In a significant procedural move, the defendants in a major public nuisance and natural resource damages (NRD) case in Oklahoma convinced a federal district court judge to throw out the State of Oklahoma's $611 million NRD claim because the state failed to join a co-trustee, the Cherokee Nation. This case originated in June 2005, when the State of Oklahoma sued 12 poultry companies for polluting the Illinois River watershed. When the defendants asked the court to dismiss the NRD claims, the State tried to get around the problem by entering into an agreement with the Cherokee Nation's Attorney General to assign retroactively the tribe's claims in the lawsuit to the State. Because the court determined that the agreement was invalid and that the Cherokee Nation was an indispensible party to the NRD claims, it dismissed all of the State's claims for monetary damages from the poultry companies.