Monday, March 21, 2011

Bayer ordered to pay $136.8 million in U.S. rice case

Martinne Geller in Reuters: A unit of Germany's Bayer AG has been ordered by a court in Arkansas to pay $136.8 million to Riceland Foods over the contamination of U.S. long grain rice stocks with a genetically modified strain from Bayer that decimated exports more than four years ago. The judgment, handed down by a jury in Stuttgart, Arkansas, includes $125 million in punitive damages to Riceland, a farmers cooperative.

Bayer said it is "disappointed" with the verdict and is considering its legal options. It said the punitive damages exceed what is permitted by Arkansas law and will therefore be limited to the statutory cap of $1 million. The judgment also includes $16.9 million in compensatory damages, with Bayer CropScience accountable for 70 percent, or $11.8 million, according to the plaintiff's attorney.

"We believe it's the largest punitive award in Arkansas in any case," said attorney Barry Deacon with the Jonesboro, Arkansas law firm Barrett & Deacon…

A Bayer advertisement in Leverkusen, shot by H005

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