Litigant prevails in drinking water contamination case

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...


DALLAS, TX, Aug. 25, 2008 -- 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.

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.

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.

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