A few years ago, farmers and farm businesses from across the nation filed a series of lawsuits against Syngenta Corporation asserting a variety of legal claims pertaining to Syngenta’s sale of Agrisure Viptera seeds, a genetically modified corn seed. Syngenta. Syngenta, based in Switzerland, is one of the world’s largest agricultural chemical companies. Those federal lawsuits were previously consolidated as part of a proceeding known as Multi-District Litigation or MDL, which is a federal procedure allowing one court to coordinate and hear many pretrial issues for all the lawsuits filed around the country. For the corn seed suits against Syngenta, those cases are consolidated before one federal district judge in Kansas.
In their suits, Callers.com says that the farmers claim that Syngenta released the Agrisure Viptera to the U.S. farming market prior to obtaining regulatory approval from Chinese regulators. Because the Chinese export market comprises such a substantial share of the market for U.S. corn farmers, the farmers allege that the lack of Chinese regulatory approval has caused them billions of dollars of damages. The federal district court in Kansas recently granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss by Syngenta, which means that the lawsuits can proceed against Syngenta. The court also ruled that the farmers have until October to file an amended version of their complaint.
One of the many attorneys representing the farmers in the litigation is Mikel Watts, a Texas litigation attorney and well-known trial lawyer. Watts has teamed with other lawyers from around the country in pursuing the litigation against Syngenta and in recruiting farmers to join the lawsuits. With the court’s recent ruling allowing the farmers’ lawsuits to proceed, Watts and his co-counsel should have plenty of work over the next several months and years as they work to prove their case against Syngenta.