Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Syngenta Mass Tort Actions

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 28, 2016

IN RE SYNGENTA MASS TORT ACTIONS
v.
Syngenta AG et al. This Document Relates to: Poletti et al.

          DEFICIENCY ORDER

          David R. Herndon Judge

         This matter is before the Court for issuance of a Deficiency Order, as described in the Court's Second Revised Scheduling and Discovery Order (Doc. 159). The Court certainly did not receive the kind of jointly agreed upon categorization of issues that it expected. Ultimately, the categories submitted by the defendant in its reply were relied upon by the Court for convenience and since the categories seemed to fit the issues. Furthermore, the Court only received a few exemplars. Either those exemplars adequately represent the assertions of deficiencies, or the parties will be left to speculate how the Court would rule on other types of perceived examples of “incompleteness.” The Court will proceed as though the parties have enough information with this order to resolve the disputed issues with the plaintiff fact sheets (PFSs). Therefore, after reviewing the parties' briefing (Doc. 154, 160, 163-165), the Court ORDERS as follows:

         Category 1: PFSs That Reference Attachments

         Exemplar at Doc. 164 - Diane Ebken Trust Farm, Kilburne, Illinois: In sections A1 and A2 of the PFS, rather than providing the information on the PFS itself, the plaintiff writes “see side papers.” Similarly, for section A3, the plaintiff writes “see Biggs Elevator Sheets.” The referenced “side papers” are sales reports and do not delineate FSA numbers, the farm(s) county and state, acres of corn, corn variety, and whether the farm land was owned or leased. There are handwritten notes regarding this information but it is not clear how this information relates to the sales reports. The Biggs Elevator Sheets, while likely providing very important unsolicited information, do not provide the requisite itemized information (matching date, number of bushels, how priced, date priced, price, name and location of buyer, and FSA number). Accordingly, the Court finds this PFS to be deficient.

         Exemplar at Doc. 165 - Donald Hagedorn, Hagedorn Land Company, Farm, Waverly, Kentucky: In A3 of the PFS, rather than providing the information on the PFS itself, the plaintiff writes “see attached settlement sheets for information.” This substitution provides the examiner with an incomplete record of the itemization of the information sought in table A3. Accordingly, the Court finds this PFS to be deficient due section A3.

         Exemplar at Doc. 154-1 #9 and Doc. 160-1 - Haynes Farms, LLC, Cullman, Alabama: Compare the above exemplars (Doc. 164 and Doc. 165) with these exemplars. Similar to the first exemplar (Doc. 164), there are attached sheets as substitutes for filling out the pre-printed tables at ¶ 1, A2, and A3. However, unlike the previous exemplar (Doc. 164), the sheets attached to this PFS merely recreate the tables and provide the information required. Accordingly, the Court finds this PFS to be complete.

         Category 2: PFSs With Missing Information

         Exemplar at Doc. 154-5 - Mary Michels, Linn, Iowa: The defendant provides this exemplar, which the Court hopes is an extreme example of a PFS with missing information. There should be no debate about this one, and perhaps it will do nothing to advance the ball on what the Court finds to be deficient in this category. Nonetheless, to be clear, leaving almost every space blank, as this plaintiff did in section A1 of the PFS, is incomplete and deficient.

         Stating “I have provided this info several times” and nothing more, is incomplete and deficient. This last answer seems to be applicable for sections A1, A2, and A3 since nothing else is provided for any of those requests. Failing to answer even so much as a “not applicable” for section A5 is an incomplete answer. Were that the only blank in the entire form, it would not be sufficient to disqualify the entire form, on balance, it contributes to the entire deficiency of this form and gives one the picture of the cooperation that one may expect from this plaintiff.

         Section A6 is a more significant question and it is also left blank. This is incomplete and contributes to the deficiency of the document. Refusing the document request is problematic, as well, unless plaintiff has fully complied, as suggested by providing the discovery to counsel, who may now disclose the discovery to the defense. Accordingly, the Court finds this PFS to be deficient as incomplete.

         Exemplar at Doc. 160-3 - Daniel Hausladen, Hausladen Heifer Housing, New Germany, Minnesota: The plaintiffs submitted this competing exemplar in this category as one that the defendant asserts is incomplete for missing information. Frankly, this is a sterling example of a plaintiff who clearly went to great lengths to provide the information required of him. This PFS represents the opposite of the exemplar discussed above, and is an obvious call the other way. It is complete in every respect. It is very curious why it appears on defendant's list. Accordingly, the Court finds this PFS to be complete.

         Exemplar at Doc.160-6 - Steven A. Probst, Earl & Steve Probst Farms, Inc., Effingham, IL: Examining an exemplar that is not quite as clear as the previous two examples, the Court finds only two areas where there are incomplete answers. In section A1 the acreage of corn listed in Jasper, Illinois for FSA# 8371 is missing in the second row. However, this information is available below on the same PFS form, and therefore this is a harmless omission. In section A3 the date of sale information is missing. On balance this is, as plaintiffs argue, de minimis, and not sufficient to cause the dismissal of plaintiff's complaint even if without prejudice.

         Moreover, for the tasks in the short run, classifying different plaintiffs for trial purposes, this plaintiff can be classified without these dates. However, plaintiff should provide a reason for not supplying the information and make every reasonable effort to provide the information. For example, if said information is not in the plaintiff's records he should so state in the PFS. If that is the situation, plaintiff should make every effort to obtain the information from a source if one is available. If, on the other hand, he simply did not have the time to poor through all his records for the information, he must put aside his aversion to “not having the time” and look through those records and provide the information in his PFS. Either way, the plaintiff must provide the information, if it is available to him, or provide the reason that said information is not available. Accordingly, the Court finds this PFS to be complete. However, plaintiff should make every reasonable effort to provide the information left blank and provide a reason for not supplying said information.

         To put this remedy in perspective, if defendant could not answer an interrogatory upon first being presented with it because an employee could not find the information, the defendant would not expect the Court to strike its pleadings for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.