Corn growers win $217.7M judgement against Syngenta

A class-action lawsuit representing more than 7,000 Kansas corn growers against Swiss agrochemical firm Syngenta AG yielded $217.7 million verdict for the farmers, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

The verdict was handed down Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas and is the first of eight class-action cases to conclude against Syngenta.

Attorneys representing the farmers made the case that U.S. corn growers suffered when the company sold them two types of genetically modified strains of corn before they were approved by China. When China began refusing shipments of the corn in 2013 the price of corn fell, leaving growers across the country with an estimated loss of $5 billion.

The team representing the corn growers included Pat Stueve of Kansas City’s Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP and Don Downing of St. Louis-based Gray Ritter & Graham PC. Stueve said in a release that his firm would be “pursuing justice for thousands more corn farmers in the months ahead.”

Corn producers are awaiting result in class-action cases around the country including in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota.

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