$400 Million Settlement Agreement Reached in Dicamba Crop Damage Multidistrict Litigation
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.”
Dicamba Litigation Claims Process
Producers who make a claim will be required to produce evidence of dicamba symptomology and yield loss. It is expected that the claims process will begin later this year after the 2020 harvest has been completed. Each side has the right to terminate the settlement under certain conditions. Details and timing issues are still being worked out.
The Bader Farms case tried earlier this year, involving a Missouri peach farmer, is not included in the settlement.
Members of the Plaintiffs Executive Committee who were heavily involved in both the litigation and the settlement are:
Don M. Downing, Gray Ritter Graham
James Bilsborrow, Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C.
Paul Byrd, Paul Byrd Law Firm, PLLC
Paul A. Lesko, Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway, APLC
Richard M. Paul, III, Paul LLP
Beverly T. Randles, Randles & Splittgerber, LLP
René F. Rocha III, Morgan & Morgan
Hart L. Robinovitch, Zimmerman Reed LLP
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Posted in News, June 24, 2020