IN RE SYNGENTA MASS TORT ACTIONS

No. 3:16-cv-00255-DRH.

IN RE SYNGENTA MASS TORT ACTIONS. This Document Relates to: Poletti, et al. v. Syngenta AG, et al. No. 3:15-cv-01121-DRH, Tweet et al. v. Syngenta AG et al. No. 3:16-cv-00255-DRH.

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois.

Editors Note
Applicable Law: 28 U.S.C. § 1332
Cause: 28 U.S.C. § 1332 Diversity - Product Liability
Nature of Suit: 385 Prop. Damage Prod. Liability
Source: PACER


Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Ellen K. Reisman, Special Master, Pro Se.

Daniel J Stack, Special Master, Pro Se.

Leroy Tweet, Plaintiff, represented by Martin J. Phipps , Phipps Cavazos, PLLC.

--All Plaintiffs in Case 16-255, Plaintiff, represented by Brian John Perkins , Meyers & Flowers, LLC, Clayton A. Clark , Clark, Love & Hutson GP, David C. Frederick , Kellogg, Hanson et al, pro hac vice, Jason Milne , Phipps Anderson Deacon LLP, pro hac vice, Joseph Barrett Deacon , Phipps Anderson Deacon LLP, pro hac vice, Joshua Hafenbrack , Kellogg, Hanson et al, pro hac vice, Martin J. Phipps , Phipps Cavazos, PLLC, Matthew M. Duffy , Kellogg, Hanson et al, pro hac vice, Meagan M. Talafuse , Phipps Anderson Deacon LLP, pro hac vice, Michael K. Johnson , Johnson Becker PLLC, Michael W. Lenert , Meyers & Flowers, LLC, pro hac vice, Peter J. Flowers , Meyers & Flowers, LLC, Scott A. Love , Clark, Love & Hutson GP, Sean A. Lev , Kellogg, Hanson et al & William Wayne Lundquist , Clark, Love & Hutson GP.

Syngenta AG, Defendant, represented by Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Leslie M. Smith , Kirkland & Ellis LLP & Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC.

Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Defendant, represented by Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Leslie M. Smith , Kirkland & Ellis LLP & Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC.

Syngenta Corporation, Defendant, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, pro hac vice, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis, Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis & Leslie M. Smith , Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Defendant, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, pro hac vice, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis, Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis & Leslie M. Smith , Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., Defendant, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, pro hac vice, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis, Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis & Leslie M. Smith , Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Syngenta Seeds, Inc., Defendant, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, pro hac vice, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis, Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis & Leslie M. Smith , Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Syngenta Seeds, LLC, ThirdParty Plaintiff, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis & Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis.

MDL Plaintiffs' Leadership, Intervenor, represented by Don M. Downing , Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C..

Syngenta AG, ThirdParty Plaintiff, represented by Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP & Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC.

Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc., ThirdParty Plaintiff, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis & Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis.

Syngenta Corporation, ThirdParty Plaintiff, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis & Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis.

Syngenta Crop Protection AG, ThirdParty Plaintiff, represented by Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP & Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC.

Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, ThirdParty Plaintiff, represented by Edwin John U. , Kirkland & Ellis, Jordan M. Heinz , Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D. Jones , Kirkland & Ellis, Michael J. Nester , Donovan Rose Nester PC, Patrick F. Philbin , Kirkland & Ellis & Ragan Naresh , Kirkland & Ellis.


ORDER APPOINTING PLAINTIFFS' SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATION COMMITTEE IN THE SYNGENTA LITIGATION

DAVID R. HERNDON, District Judge.

Several lawsuits have been filed in multiple federal and state courts arising from Syngenta's development and sale of corn seeds containing genetically modified traits known as MIR 162 and Event 5307 before China's approval to import corn with those traits. Cases are pending in: the multidistrict litigation ("MDL") proceeding in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, captioned in In re Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2591, before U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum and U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O'Hara; in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois before U.S. District Judge David. R. Herndon in the cases captioned Tweet et al v. Syngenta AG et al, No. 3:16-cv-00255, Poletti et al v. Syngenta AG et al, No. 3:15-cv-01221, and Michael's Grain Farm et al v. Syngenta AG et al, No. 3:17-cv-000320; in Minnesota State Court before Judge Laurie Miller in a case captioned In re Syngenta Litigation, No. 27-cv-15-3785; and in the Illinois State Court before Judge Brad K. Bleyer in a case captioned Browning v. Syngenta AG et al, No. 15-L-157. On June 23, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Kansas court entered a Judgment following the Kansas class jury verdict in favor of Plaintiffs. (A motion to amend that judgment is pending.) Additionally, the Minnesota class trial before Judge Miller is scheduled to begin on September 11, 2017.

The above-mentioned courts have all appointed Ellen K. Reisman as Special Master for Settlement to explore settlement of the pending cases in all of the courts listed above. Special Master Reisman has been given the authority, without limitation, to construct an efficient procedure to engage the parties in settlement negotiations, including: conducting in-person settlement negotiation with the parties and their counsel in all cases; ordering the appearance of any persons necessary to settle any claims completely; and making recommendations to the Courts concerning any issues that may require resolution in order to facilitate settlement or to efficiently manage the litigation.

In order to facilitate the goals of the appointment of the Special Master for Settlement, and after consultation with Special Master Reisman and judges from the federal and state courts listed above, who are presiding over the Syngenta corn litigation, the Court finds it prudent and efficient to appoint a Plaintiffs' Settlement Negotiation Committee to work toward a fair and expeditious resolution of the matters discussed above. This Plaintiffs' Settlement Negotiation Committee shall conduct settlement negotiations with Syngenta and Special Master Reisman, shall confer with other Plaintiffs' counsel in the actions described above about such negotiations, and shall participate in such negotiations on their behalf. The Court's judgment is that the Plaintiffs' Settlement Negotiation Committee appropriately balances the goals of representing the interests of different groups of producer plaintiffs while maintaining a workably sized group to conduct settlement negotiations. The Court anticipates that members of the Plaintiffs' Settlement Negotiation Committee will communicate with their co-counsel regarding settlement negotiations so that producer plaintiffs' interests are appropriately represented.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Christopher A. Seeger, of Seeger Weiss LLP; Mikal Watts, of Watts Guerra LLP; Clayton A. Clark, of Clark, Love & Hutson, GP; and Daniel E. Gustafson, of Gustafson Gluek PLLC are appointed as the Plaintiffs' Settlement Negotiation Committee. The Plaintiffs' Settlement Negotiation Committee, Special Master Reisman, and Syngenta will report on a weekly basis to the undersigned. This judge will communicate, on a regular basis, the progress of the Committee to the presiding judges in the federal and state court cases described above.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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