Baron & Budd Prevails in Case Against Manufacturers of Atrazine

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DALLAS, Aug. 25 // -- Scott Summy of Baron & Budd, as co-lead counsel, and Steve Tillery of Korein Tillery have won a major legal battle in what will most likely become a harbinger of detection and clean-up of America's public water supply. Summy and Tillery are representing a public drinking water provider in Illinois whose water supplies are contaminated with the herbicide Atrazine. This is one of the first cases of its kind in the United States.

    The legal battle took place after the six chemical manufacturers of Atrazine attempted twice to have the lawsuit dismissed at an early stage-moves that Scott Summy termed "delay tactics that threaten America's water supply." The July 7, 2008 ruling by Madison County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Stack allows the lawsuit to proceed after finding that the water providers had sufficient facts to show that the manufacturers had knowledge of the possible harm of the chemical.

    Atrazine is a widely-used agricultural chemical that is commonly applied to crops in the United States to control weeds. Despite the threat of water contamination and industry knowledge of the environmental risks, approximately 77 million pounds of Atrazine are sprayed on U.S. crops each year. Some of the Atrazine migrates into surface water supplies and into wells that supply public drinking water. Approximately 1,200 public drinking water systems are currently contaminated with Atrazine and that number is expected to increase.

    "Both Steve and I believe that the manufacturers should be held liable for the damage they have caused to public water supplies and the resulting cleanup costs," says Scott Summy of Baron & Budd.

    The court's ruling clears the way for the parties to proceed with discovery.

    About Baron & Budd, P.C.

    For more than 30 years, the Dallas-based law firm of Baron & Budd has championed the rights of people and communities harmed by corporate misconduct. With more than 50 attorneys and offices in California, Texas and Louisiana, Baron & Budd enjoys a national reputation as a leader of the plaintiffs' bar. Scott Summy, who leads the firm's water contamination litigation section, has extensive experience in representing public water providers seeking to recover cleanup costs for drinking water contamination. The firm also represents individuals with asbestos-related mesothelioma and other diseases caused by exposure to toxic substances; government entities and whistleblowers fighting corporate fraud through qui tam and False Claims Act cases; securities investors defrauded by corporate wrongdoing; and consumers in class actions.

    About Korein Tillery, L.L.C.

    The Korein Tillery law firm, based on St. Louis, Missouri, represents individuals in personal injury suits involving products liability, medical malpractice, railroad and maritime claims and tobacco-related claims. The firm also handles a variety of commercial and class action claims. Like Baron & Budd, Korein Tillery has spent many years aggressively and successfully representing the firm's clients in the courtroom.


     Susan Jones Knape

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