United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
R. Herndon, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on all plaintiffs' motion to
reconsider the dismissal of certain plaintiffs for failure to
submit a complete plaintiff fact sheet (PFS) (Doc. 191).
Syngenta filed a response to the motion opposing the request
to reconsider dismissal of all but eight
plaintiffs. For the reasons stated below,
plaintiffs' motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
pending motion, plaintiffs make an error in judgment by
assuming that the Court would not have known that the parties
in this case were meeting and conferring regarding their
differences over the PFSs. The history of this litigation and
the Court's deficiency order at Doc. 166 insured that
such a meet and confer process would have occurred. Where the
plaintiffs missed the boat, so to speak, is that counsel did
not file anything with the Court after that meet and confer
process to, as contemplated by the deficiency order at Doc.
166, seek a ruling from the Court regarding whether the
position of the parties was reasonable or not. As the
deficiency order pointed out, the exemplars previously
submitted hardly provided the Court, and therefore the
parties, with a sufficient sampling of the asserted
deficiencies to allow the Court to provide an appropriate
base of information regarding what the Court considered
sufficient compliance or a deficient PFS. The only lists
supplied by the plaintiffs to the Court were lists of
plaintiffs that "were still deficient" at Docs. 180
and 181, as well as a list of those plaintiffs who still had
not submitted a PFS at Doc. 184. Plaintiffs did not file
anything with the Court contesting any issues having to do
with the meet and confer process and they cite the scheduling
order at Doc. 159 as support. Clearly, the deficiency order
at Doc. 166, and the Court's comments at the status
conference, made it clear that the Court sought additional
information from the parties about the meet and confer
process. Therefore, when Syngenta filed its motion to
dismiss, there seemed to the Court nothing left to decide.
The only action left was a purely ministerial one for all
practical purposes; so the action the Court took on December
9, 2016 was to dismiss the cases identified by the defendant
where the plaintiffs either did not submit a PFS or did so
thing is clear, the Court has examined the deficiency order
at Doc. 166 and there are no provisions in the order that
would expedite the response times for the dismissal of the
cases pursuant to the issues raised by these matters. The
Court's ruling came seven days too soon on the
defendant's renewed motion to dismiss under the local
rules. Defendants, however, may argue that the order at Doc.
159 provided the Court with the authority to proceed with its
dismissal order at day 23. Therefore, the two orders created
an ambiguity, which is something the Court should be blamed
for and the parties should have inquired about. This is not
an unusual action by this Court when the outcome is clear. In
instances such as this, there is an effort to expedite the
litigation generally, and where there is no immediate
indication from a party of an intention to mount a serious
opposition to a motion. Nothing was communicated after the
motion to reconsider, plaintiff still does not provide the
Court with any information. The Court begins from the
proposition that the parties, including the plaintiffs,
originally agreed to this process including the imposed
deadlines. As time progressed, the plaintiffs discovered how
onerous the process would be and how draconian the penalties
for non-compliance, to which they agreed, would end up being.
A great deal of litigation has ensued over details and
compliance issues relative to these discovery issues. The
Court does not point this out over frustration or the fact
that it has a problem with the substance, only to recall the
history and context for the dispute at bar. The typical
motion to reconsider points out the error in fact or law or
brings forward some new evidence. It furthers argues what
action the Court should take, different than the action it
previously took, usually in favor of the movant this time. To
the contrary, this motion simply sets out some historical
context and asks the Court to reconsider its decision.
light of the plaintiffs' failure to argue substantive
issues in their motion for reconsideration, the Court finds
that any potential harm associated with ruling on the motion
to dismiss 23 days after it was filed was harmless, even if
it was not provided for in either order of the Court and
contrary to the local rules.
except as pointed out below, the plaintiffs have not provided
a basis for this Court to reconsider its decision. Therefore,
the motion is DENIED as to those PFSs in dispute.
pending motion, plaintiffs' counsel refers to an
agreement with Syngenta for the reinstatement of eight cases.
Plaintiffs state that the parties have come to a resolution
regarding eight PFSs and agree those eight plaintiffs should
be re-instated. In its response, Syngenta confirmed in a
footnote that it does not oppose plaintiffs' request to
reconsider the dismissal of those plaintiffs listed in
Exhibit 2 to Doc. 191. Therefore, the Court accepts the
parties' stipulation and the motion is GRANTED as to
those plaintiffs identified in Exhibit 2 accompanying Doc.
191 (Doc. 191-2). The Court reinstates the cases listed in
Exhibit 2 accompanying Doc. 191.
 Syngenta states that it does not
oppose plaintiffs' request to reconsider the dismissal of
the plaintiffs identified in Exhibit 2 to ...