Source: Corn Seed Settlement Administrator news release
The following is being released by the Claims Administrator of the settlement reached in In re Syngenta MIR162 Corn Litigation, No. 14-md-2591-JWL-JPO (D. Kan.) and other related actions.
Syngenta and Plaintiffs announced a $1.51 billion settlement to resolve class actions and individual cases alleging that Syngenta sold its “Agrisure Viptera” and “Agrisure Duracade” corn seeds before it should have because new insect-resistant genetic traits in those seeds had not yet received import approval in China. The lawsuits argued that China rejected shipments of U.S. corn because the genetic traits were not yet approved there, causing the U.S. corn industry to lose access to the Chinese market and resulting in lower corn prices that harmed corn producers (and certain landlords), grain handling facilities (e.g., grain elevators, grain distributors, and grain transporters), and ethanol production facilities (e.g., ethanol plants and biorefineries).
Syngenta denies that it did anything wrong and has many explanations for its actions, including that, before Viptera and Duracade were made available to U.S. farmers, the traits in those products were approved as safe and effective by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and all of the historical U.S. trading partners for corn. The genetic traits contained in Viptera and Duracade now do have Chinese approval.
If the United States District Court of the District of Kansas approves the settlement, then Syngenta will pay $1.51 billion into a Settlement Fund to pay (1) corn producers (and certain landlords), grain handling facilities, and ethanol production facilities who submit eligible claims, (2) court-approved attorneys’ fees and expenses, (3) service awards to certain plaintiffs who helped prosecute the case, (4) fees of the Special Masters appointed in these cases, and (5) costs relating to notice and class administration. The amount eligible claimants will receive depends on the amount of the claimants’ interests in U.S. corn priced for sale between September 15, 2013 and April 10, 2018.
Class Members may submit claims online at www.CornSeedSettlement.com or they may call 1-833-567-CORN (1-833-567-2676) to request a paper copy claim form. All claim forms must be filed by October 12, 2018.
The Court will hold a hearing on November 15, 2018 to consider whether to approve the settlement. Class members have until August 10, 2018 to exclude themselves from, or object to, the settlement.
For more information, visit www.CornSeedSettlement.com or call 1-833-567-CORN (1-833-567-2676).