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Reuters

Bayer AG and BASF have gained a brand new trial on $60 million in punitive damages they have been ordered to pay a Missouri peach farmer who stated dicamba, a herbicide they produced, drifted onto his orchard and harmed his crops.

The eighth U.S. Circuit Court docket of Appeals discovered {that a} federal jury was wrongly instructed to evaluate punitive damages for Bayer and BASF collectively, relatively than individually. It stated a brand new trial was wanted to find out punitive damages for every firm.

BASF, which had argued on attraction that the joint award was unfair as a result of the case targeted on Monsanto’s conduct, stated in an announcement that it was happy with the ruling. Bayer and a lawyer for the farmer, Invoice Bader, didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

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The order doesn’t have an effect on the jury’s verdict that the businesses are accountable, and leaves in place its award of $15 million in precise, non-punitive damages.

The jury had initially awarded $250 million in punitive damages, for a complete verdict of $265 million, however a federal choose later slashed the punitive portion to $60 million, bringing the whole all the way down to $75 million.

Bader’s lawsuit, one among greater than 100 related lawsuits over dicamba, went to trial in early 2020. Bayer in June 2020 introduced that it could pay as much as $400 million to settle the remaining dicamba lawsuits.

Bader, who operates Missouri’s largest peach orchard close to the Arkansas border, stated many timber have been killed when dicamba drifted onto his property from close by soybean and cotton farms.

Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, started promoting dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton seeds it developed in 2015 and 2016, respectively, resulting in an explosion of dicamba use, Bader and different farmers have stated.

The U.S. Environmental Safety Company imposed restrictions on the usage of dicamba in November 2018. (Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Enhancing by David Gregorio and Grant McCool)

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