An Arkansas court verdict against Bayer CropScience, related to rice not approved for production being found in harvested rice of 2006, was affirmed by the Arkansas Supreme Court so that a group of Lonoke County, Ark., farmers should receive about $48 million to cover actual and punitive damages.
Bayer was in the process of developing a Liberty Link, herbicide resistant rice, at the time, and it had not received federal registration when some conventional rice in Arkansas was found to have traces of unregistered rice in it at harvest.
The Supreme Court ruling was outlined in a long article written by Jeanne Nuss for the Associated Press on Thursday.
In court, the plaintiffs recounted their inability to sell their long-grain rice, how rice futures dropped drastically and U.S. export of all rice was curtailed to many large customers around the world. The farmers’ case influenced jurors to the extreme of awarding $5.9 million in actual damages and $42 million in punitive damages. Bayer CropScience argued that the Lonoke County jury award was excessive and asked for a reduction in the award from the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Bayer CropScience has been in the process of settling other claims with those not involved in the lawsuit from a $750 million fund, noted the AP writer. The company is reportedly accessing its options following the ruling.
To read the full on-line news article click here.