Settlement of Genetically Modified Rice Lawsuits with Bayer CropscienceSettlement of Genetically Modified Rice Lawsuits with Bayer Cropscience

Modified Rice Lawsuits

Bayer CropScience has agreed to a $750 million dollar global settlement with rice farmers over contamination by Bayer’s experimental “Liberty Link” genetically modified rice. The controversial GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) was discovered in the commercial rice supply, causing a plunge in exports to Europe and slamming the rice industry.

Under the terms of the global settlement, Bayer has agreed, subject to certain terms and conditions, to settle pending claims for payments not to exceed $750 million. Prior to this agreement, Bayer had lost several jury trials and settled an additional three cases before they reached a jury.

“This settlement is validation for American rice farmers,” said, chair of the court-appointed executive committee for the plaintiff farmers. “It was a long, hard fought battle, but certainly worth the effort, and we’re pleased with the result.” He represents many of the rice farmers involved in the litigation.

The settlement will be open to long-grain rice farmers in the United States, affecting well over 8,000 farming operations. A Claims Administrator has developed computer programs to administer the settlement process.

“We wanted to ensure that the farmers received fair compensation for their losses” explained Arsenault. “The farmers believed in us and we believed in them. It created a bond and momentum that sustained us throughout the many years of aggressively fought litigation.”

According to lawsuits , farmers in five states claimed Bayer negligently contaminated the commercial rice crop with genetically modified LLRICE 601 and LLRICE 604, leading to export restrictions, bans on two varieties of high-yield seed and a plunge in prices. Within days of the restriction announcements, the decline in rice futures had already cost American rice farmers many millions.

“Our perseverance paid handsome dividends for deserving farmers,” concluded Arsenault.

Hand Sanitizers Fall Short on MRSA ClaimsHand Sanitizers Fall Short on MRSA Claims

MRSA Claims

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to four makers of hand sanitizing products that claim to prevent infection from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), E.coli and bird flu. The companies in question are:

Staphaseptic First Aid Antiseptic/Pain Relieving Gel (Tec Laboratories)
Safe4Hours Hand Sanitizing Lotion and Safe4Hours First Aid Antiseptic Skin Protectant (JD Nelson and Associates)

Dr. Tichenor’s Antiseptic Gel (Dr. G.H. Tichenor Antiseptic Co.)

CleanWell All-Natural Foaming Hand Sanitizer, CleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizer, CleanWell All-Natural Hand Sanitizing Wipes, and CleanWell All-Natural Antibacterial Foaming Handsoap (Oh So Clean, Inc, doing business as CleanWell Company).

The FDA letters warned each company that their products’ marketing is in breach of federal law and gave them 15 days to correct the violations.

Richard Arsenault Appears in Wall Street Journal on Gulf Oil Spill FundRichard Arsenault Appears in Wall Street Journal on Gulf Oil Spill Fund

Gulf Oil Spill Fund

Senior partner in Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal today and appeared in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog over plans to seek compensation for victims of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill from the $20 billion oil spill fund, rather than proceeding with potentially lengthy litigation against BP and other parties.

A partners in his law firm, are among a group of approximately 30 lawyers who are moving their clients’ claims through the oil spill fund.

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” Attorney told the Journal’s Dionne Searcy.
The fund, which is administered by Ken Fienberg , and was set up by BP and the Obama administration, has already paid out $3.35 billion dollars to victims of the spill.

Victims of the oil spill are now deciding whether to opt for potentially quicker compensation through the oil spill fund, or to take their claims through the court system. Victims who seek compensation through the oil spill fund will be barred from filing a lawsuit, and may forfeit future damages that may be awarded by a court.

For many victims, waiting for a courtroom decision may not be possible. Daniel Becnel, a lawyer in Arsenault’s group, explained that many victims need compensation now to avert financial ruin and may not be capable of waiting for a result through litigation.