ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — Some more details are emerging on Bayer’s $400 million settlement for dicamba injury claims, announced Wednesday amid a larger $1 billion settlement mostly focused on glyphosate litigation.
Bayer agreed to pay up to $300 million to soybean producers who suffered yield losses to dicamba damage at any time from 2015 through 2020. Another $100 million in the settlement will go toward settling non-soybean injury claims, as well as paying other costs incurred during litigation, such as attorney’s fees, bringing the total settlement to $400 million.
Who exactly can apply for this settlement and when? DTN reached out to lawyers involved in the settlement negotiation, as well as Bayer, for these details.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The catalyst for the settlement was a large group of farmers from several states whose dicamba injury lawsuits had been consolidated into a multi-district litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Farmers were being actively added to that case as recently as this spring. Peiffer Wolf attorney Paul Lesko, who was involved in the litigation and on the executive committee that negotiated the settlement, estimates that 150 to 200 producers were involved. They are mostly soybean farmers but include other crop producers as well.
However, anyone with evidence of crop injury from dicamba from 2015 through 2020 can apply for part of the settlement negotiated for this multi-district litigation, Lesko noted.
The $300-million-figure was negotiated specifically for soybean producers and used publicly available estimates of dicamba-injured soybean acres and complaints from sources such as the University of Missouri, he noted.
WHEN DOES THIS PROCESS START?
For now, only a memorandum of understanding has been signed as of June 24, stating the overall terms of this settlement, Downing noted.
That definitive agreement will contain important details, such as “walk-away” rights, which permit either party to walk away from the agreement if certain terms aren’t meant.
One such walk-away right for Bayer would hinge on how many plaintiffs from the multi-district litigation are required to participate. On a conference call with press after the June 24 announcement, Bill Dodero, head of global litigation for Bayer, said the company will require 97% of those plaintiffs and their affected acreage to participate.
On the plaintiff’s side, attorneys will figure out what percentage of reduction to their settlement individual farmers would be willing to tolerate if claims surpassed the $300 million set aside by Bayer.
HOW DO YOU APPLY?
The exact mechanism for dispersing this settlement is not yet in place […].
Farmers can hire lawyers to help them with the process, or they can proceed on their own.
Soybean farmers applying for part of the $300-million settlement need two categories of evidence. First, they must submit documentation of dicamba symptomology in their soybean fields, such as photographs, state regulatory agency reports or expert agronomist opinions or notes.
Second, soybean growers will need evidence of yield loss, such as a crop insurance report or evidence from a calibrated yield monitor.
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Dicamba Damage Lawyers at Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway are fighting on behalf of farmers and landowners to seek maximum compensation for the damages suffered due to Dicamba Damage. If you suspect that your crops or plants have been damaged by dicamba, contact Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane & Conway by filling out a Contact Form or by calling 314-833-4826 for a FREE Consultation.