSOURI
;
 
C
ITY OF
)C
ARBONDALE
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY OF
D
ODGE
C
ITY
,
 
)K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY OF
M
ARION
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
M
IAMI
)C
OUNTY
R
URAL
W
ATER
D
ISTRICT
N
O
.
 
2;
 
C
ITY OF
)O
SWEGO
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY OF
P
LAINS
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY
)
OF
J
ASPER
,
 
I
NDIANA
;
 
V
ILLAGE OF
M
ONROEVILLE
,
 
)O
HIO
;
 
C
ITY OF
U
PPER
S
ANDUSKY
,
 
O
HIO
;
 
and C
ITY
)
OF
C
RESTON
,
 
I
OWA
, individually and on behalf )of all others similarly situated, ))Plaintiffs, )) Case No: ____________)v.
 
))S
YNGENTA
C
ROP
P
ROTECTION
,
 
I
NC
., and )S
YNGENTA
AG, ))Defendants. )______________________________________________________________________________
COMPLAINT______________________________________________________________________________
 Plaintiffs, C
ITY OF
G
REENVILLE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
V
ILLAGE OF
C
OULTERVILLE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
V
ILLAGEOF
E
VANSVILLE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
V
ILLAGE OF
F
ARINA
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
C
ITY OF
G
ILLESPIE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
;
 
C
ITY OF
C
AMERON
,
 
M
ISSOURI
;
 
C
ITY OF
C
ONCORDIA
,
 
M
ISSOURI
;
 
C
ITY OF
C
ARBONDALE
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY OF
D
ODGE
C
ITY
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY OF
M
ARION
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
M
IAMI
C
OUNTY
R
URAL
W
ATER
D
ISTRICT
N
O
.
 
2;
 
C
ITY OF
O
SWEGO
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY OF
P
LAINS
,
 
K
ANSAS
;
 
C
ITY OF
J
ASPER
,
 
I
NDIANA
;
 
V
ILLAGE OF
M
ONROEVILLE
,
 
O
HIO
;
 
C
ITY OF
U
PPER
S
ANDUSKY
,
 
O
HIO
;
 
and C
ITY OF
C
RESTON
,
 
I
OWA
,
 
2
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, complain against Defendants
 
S
YNGENTA
C
ROP
P
ROTECTION
,
 
I
NC
. and S
YNGENTA
AG, as follows:
NATURE OF THE ACTION
 1.
 
Plaintiffs bring this lawsuit to require Defendant herbicide manufacturers to bear
the cost of removing their toxic product atrazine from the public’s drinking water. Defendants
designed, marketed, and sold atrazine knowing that it would contaminate public water supplieswhen used as intended. And while Defendants earned billions of dollars in revenues from thesale of atrazine, they left Plaintiffs to pay the ever-growing bill for filtering the toxic product
from the public’s drinking water. Plaintiffs never consented to Defendants’ contamination of their water and never derived any benefit from either the sale or the use of Defendants’ atrazine.
They now bring this lawsuit to force the Defendants, who reap the financial benefit frommanufacturing and/or selling atrazine, to also bear the financial burden that the chemical imposeson third parties.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
 2.
 
This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action under 28 U.S.C §1332(a) because there is complete diversity of citizenship among the parties, and the amount incontroversy for each Plaintiff exceeds the sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest andcosts. In addition, this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action under 28U.S.C § 1332(d) because there is minimal diversity of citizenship among the parties, there aremore than one hundred members of the proposed class/subclasses, and the amount in controversyexceeds the sum or value of $5,000,000, exclusive of interest and costs.3.
 
Venue is proper in this judicial district under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a) because asubstantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to this action occurred in this district, a
 
3
substantial part of the property that is the subject of this action is situated in this district, orbecause both Defendants are currently subject to personal jurisdiction in this district.
 PARTIES
4.
 
Plaintiff C
ITY OF
G
REENVILLE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
 
(―Greenville‖)
is organized and existsunder the laws of Illinois, and is lawfully engaged in providing drinking water for publicconsumption to Illinois residents. At all times relevant hereto, Greenville has owned andoperated the water district known as City of Greenville, an Illinois municipal corporation, andprovides water to businesses and residents of Greenville, Royal Lake, Mulberry Grove,Smithboro, Donnellson, Ameren, and Panama, Illinois, under 65 ILCS 5/11-125,
et seq.
Thecurrent water system has been in operation since 1969, and uses Governor Bond Lake as itssource of raw water. Governor Bond Lake is surrounded by agricultural operations utilized forcorn, soybeans, and wheat.
Greenville’s past, present, and future cost to filter Defendants’
atrazine from its water exceeds $75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.5.
 
Plaintiff V
ILLAGE OF
C
OULTERVILLE
,
 
I
LLINOIS
 
(―Coulterville‖)
is organized andexists under the laws of Illinois, and is lawfully engaged in providing drinking water for publicconsumption to Illinois residents. Coulterville, located primarily in Randolph County, owns andoperates the water district known as Village of Coulterville, which provides water to businessesand residents in Coulterville, Illinois. The water system has been in operation since 1939, anduses the Coulterville Reservoir as its raw water source. The Coulterville Reservoir is adjacent tosubstantial agricultural territory consisting of mostly corn and soybeans, among other products.
Coulterville’s past, present, and future cost to filter Defendants’ atrazine from its water exceeds
$75,000, exclusive of interest and costs.

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