UPDATE: Poultry Lawsuit

Tulsa, OK – Judge flirts with dismissing state's poultry case

TULSA, Okla. (AP) A federal judge questioned whether Oklahoma's lawsuit against the Arkansas poultry industry should be dismissed because the state failed to name the Cherokee Nation as a plaintiff.

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell floated the idea Wednesday, the day before trial was to begin.

He suggested if the case is dismissed over the Cherokee issue, then appealed to the 10th Circuit in Denver, "three heads are better than one," referring to that court's three-judge panel that would decide the matter.

Attorneys for Oklahoma objected strongly to dismissing the lawsuit, and Frizzell indicated before an afternoon recess that the trial would go forward as planned.

Oklahoma sued the poultry industry in 2005, claiming 11 companies are polluting the Illinois River watershed with bird waste. Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Thursday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.