Kissan berry farm et al v. Syngenta

82774-0-I // 82775-8-1 // 82776-6-1 // 82777-4-1
March 1, 2016
Final judgment
United States, Washington

Farmers, Economic stakeholders
Kissan berry farm, G&B farm, JS berry farm, Ken sidhu farms, Maluka farm
Syngenta, Whatcom Farmers Coop, CHS Inc.
No description

Civil court
Callisto, Herbicide
Compensation for damages caused to their raspberry crops. They also challenge the trial court’s denial of their motions for reconsideration regarding its rulings on summary judgment and on their motions to amend.
Court of appeals of Washington, United States

September 6, 2022
On appeal against dismissal and associated denials of their motions to amend their complaints, the appeals court reverses and remands.

In 2016, five farms sued Syngenta Crop Protection LLC (Syngenta) and Whatcom Farmers Coop (WFC) for alleged damages caused to their raspberry crop after using herbicide, Callisto, manufactured by Syngenta. The trial court dismissed, finding the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act preempted the farms’ two express warranty claims. The farms appeal that dismissal.

Consistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent established in Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, 544 U.S. 431 (2005), the Court of Appeals found that despite EPA-approved labeling and compliance with federal law, manufacturers cannot avoid liability for express warranty claims for defective design, defective manufacturing, and negligent testing in Washington State. Thus, federal FIFRA law does not preempt farmers' express warranty claims.

Also, the Court of Appeals agreed that the disclaimer on the packaging was ineffective because it negated the express warranty in its entirety. The Court of Appeal therefore reversed the judgment and remanded the case to the court.