$105 Million Settlement for Water Providers Harmed by Atrazine Contamination
Attorneys at Baron & Budd assisted in negotiating a settlement for more than 1,000 U.S. water systems
The national law firm of Baron & Budd announced a $105 million settlement on behalf of more than 1,000 community water systems that have discovered the herbicide atrazine in their public water supplies.The settlement is the result of intensive litigation that has been pending for over eight years against Syngenta Crop Protection LLC and Syngenta AG, the chemical companies that produce and sell atrazine and numerous atrazine-containing products.
In 2004, a water provider filed a lawsuit in Illinois against these companies, alleging that they knew that atrazine would pollute surface water such as streams, lakes and rivers but knowingly chose to sell the product without consideration for the expense water providers would incur to remove the atrazine from water before supplying it to people.Then, in 2010, numerous public drinking water providers filed a similar lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. After thorough discovery and aggressive litigation, a settlement was reached for all water providers in the United States. On Oct. 23, 2012, the Southern District of Illinois approved the class action settlement.
Atrazine is an agricultural herbicide that has been widely used throughout the U.S., particularly in the Midwest, to control weeds in soybean and corn crops. Once applied, the chemical easily runs off crops into surface water and drinking water supplies. As a result, numerous municipalities and water providers have detected atrazine contamination in their water supplies and have spent significant sums to remove it from finished water before it reaches consumers. The settlement will reimburse those costs to over 1,000 water providers who serve water to more than 30 million Americans.
Dallas based Baron & Budd water contamination litigation section is led by shareholder Scott Summy, who is widely recognized as one of the most experienced “water lawyers” in the nation. For more than fifteen years, Summy has challenged America’s oil and chemical industries in water contamination lawsuits, successfully litigating and negotiating favorable results for more than 200 municipalities, water providers and private well owners. Other attorneys in the water contamination section are shareholders Cary McDougal, Laura Baughman, Carla Burke, Celeste Evangelisti, and Stephen Johnston, as well as associates Cristina Sanchez and Mitchell McCrea, and senior paralegal Erin McIntosh.