Viptera Corn Lawsuit- Farmers Awarded $217.7M in Compensatory Damages

DTN writer Todd Neeley reported on Friday that, “A Kansas jury has awarded farmers $217.7 million in compensatory damages in the first of several class-action lawsuits filed against Syngenta over the shipment of Viptera corn to China.

“The jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in Kansas City took less than a day to render a verdict.

“A spokesperson for Syngenta told DTN that punitive damages were not awarded in the case. Instead, damages were awarded on actual losses as determined by the jury.”

The DTN article pointed out that, “Donald L. Swanson, an attorney with Koley Jessen in Omaha who follows the Syngenta cases, told DTN the Kansas case is the first of what may be a ‘half-dozen’ cases.

“‘The idea is to try a number of cases like this and get a jury verdict in each,’ Swanson said. ‘The jury verdicts will then inform the parties on how the overall case should settle. That’s what happened, for example, in the prior rice cases. A positive jury verdict in the first Bellwether trial is, obviously, a very good thing for the plaintiffs. Syngenta will appeal this ruling.’

“Swanson said the appeal process could take a couple of years to complete.”

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