Magistrate Sam Joyner expects to decide within a week whether more than 160 third parties will remain as defendants in Oklahoma’s lawsuit against poultry companies with operations in Arkansas.
The poultry companies want Joyner to include third parties that inlcude Tahlequah, Westville, Watts and the owners of septic tanks, motels, golf courses, marinas and nurseries.
The poultry companies contend that the third-party defendants are partly responsible for any pollution in the Illinois River watershed.
A federal lawsuit that Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson filed in June 2005 accuses eight poultry companies of polluting the river’s watershed.
The eight defendants are Cargill Inc. of Minneapolis; Cobb-Vantress Inc. of Siloam Springs, AR; George’s Inc. of Springdale, AR; Peterson Farms Inc. of Decatur, AR; Simmons Foods of Siloam Springs, AR; Tyson Foods of Springdale, AR; Willow Brook Foods of Springfield, Mo.; and Cal-Maine Foods Inc. of Jackson, Miss.