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At Gray Ritter Graham, our agriculture attorneys handle agricultural litigation cases where large companies take advantage of small farmers; however, we have the resources and experience to represent a range of farmers—both large and small—as well as other exporters, distributors, and agriculture-related businesses in the supply chain.
Our law firm normally takes cases on a contingency basis, such as those involving complex business disputes, class actions, and mass torts against major companies. Our clients in Missouri, Illinois, and nationwide typically don’t pay anything unless we obtain a verdict or settlement for them.
The agricultural litigation lawyers at Gray Ritter Graham have represented farmers in a variety of class action and mass tort claims against big corporations like Syngenta and Bayer/ Monsanto. Our deep understanding of the food and agriculture industry is fueled by our experience, as evidenced below:
Monsanto has agreed to pay up to $300 million to soybean producers and additional amounts to certain producers of other crops who suffered dicamba damage from dicamba sprayed over-the-top of dicamba tolerant soybeans or cotton from 2015 through 2020, per a global settlement agreement announced today by the Court-appointed Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in In re: Dicamba Herbicides Litigation, MDL No. 2820, currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Monsanto, per the agreement in principle, will also pay litigation expenses, attorneys’ fees, claims administration expenses and other costs in addition to the amounts provided to qualified claimants. The total value of the settlement is expected to reach up to $400 million.
The farmers represented in the multi-district litigation come from several states. They allege that they suffered economic damages due to Monsanto’s decision to commercialize dicamba resistant seeds without a safe formulation of the dicamba herbicide to spray over the top of plants grown from those seeds. All current versions of dicamba are prone to move off target, the lawsuits alleged. Monsanto has denied those allegations and vigorously defended the litigation and states that it has agreed to settle to avoid the further costs and uncertainties associated with the litigation.
“This settlement could not come at a better time for farmers,” said Don Downing, Chair of the Plaintiffs Executive Committee. “It will provide much needed resources for farmers in these difficult times, and compensate them for dicamba-related losses they have suffered.”
Learn more about this settlement: Dicamba Settlement Agreement
Gray Ritter Graham attorney Don Downing was appointed Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the dicamba multidistrict litigation pending in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.
The ruling places Downing as lead plaintiffs’ counsel and head of the nine-attorney Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee, which is representing farmers in several states who have filed lawsuits over off-target movement of Monsanto’s dicamba, alleging it is a harmful and highly toxic herbicide that causes damage to adjacent crops, thus, reducing other farmers’ yields.
On February 14, 2020, a jury awarded $15 million in compensatory damages and the next day awarded $250 million in punitive in damages to Bader Farms – a peach grower in southeastern Missouri – in the first trial in the multidistrict litigation involving U.S. farmers suing Monsanto and BASF over crop damages they suffered from off-target movement of sprayed dicamba herbicide: Bader Farms v. Monsanto, et al., 1:16cv299
In 2015, Gray Ritter Graham attorney Don Downing was appointed a national co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel in multidistrict litigation involving U.S. corn growers’ claims that actions by Switzerland-based Syngenta with its genetically modified strains of corn led to the loss of a chief market for U.S. corn, causing them economic harm.
In the first certified state class action bellwether trial in 2017, he and the other co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel won a $217.7 million verdict on behalf of Kansas corn farmers. That verdict amount equaled 100 percent of actual damages requested by co-lead counsel.
In 2018, this outcome led to a $1.51 billion settlement obtained by Downing and the other co-lead plaintiff’s counsel for farmers around the country. It is believed to be the largest agricultural settlement in U.S. history.
Learn more about this case: Final Approval Given for $1.51 Billion Syngenta Corn Class Action Settlement
Don Downing at Gray Ritter Graham was appointed national co-lead counsel for U.S. rice farmers and other businesses in multidistrict litigation when strains of Bayer’s genetically modified rice contaminated U.S. long-grain rice supply. With the European Union not importing genetically modified rice, U.S. rice prices plummeted.
After serving as lead counsel in a series of successful bellwether trials, Downing obtained a $750 million global settlement in the litigation. Additional settlement payments to affected businesses brought total plaintiff settlement payments to over $1 billion.
Learn more about this settlement: $750 Million Settlement Reached in Bayer Contaminated Rice Lawsuits
Agricultural litigation can be extremely complex and requires knowledge of the economics and science behind modern farming. For this reason, having experienced legal counsel in this field is crucial to the success of your claim. At Gray Ritter Graham, our farming clients benefit from our ability to draw from a deep bench of lawyers with extensive experience and access to top specialists in the field.
We leverage a broad network of resources, teamwork, and the confidence that comes from legal knowledge and thorough preparation to help food businesses harness the power of the civil justice system. In the multi-billion dollar agricultural industry, damages to farmers are often significant. Our goal is to help you obtain just compensation for your losses.
Large corporations often prioritize profits over people. These powerful agribusinesses make wrongful or negligent decisions that have far-reaching impacts on small farmers who are trying to earn a living in this industry.
If a large company has committed an injustice that caused you devastating financial harm or affected your ability to successfully operate your farming business, contact Gray Ritter Graham
When you need to pursue legal action against an international corporation, it can be daunting. Our firm effectively levels the playing field between small farmers and the big corporations whose actions harm their livelihood.
Backed by decades of combined experience and extensive resources, Gray Ritter Graham has built our firm with the simple goal of taking care of good people. Let us take care of you as we take on big agribusinesses whose negligence has seriously harmed your farm’s bottom line.
It costs nothing to call and ask us to review your case. Contact us as soon as possible.
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When clients come to us, their cases involve serious personal or financial injury, or wrongful death. It costs nothing to call and ask us to review your case. Contact us as soon as possible so that we can preserve the evidence and begin our investigation.