Bayer Hit For $2M In 1st Bellwether Rice Trial

By Pete Brush (December 4, 2009, 8:12 PM EST) -- A federal jury on Friday found Bayer AG liable for contaminating the U.S. rice supply with two strains of genetically modified rice, awarding two farmers compensatory damages of about $2 million but declining to issue punitive damages.

The verdict in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri marked a victory for farmers Ken Bell and Johnny Hunter, who were awarded $1.955 million and $53,000, respectively, in the first bellwether trial in the multidistrict product liability litigation.

"Bayer was found liable for contaminating the U.S. rice supply with its unapproved LL rice," attorney Adam Levitt of Wolf Haldenstein Adler...

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