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Kansas Jury Awards $217.7 Million in First Syngenta GMO Verdict

Kansas Jury Awards $217.7 Million in First Syngenta GMO Verdict

The jury returned a $217.7 million verdict in the 1st verdict in litigation against Syngenta AG for the negligent premature sale of genetically modified corn bearing the MIR 162 trait.

The verdict was returned in US District Court, in Kansas, on June 23, 2017.

After deliberating for about one day, the jury’s verdict found that the farmers proved their case against Syngenta and Syngenta failed to prove that market forces, the Chinese government, or other causes produced the adverse impact on corn prices.

The lawsuits against Syngenta involved its Duracade and Viptera brands. The farmers contend that Syngenta negligently took the products to market knowing they were not approved for importation into China. China is a major corn importing country.

Syngenta allegedly knew that crops produced from this seed would be mixed at grain elevators, on unit trains, and it seaports and with other corn. It knew, or should have known the result would be to make all the corn ineligible for importation into China.

The farmers claim this action barred U.S. exports to China, diminished demand for their crop and caused financial losses due to a decline in the value of their product.

The jury agreed. Syngenta announced immediate plans to appeal.

The first case tried was for a class of Kansas corn producers only. Cases for other producers not included in a Kansas class remain pending this includes classes of producers for Nebraska and other states.

Domina Law Group pc llo represents approximately 1,000 Nebraska corn producers in the Syngenta litigation. Unlike many outside law firms who persuaded farmers to sign them, and then took their cases to Minnesota State Court, Domina Law Group encouraged its clients to remain committed to the federal multidistrict litigation process in Kansas.

“Today’s victory for the counseling Kansas is outstanding. And we are pleased with the decision we made to remain in the Kansas federal court,” Dave Domina said.

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