Bayer appeals $265 million dicamba weedkiller verdict, alleging damage to Missouri peach farm exaggerated

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Bill Bader at his Missouri peach farm.

Bayer AG sent a private investigator [in July] to evaluate the business of a U.S. peach grower who won a $265 million court verdict against the company and rival BASF SE, in a bid to overturn the decision, according to court filings.

A jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in February awarded Bill Bader, Missouri’s largest peach farmer, $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages. Bader sued Bayer and BASF, saying his 1,000-acre orchard was irreparably harmed by herbicides drifting onto its trees from nearby farms.

Bayer’s private investigator found Bader’s retail store was selling peaches and his trees were growing fruit, according to a court filing on [July 28] that argued the dicamba-based herbicides did not ruin the farm. Bayer also cited advertisements promoting Bader peaches as evidence.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Farmers need more than pro-GMO marketing campaigns to earn public trust

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