$1.51 billion believed to be largest agricultural litigation settlement in US history

Patrick Stueve of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP, co-lead and class counsel in the nationwide class action lawsuit filed in Kansas federal court over Syngenta’s genetically modified corn seed, has confirmed that a $1.51 billion settlement has been reached in the case. It is believed to be the largest agricultural litigation settlement in U.S. history. 

The settlement covers all U.S. corn producersfarmers and crop share landlords—as well as grain handling facilities and ethanol plants nationwide who sold corn priced after Sept. 5, 2013.

A motion for preliminary approval has been filed. The settlement must be approved by the Honorable John W. Lungstrum, a United States District Judge for the District of Kansas.

Stueve Siegel Hanson, with offices in Kansas City and San Diego, represents businesses and individuals nationwide in high stakes litigation and handles a wide range of legal matters across the country and around the globe.

“We are very pleased with this outcome,” said Patrick Stueve. “America’s corn farmers and related businesses were hurt economically and this settlement will provide fair compensation for their damages. It is an equitable result for all involved.” 

Stueve served as court appointed co-lead and class counsel in the litigation, along with William Chaney of Gray Reed & McGraw LLP, Don Downing of Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., and Scott Powell of Hare Wynn Newell & Newton.

Who is covered under this Syngenta corn class action settlement

All corn growers, grain handling facilities and ethanol plantsas defined in the settlement agreement and who choose to stay in the settlement—are covered by this settlement, including any U.S. farmers who opted out of previous Syngenta litigation.

However, all class members must submit a claim form to receive settlement funds.

Next steps

If preliminarily approved, the settlement terms and claims process information will be set forth in notices mailed to class members and published in various media outlets across the country as well as on a settlement website. Members of the class will then have a period of time to submit a claim form, opt out of the settlement or object to the terms of the agreement.

Judge Lungstrum then will decide on whether to finally approve the $1.51 billion settlement. If the settlement is ultimately approved, it is anticipated that funds could be distributed to class members in the first half of 2019.

The Syngenta Genetically Modified Corn Seed Litigation

Judge Lungstrum certified the nationwide class action lawsuit in September 2016.

Eight state class action lawsuits were also certified in the multi-district litigation. In 2017, Stueve, along with co-lead plaintiff’s counsel tried and won a $217.7 million verdict in favor of Kansas grown growers. The Kansas farmers, as well as all corn farmers nationwide, will be covered under this class action settlement and must submit a claim form to receive compensation.

For more information, visit www.Syngentacornlitigation.com.