Some Ky. Farmers Eligible To Join Class Action Lawsuit
The plaintiffs in this action say that Roundup Ready 2 Xtend, a defective product, contained a dangerous herbicide that killed their crops.
Missouri farmers filed the action in federal court. According to court documents, Monsanto sold this defective product in Missouri, Kentucky, and eight other states. The plaintiffs contend that instead of an EPA-approved pesticide, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend used dicamba, which is “a drift-prone herbicide that has wiped out hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in the U.S.” Allegedly, the dicamba drifted from the treated crops onto neighboring crops that were too sensitive to handle the stronger pesticide. Plaintiffs’ lead attorney Bev Randles estimates that over 200,000 acres may have been affected by the defective product.
In a statement, Monsanto said it would fight the “baseless” lawsuit, because the company adequately warned purchasers about the potential danger and cannot be responsible for “illegal” use that was “performed by third parties over whom Monsanto has no control.”
Common Defective Products
In their rush to bring new products to the market and turn development expenses into profits, many companies to not fully analyze new or remade products to ensure that they are safe. For example, one study concluded that dangerous toys seriously injure one child every three minutes. Some other common defective products include:
- Household Chemicals: Many air fresheners contain formaldyhyde, some upholstery and carpet cleaners contain Perchloroethylene, which is a toxic susstance used in dry cleaning, and the list goes on.
- Fireworks, Fuels, and Combustibles: To create more “oohs” and “ahhs,” fireworks are more explosive than ever before. Similarly, in the interest of fuel economy, gasoline and other combustibles are stronger than ever before, and they release potentially toxic fumes into the air.
- Inflatables: Today’s slides and bounce houses are more like theme park atractions. Their steep inclines and overly-thick walls or floors are fun for kids, until someone is injured.
Damages in defective products cases include compensation for economic and noneconomic losses. Jurors often award substantial punitive damages in these cases as well.
Defective Products Defenses
Based on its statement, Monsanto may use the product misuse defense in the Missouri lawsuit. In a nutshell, if victims misuse the defective product and are injured, the company is not laible for damages.
This defense is difficult to establish, because the law presumes that some product misuse is inevitble. For example, most people know that it is not safe to use screwdrivers to open paint cans, and screwdriver manufacturers may even include labels warning people not to use the products in this way. However, it is foreseeable that someone will open a paint can with a screwdriver. For the defense to apply, the use must be completely unforeseeable, such as using a lawn mower to trim ivy on a brick wall.
Defective products injure or kill thousands of people every month. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Leitchfield, contact Attorney Gary S. Logsdon. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.