June 6, 2023
- Plaintiffs firms Cohen Milstein, Lowey and Korein Tillery also on leadership team
- Syngenta, Corteva deny allegations
A U.S. judge has appointed a group of four plaintiffs’ firms to lead multidistrict litigation in North Carolina accusing the world’s largest seed and pesticide manufacturers of participating in a conspiracy with distributors to squelch competition.
In his order on Sunday, Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder in Winston-Salem named Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, Korein Tillery, Lowey Dannenberg and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to lead farmers’ claims against defendants including pesticide manufacturers Syngenta Corp and Corteva Inc (CTVA.N).
The judge’s order resolved six competing motions from firms seeking interim leadership over multidistrict litigation involving 29 lawsuits and 52 plaintiffs.
Firms in major U.S. class actions often vie for such roles, which gives them a chance to steer cases and potentially argue for attorneys’ fees at the end of litigation.
The private lawsuits, filed after the Federal Trade Commission in September brought its own case, seek unspecified damages for farmers’ costs.