Downing Chosen to Prepare Corn Growers’ Claims in Syngenta Corn Multidistrict Litigation

By Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. on 2/4/2015

Another high-profile dispute over genetically modified crops has landed in the nation’s courts.

Switzerland-based Syngenta faces over 360 lawsuits on behalf of corn farmers, grain handlers, exporters and others.   Syngenta marketed two genetically modified strains of corn - Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade. When China, a major importer of U.S. corn, detected the genetic trait found in Viptera known as MIR162,  it began refusing all shipments of U.S. corn.  The price of U.S. corn plummeted.  The lawsuits allege that Syngenta was aware of these potential economic damages from its actions but sold the seeds with MIR162 anyway.

Co-lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel in Syngenta Corn Multidistrict Litigation

The lawsuits were combined in a multidistrict litigation in the United States District Court in Kansas.  Last month the federal court named Gray, Ritter & Graham attorney Don Downing co-lead plaintiff’s counsel along with:

William Chaney of Gray, Reed & McGraw
Scott Powell of Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton
Patrick Stueve of Stueve Siegel Hanson

They will lead the preparation and presentation of all plaintiffs' claims against Syngenta over its genetically modified corn.  The lawsuits were first filed last year and more continue to be filed.

Syngenta Corn Lawsuits Similar to Bayer Rice Litigation

These same attorneys played significant roles in similar litigation against Germany based Bayer AG and its affiliates.  In that action, an unapproved strain of Bayer’s genetically rice was found in the U.S. long-grain rice supply.  The European Union, a major market for U.S. rice, stopped purchasing U.S. rice due to the contamination. Thousands of U.S. rice farmers suffered economic damages when the price of their crops fell due to the EU’s decision.  The Bayer rice case, for which Downing also was co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel, settled in 2011 for $750 million.

When businesses large and small are harmed due to the negligent actions of another business, they can pursue legal recourse to receive financial compensation for their losses. Those wronged business owners may want to consult an attorney experienced in plaintiff commercial litigation.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.


Corn farmers