03 Mar Dicamba ruling could prompt additional litigation
Bayer and BASF liable for dicamba damage
A federal jury’s decision to award a Missouri peach farmer $265 million in damages for harm to his peach trees from dicamba may prompt a rush to the courthouse by other farmers who allege their crops were harmed by the potent herbicide.
[…] Peiffer Wolf estimates more than 2,000 farmers will likely file suit against dicamba manufacturers Bayer and BASF, targeting the companies for allegedly knowing their herbicides would cause damage to non-target crops.
The legal dispute has its roots in a decision by Bayer legacy company Monsanto to begin selling its dicamba-tolerant cotton to US farmers in 2015 and dicamba-tolerant soybeans in 2016 before EPA had approved companion herbicides, notably Monsanto’s XtendiMax and BASF’s Engenia in late 2016.
Missouri peach farmer Bill Bader filed suit alleging the two companies were liable for dicamba damage to his peach trees and last month a federal jury ruled in his favor, hitting Monsanto and BASF with a combined $15 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages.
The ruling may be pivotal for the legal fight over crop damage from dicamba – the case was the first dicamba complaint to go to trial. More than two dozen other complaints filed by hundreds of soybean farmers are pending in federal court and attorneys with Peiffer Wolf contend that number looks certain to rise in the wake of the Bader ruling.
Millions of acres on non-target soybeans and other crops have suffered suspected dicamba damage
“We now have the road map to get justice for dicamba victims,” Peiffer Wolf Managing Partner Joseph Peiffer said. “The Bader verdict in Missouri sent a clear signal that you can’t profit off of hurting innocent farmers and get away with it.”
Millions of acres on non-target soybeans and other crops have suffered suspected dicamba damage in the past several years and state agriculture agencies have been inundated with complaints that could be used by farmers keen to pursue legal action against Bayer and BASF.
Lawyers with Peiffer Wolf have spoken with “many farmers who have suffered dicamba damage to their crops” since the decision in the Bader case, added Paul Lesko, an attorney with the national law firm.
“They want to know what to do and what recourse they have,” he told reporters on a Feb. 26 press call. “These are people who are already up against difficult odds for success. They don’t need dicamba to make an already difficult situation worse.”
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Dicamba Damage Lawyers at Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane are fighting on behalf of farmers and landowners to seek maximum compensation for the damages suffered due to Dicamba Damage. If you suspect that your crops or plants have been damaged by dicamba, contact Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane by filling out a Contact Form or by calling 314-833-4827 for a FREE Consultation.