Todd Janzen was recently asked for comment on the number of lawsuits involving dicamba herbicide.
The dicamba lawsuit line begins with Bill Bader and his claims of extensive crop damage, but take a number because the queue is growing longer as more farmers file complaints against BASF and Monsanto.
As the first producer to file suit against Monsanto related to dicamba damage across his operation, Bader is the bell cow of drift litigation. However, farmers in at least 10 states are involved in lawsuits claiming various levels of loss and damage due to dicamba-tolerant technology and the number of suits is climbing. How the cases will play out in court remains a matter of conjecture, but one fact is clear: Dicamba-related litigation has only just begun.
A common thread in the dicamba-related lawsuits relates to the allegation that newer formulations of dicamba are incapable of being routinely and safely applied to cotton and soybeans, says Todd Janzen, Janzen Agricultural Law LLC, in Indianapolis, Ind. “Unlike a traditional product liability suit, the legal hurdle for the farmers in these cases is they didn’t buy the dicamba and apply it to their own fields. In most cases, they have no contractual relationship with Monsanto or BASF. Instead, they allege they were victims of Monsanto and BASF placing a pesticide on the market that is unsafe,” Janzen notes.
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