Syngenta Settlement Payments May Arrive in 2020

DTN writer Todd Neeley reported this week that, “Payouts from a $1.51 billion Syngenta settlement may arrive in farmers’ mailboxes sometime in 2020, as attorneys in the case continue to battle a federal court on the allocation of fees.

“Farmers originally were expected to begin receiving payments during the second quarter of 2019.

A federal judge in the district court case invalidated contingency fee agreements, however. With those types of agreements, a lawyer’s fees comes from a percentage of money awarded to a client. Attorneys who had contingency agreements with some plaintiffs in the case have been fighting the court’s decision.”

Mr. Neeley noted that, “As a part of the settlement order, the district court set aside $503.33 million for attorneys’ fees. The court issued another order dividing attorney fees by percentage.

“That includes 49% to the Kansas multi-district litigation attorneys, 23.5% to attorneys in a Minnesota state court and 15.5% for attorneys in an Illinois state court.

“In addition, the settlement order sets the number at 12% for individually retained private attorneys. It is this order that attorneys currently are fighting.”

The DTN indicated that, “In addition, there is an ongoing appeal filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver by certain producer class members who objected to the settlement. That group of producers filed an opening court brief for the appeal on May 30, 2019.”

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