What’s next in the Bader Farms lawsuit?
Both Bayer and BASF deny Bader [Farms] suffered any dicamba damage. They blame other crop damage on farmers making illegal applications, weather events, disease and other issues. They also deny that they engaged in a joint venture or conspiracy to release the products.
The companies further deny dicamba moves off-target. Monsanto and BASF officials testified that the new versions of dicamba do not cause any “adverse” effects when used according to the label.
The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting discussed the outcome with Chris Hohn, a partner at Thompson Coburn, which represented Bayer in the case. The lightly edited interview is below.
At the outset, we have empathy for the Baders and for Bader Farms, but the losses they’re claiming are not due to Monsanto’s products and they’re not due to dicamba.
We think that the evidence was uncontroverted from our experts that what is really going on at Bader Farms is unfortunately the armillaria root rot fungus is infecting those trees and ultimately killing those trees.
The other piece that we feel very strongly about is that Bader Farms did not sustain any damages. As you saw the evidence presented at trial, his peach profits as evidenced in his financial statements went up during the time period where he was claiming that he was suffering from dicamba damage. The fact that Monsanto’s products didn’t cause his losses, that armillaria is producing any tree losses and that his peach profits went up during the time period that he’s claiming an impact we think were very strong components of evidence that were presented to the jury.