Law Firm of Inserra & Kelley Accepting Clients in Syngenta Mass Tort Case 2/20/15 02/19/15 8:34:59 PM
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Law Firm of Inserra & Kelley
Accepting Clients in Syngenta Mass Tort Case
By Lorraine Boyd
The Daily Record
What brought U.S. corn exports to China to a standstill?
In 2013, agri-business giant Syngenta released for sale strains of its GMO corn containing the MIR 162 trait, primarily under its Agrisure Viptera and Duracade brands.
Craig Kelley/John Inserra
This trait has not yet been approved by the Chinese government for import, and China is refusing, destroying, or impounding (and charging storage fees) shipments of corn that test positive for MIR 162.
Lawsuits that have already been filed assert that despite this, around the time that Viptera was going to market, Syngenta made untrue public statements that Chinese approval was mere days away. They also contend that Syngenta also encouraged farmers who purchased Viptera corn to plant it “side by side” with non-Viptera corn, thereby cross-pollinating and contaminating the entire crop. This contamination also occurred when Syngenta’s GMO seed corn was mixed with other corn in grain bins.
The problem lies not in the make-up of the corn seeds, but the fact that because protocol was not followed in obtaining approval by China, the corn was not accepted, causing great monetary loss to those in the supply chain.
The Omaha law firm of Inserra & Kelley is seeking to identify those who have lost significant sums of money as a result of the Chinese export market shutdown to join in a mass tort case against Syngenta. That would include everyone in the corn supply chain, from growers to elevator operators and others, particularly in Nebraska and Iowa.
China represents 10 percent of the U.S. corn export market, Kelley said. Not only have shipments been refused or detained (and charged storage) by China, but the price of corn has fallen to half of its 2012 price.
Craig Kelley of Kelley and Inserra said, “Of course the claims are going to be highly disputed by Syngenta. But there are a huge number of acres and sellers who have been impacted by their actions.”
“The key is that eight percent of the corn crops in 2013 and 2014 were Syngenta products.” But cross-pollination makes the number of crops in question much higher, he said.
The law firm is highly equipped to handle the claims. It has successful experience in many mass tort claims, including transvaginal mesh implants and Zarelto drug lawsuits.
Kelley said the firm believes in holding large corporations accountable when they do something wrong. “We won’t back down from corporate legal teams, and we’ll do everything we can to protect our clients’ rights.”
“We plan to spend the next six months or so qualifying clients, then decide if we should proceed in federal or state court. In the case of the transvaginal mesh implants case, we had claims in both,” Kelley said. “We need to determine the best opportunity for our clients.”
“The biggest MDL [multi-district litigation] firms in the country are involved. This involves significant compensation,” Kelley explained. A federal court panel in Kansas City, Kan., will oversee all of the cases filed from around the country. MDL cases are filed in federal court, whereas mass torts or MCL multi-county litigations are filed in state court.
“It’s still early in the game,” Kelley said. “But now is the time for all those who sold corn – farmers or elevator operators – in 2013 or 2014 at decreased prices due to Syngenta’s actions, to contact us to explore their legal rights.
Other eligible parties include land owners where corn crops are farmed, grain elevator owner/operators, distributors, transporters (trucking companies, truck drivers, railroads, etc.) and corn exporters – virtually anyone involved in the growth, production, transportation or trade of corn in the United States.
Learn more at inserra.com/practice-areas/syngenta-gmo-corn-seed-lawsuits or call the Inserra and Kelley Firm at (800) 642-1242 or (402) 391-4000 to discuss the case with Craig Kelley or John Inserra.