A Norman County, MN, court jury ruled today that BASF Corporation, the subsidiary of German multi-national company BASF AG, maker of Poast and Poast Plus herbicide, must pay growers nationwide $52 million.
The decision came as a result of a class-action lawsuit filed by 11 Midwest growers in 1997 when they found the same product was being marketed to growers of four major crops for less than those using it on specialty crops.
The attorneys from Lockridge Grindal Nauen are asking growers who used Poast to collect documents on their purchases from 1992 to 1996 to be able to file a claim against the judgement.
The Red River Valley court decision from a 12-member jury came last Dec. 6 in the case of Peterson vs. BASF Corporation. Since BASF is based in New Jersey, the court then tripled the award under provisions of the New Jersey consumer fraud statute.
Today’s ruling brought the total amount BASF must pay America’s farmers to $52 million with interest and costs.
While BASF said they will appeal the judgement, Attorney Hugh Plunkett said, “They have tried that before and lost.”
He was referring to other cases where BASF has been found fixing prices. In 1992 BASF began a marketing campaign based on false advertisement of Poast and Poast plus, warning growers of the dangers associated with using herbicides on crops not listed on product labels (even though EPA had approved such uses as safe).
BASF also perpetuated the deception by turning in their own dealers and farmers for prosecution if they were found using the herbicides on off-label crops.
Growers can contact the law firm at (616) 339-6900.