Who is a Class Member
You are a member of the Syngenta Corn Seed settlement class if you are a Corn Producer, Grain Handling Facility, or Ethanol Production Facility as defined below, even if you have already filed your own lawsuit against Syngenta.
Corn Producers: The settlement includes both Corn Producers who did and did not purchase and plant Syngenta’s Viptera or Duracade seeds. “A Corn Producer is any owner, operator, landlord, waterlord, tenant, or sharecropper who shares in the risk of producing Corn and who is entitled to share in the Corn crop available for marketing between September 15, 2013 and April 10, 2018.” The settlement also extends to landlords who receive a variable rent payable on a share of the corn crop or proceeds from the sale of corn.
Grain Handling Facilities: “A Grain Handling Facility is any grain elevator, grain distributor, grain transporter, or any other entity in the U.S. that, between September 15, 2013 andApril 10, 2018:
- (a) purchased Corn and then priced Corn in the United States for sale between September 15, 2013 and April 10, 2018; and/or
- (b) purchased Corn and then transported, stored or otherwise handled Corn that was priced for sale between September 15, 2013 and April 10, 2018.”
Ethanol Production Facilities: “An Ethanol Production Facility is any ethanol plant, biorefinery, or other entity in the U.S. that, between September 15, 2013 and April 10, 2018, produced or purchased DDGs in the United States and priced those DDGs for sale.”
If you don’t qualify for this settlement, check out our database of other class action settlements you may be eligible for.
The Syngenta Corn Seed Settlement will cover all Corn Producers, Grain Handling Facilities, and Ethanol Production Facilities. Of the $1.51 Billion settlement:
- $22.6 million will be set aside to pay Corn Producers who did purchase and plant Viptera or Duracade seeds
- $29.9 million will be set aside to pay Grain Handling Facilities
- $19.5 million will be set aside to pay Ethanol Production Facilities
The remaining settlement funds will used to pay Corn Producers who did not purchase or plant Viptera or Duracade seeds and is expected to be at least $1.438 million before deductions of settlement administration costs and attorneys’ fees.
You can view your specific plan of allocation in Section 11 of the Class Notice.
Proof of Purchase
- Depending on which category you fall into (Producer, Grain Handling Facility, or Ethanol Production Facility), you will need to provide specific information and possibly supporting documentation. You can view the information you will need to provide in or with your claim form here.
Note: Class members will begin receiving mailed or emailed notifications regarding the Syngenta Corn Settlement on Friday, May 11, 2018. Additionally, claimants will be able to submit their claim form online beginning May 11, 2018. You should NOT send a paper claim form until May 11, 2018 to avoid it the risk of it being rejected by the Claims Administrator.
Syngenta Corn Seed Settlement Notes
- Matthew Pagoaga, et al. v. Stephens Institute d/b/a Academy of Art University
- Case No. CGC 16-551952
- Pending in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco
In a nutshell, this massive class action lawsuit stems from allegations Syngenta sold genetically modified Viptera and Duracade corn seed to U.S. corn producers before receiving import approval in China.
Specifically, in 2013, Syngenta began selling genetically modified corn seed (Viptera) which contained a new insect-resistant genetic trait called MIR 162. three years later, Syngenta began selling Duracade, another genetically modified corn seed which included the MIR 162 trait and another insect-resistant trait known as Event 5307.
Corn producers began using the seed and producing crops to export to China, believing Syngenta’s assurances that the corn seed was approved for import to China. However, China has very strict import laws regarding genetically modified foods and never approved the Syngenta corn seed. As a result, China began rejecting shipments of U.S. corn after detecting Viptera traits in the imported corn.
This caused a major collapse in the U.S corn industry, with everyone from Corn Producers, Grain Handling Facilities, and Ethanol Production Facilities all affected catastrophically by Syngenta’s failure to wait to sell Viptera and Duracade corn seed until it obtained import approval in China.
Syngenta denies it did anything wrong, arguing that China was not a reliable or consistent importer of U.S. corn when Viptera and Duracade were brought to market. They company also contends that the drop in corn prices in 2013 was not a result of China’s rejection but rather the result of a worldwide bumper crop of corn. However, after much contentious litigation, Syngenta agreed to settle for a historic $1.51 Billion.
Both MIR 162 and Event 5307 traits have now been approved by China for import.
The Syngenta Corn Seed Settlement was granted preliminary approval on April 10, 2018. Complete details about the case and settlement are provided on the Syngenta Corn Seed settlement website.
Class members who wish to object to or exclude themselves from the Syngenta Cord Seed settlement must do so by August 8, 2018. Class members who wish to participate in the settlement must submit a claim form on or before October 12, 2018 but not before May 11, 2018.
- 10/12/2018: Claim Form Deadline
- 8/10/18: Objection or Exclusion Deadline
- 11/15/18: Final Hearing at 1:00 pm CT* (class members do not need to attend this hearing in order to receive a slice of the settlement pie).
*Settlement Class Members who wish to speak at the hearing should check www.cornseedsettlement.com to confirm that the date or time of the Hearing has not been changed.
- Mail: Corn Seed Settlement, Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 26226, Richmond, VA 23260
- Phone: 1-833-567-CORN (1-833-567-2676)
- Daniel E. Gustafson of Gustafson Gluek PLLC
- Christopher A. Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP
- Patrick J. Stueve of Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP