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Genetically Modified Rice Litigation

4:06-md-01811-CDP

 

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Settlement Notice

 

A settlement has been reached on behalf of rice farmers and landlords in In re: Genetically Modified Rice Litigation, Case No. 4:06 MD 1811-CDP (Eastern District of Missouri). The settlement is complex. If you are a rice producer or a landlord, your legal rights may be affected by this settlement. You should speak with your own legal counsel about the settlement. If you do not have legal counsel, you should consider seeking your own legal counsel to discuss these important issues and to answer any questions you may have about the settlement.

 

For more information, or to review the settlement documents, please go to http://gmricesettlement.com, or call the settlement administrator at (866) 673-5705.

 

Background

 

This multidistrict litigation includes approximately 300 cases filed by rice farmers and others involved in the rice business. Plaintiffs include farmers from the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. The cases arise from the 2006 discovery that trace amounts of LLRICE 601, a genetically modified rice strain, had been detected in the U.S. rice supply. LLRICE 601 is a rice seed developed by Bayer CropScience, which is resistant to a Bayer herbicide, Liberty Link. Although LLRICE 601 is now deregulated by the USDA, at the time of the contamination it was not approved for human consumption. Plaintiffs seek to recover damages for market losses and expenses they claim to have incurred because of the contamination.

 

Procedural History

 

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the cases in December of 2006 doc 1. After a substantial number of cases were transferred to the Eastern District of Missouri, the Court began holding conferences with counsel and appointed leadership counsel 182. The producer plaintiffs (rice farmers) filed a consolidated class action complaint in May of 2007 264 . The parties spent several months conducting discovery related to class certification and related to the question whether the foreign defendants could be sued here. On June 27, 2008 the Court denied the foreign defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction 733 . On August 14, 2008, the court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification 781. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint 1010 in January of 2009.

The parties are now conducting discovery in selected cases, as set forth in various Case Management Orders.

The court is conducting a series of bellwether trials. Three bellwether trials have been completed, involving claims of several Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana farmers. The next farmer bellwether trial is scheduled for October of 2010, and will involve claims of several Texas farmers. A bellwether trial involving claims of a non-producer, Riviana, was scheduled for April but settled before trial.

There are related state-court cases that are not being handled by this Court. Three have gone to trial in different Arkansas state courts.

Orders

This page contains the Case Management Orders and selected procedural and substantive orders. It is not a complete inventory of decisions, and these electronic versions are not official documents of record. The official records are those contained in the Clerk’s official Docket.

Date Filed # Description
10/18/2011 4297 Case Management Order No. 32
07/18/2011 4220 Case Management Order No. 31
06/30/2011 4212 Fourth Amendment to Case Management Order No. 30
06/02/2011 4165 Third Amendment to Case Management Order No. 30
05/18/2011 4161 Second Amendment to Case Management Order No. 30
03/24/2011 4128 Fourth Amendment to Case Management Order No. 23
02/28/2011 4092 Case Management Order No. 30
02/03/2011 3996 First Amendment to Case Management Order No. 28
01/27/2011 3946 Third Amendment to Case Management Order No. 23
01/14/2011 3895 Case Management Order No. 29
01/12/2011 3890 Amendment to Case Management Orders Nos. 23 & 26
12/21/2010 3782 Second Amendment to Case Management Order No. 23
12/13/2010 3731 Case Management Order No. 28
12/06/2010 3722 Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motions for Summary Judgment and to Exclude Experts in the Byrd, et al. Case (Additional Mississippi Trial Pool)
11/24/2010 3682 Case Management Order No. 27
10/29/2010 3609 Case Management Order No. 26
10/14/2010 3551 Order Setting Trial in Certain Mississippi Cases
09/10/2010 3349 Supplemental Scheduling Order
09/01/2010 3329 Amended Judgment in Deshotel Case (Louisiana - Fourth Bellwether Trial (Amending [#3189])
08/26/2010 3296 First Amendment to CMO 25
08/27/2010 3308 Amendment to order authorizing appeal bond in first two bellwether trials [#3251]
08/31/2010 3324 Amendment to Deadline for New Trial Briefs in Fourth Bellwether Trial
08/04/2010 3251 Order authorizing deposit of funds for appeal bond in first two bellwether trials
08/02/2010 3241 Case Management Order No. 25
07/26/2010 3189 Judgment in Deshotel Case (Louisiana – Fourth BellwetherTrial)
07/21/2010 3183 Fourth Amendment to CMO No. 20
07/20/2010 3181 Order Denying Motions for New Trial and Judgment as a Matter of Law in Catt & Penn Case (Second Bellwether Trial)
07/20/2010 3180 Order Denying Motions for New Trial and Judgment as a Matter of Law in Bell & Hunter Case (First Bellwether Trial)
06/16/2010 3041 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 24
06/07/2010 2987 Order Dismissing Riviana Case (Third Bellwether Trial)
06/07/2010 2981 Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motions for Summary Judgment and to Exclude Experts in Deshotel Case (Fourth Bellwether Trial)
05/27/2010 2929 Docket Text Order Modifying Deadlines in Certain Non-Producer Cases
05/10/2010 2894 THIRD AMENDMENT TO CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 20
05/05/2010 2861 FIRST AMENDMENT TO CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 23
04/21/2010 2813 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 23.
04/15/2010 2810 Second Amendment to Case Management Order No. 20
04/1/2010 2722 Scheduling Order Regarding Procedure in Remand Cases
03/29/2010 2715 Order Amending Case Management Order No. 21
03/29/2010 2709 MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON LOST PROFITS IN VEETEE v. RIVIANA 4:07CV121 CDP.
03/24/2010 2675 ORDER MODIFYING CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 22.
03/24/2010 2676 ORDER REGARDING TESTING OF SAMPLES IN VEETEE CASE, 4:07CV1211 CDP.
03/18/2010 2656 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TO EXCLUDE EXPERTS IN RIVIANA CASE (4:08CV375CDP), (THIRD BELLWETHER TRIAL TO BEGIN 04/19/2010).
03/17/2010 2652 AMENDMENT TO CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 20
03/15/2010 2646 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 22
02/24/2010 2574 COMMON BENEFIT FUND ORDER
02/11/2010 2534 AMENDED PENN AND CATT JUDGMENT (2ND BELLWETHER TRIAL)
12/10/2009 2077 JUDGMENT IN BELL & HUNTER (FIRST BELLWETHER TRIAL)
12/09/2009 2075 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND TO EXCLUDE EXPERTS IN PENN & CATT CASES (SECOND BELLWETHER TRIAL)
12/04/2009 2057 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 20
02/18/2010 2555 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 21
12/02/2009 2021 AMENDMENT TO CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 18
11/02/2009 1878 ORDER AMENDING CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 19
09/28/2009 1604 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART SUMMARY JUSDGEMENT MOTIONS RELATED TO BELL AND HUNTER CLAIMS (MISSOURI)
09/28/2009 1558 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 19
09/01/2009 1487 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 18
05/22/2009 1327 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 17
05/22/2009 1325 ORDER REGARDING PRETRIAL SUBMISSIONS FOR BELLWETHER TRIALS
05/22/2009 1323 ORDER CORRECTING CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER DATES.
05/21/2009 1321 ORDER REGARDING FILING IN ALL CASES.
04/16/2009 1203 MODIFIED CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 3.
04/16/2009 1202 SECOND REVISED PROTECTIVE ORDER.
04/16/2009 1201 AGREED ORDER REGARDING THE PHIPPS GROUP OF ATTORNEYS.
03/24/2009 1160 MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO REMAND 34 CASES TO TEXAS STATE COURT
03/12/2009 1129 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 16
03/10/2009 1119 ORDER CLARIFYING AND CORRECTING CMO 15
02/25/2009 1059 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 15
02/09/2009 1059 ORDER REINSTATING STAY ON AMENDMENTS IN PRODUCER CASES
02/02/2009 1043 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 14
12/22/2008 994 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 13
11/24/2008 954 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 12.
11/24/2008 953 ORDER APPOINTING SPECIAL MASTER FOR SETTLEMENT.
11/14/2008 923 ORDER PROPOSING APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL MASTER FOR SETTLEMANT
11/03/2008 914 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER NO. 11.
11/03/2008 913 AMENDMENT TO CASE MANAGEMENT ORDERS 9 & 10
10/21/2008 897 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 10
10/21/2008 896 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 9
08/14/2008 781 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION
06/27/2008 733 ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION
06/17/2008 722 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 8
04/30/2008 677

ORDER REMANDING SIMPSON CASE TO TEXAS STATE COURT

02/13/2008 591 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 7
12/03/2007 474 AGREED ORDER RE: DEPOSITION PROTOCOL
10/03/2007 473 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 6
10/24/2007 417 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 5
10/22/2007 398 ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REMAND BEAUMONT CASE TO TEXAS STATE COURT
10/15/2007 378 ORDER DENYING MOTION TO REMAND TEXANA CASE TO TEXAS STATE COURT
10/15/2007 377 ORDER REMANDING SCHAFER CASE TO ARKANSAS STATE COURT
09/28/2007 371 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 4
06/07/2007 292 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 3
06/05/2007 291 AGREED ORDER FILED RE: PROTOCOL FOR DOCUMENT PRODUCTION
06/05/2007 290 AGREED CONFIDENTIALITY AND PROTECTIVE ORDER
06/05/207 289 AGREED ORDER RE: PRESERVATION OF COMMUNICATIONS DOCUMENTS ELECTRONIC DATA OTHER TANGIB
04/24/2007 235 MDL ORDER RENAMING LITIGATION
04/19/2007 185 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 2
04/18/2007 183 CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER No. 1
04/18/2007 182 ORDER APPOINTING LEADERSHIP COUNSEL
02/16/2007 27 ORDER SETTING INITIAL SCHEDULING CONFERENCE
12/19/2006 2 INITIAL ORDER
12/19/2006 1 JPML ORDER

Contacts

Clerk's Office

United States District Court
Eastern District of Missouri
111 South 10th Street, Suite 3.300
St. Louis, MO 63102
(314)244-7900

 

Case Management Team 

Melanie Berg (314) 244-7931 (team leader)
Brittany Porter (314) 244-7930

 

 

Chambers of U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry

Courtroom 14-South

111 South 10th Street
Suite 14.182
St. Louis, MO 63102
(314)244-7520

Judicial Assisant: Brian Crow
Court reporter: Teri Hopwood (314)244-7988

 

 

Special Master for Settlement:

Stephen N. Limbaugh, Sr.,
Armstrong Teasdale LLP
7700 Forsyth Blvd., Suite 1800
St. Louis, MO 63105
(314)259-4705
 

 

Lead Counsel for the Plaintiffs:

Don M. Downing
GRAY AND RITTER, P.C.
701 Market Street, Suite 800
St. Louis, MO 63101-1826
(314)241-5620
 

Adam J. Levitt
WOLF HALDENSTEIN ADLER FREEMAN & HERZ LLC
55 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1111
Chicago, IL 60603
(312)984-0000

 

Lead Counsel for the Defendants:

Terry R. Lueckenhoff
FOX GALVIN, LLC
One S. Memorial Drive, 12th Floor
St. Louis, MO 63102
(314)588-7000

 

Eric R. Olson
BARTLIT AND BECK, LLP
1899 Wynkoop Street, Eighth Floor
Denver, CO 80202
(303)592-3100

 

 

Plaintiffs' Executive Committee:
 

Scott E. Poynter
EMERSON POYNTER LLP
The Museum Center
500 President Clinton Avenue, Suite 305
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501)907-2555

 

Richard J. Arsenault
NEBLETT AND BEARD
P.O. Box 1190
Alexandria, LA 71309-1190
(318)487-9874

 

Stephen A. Weiss
SEEGER WEISS LLP
One William Street
New York, NY 10004-2502
(212)584-0700

 

Joe Whatley, Jr.
WHATLEY AND DRAKE
1540 Broadway, 37th Floor
New York, NY 10036
(212)447-7070

 

William B. Chaney
LOOPER AND REED
1601 Elm Street, Suite 4100
Dallas, TX 75201
(214)954-4135

 

Ralph E. Chapman
CHAPMAN AND LEWIS
501 First Street
PO Box 428
Clarksdale, MS 38614
(662)627-4105

 

Liaison Counsel for Non-Bayer Defendants:
 

 

Christopher Hohn
THOMPSON COBURN
One US Bank Plaza, Suite 26
St. Louis, MO, 63101

 

Liaison Counsel for European Non-Producer Plaintiffs:
 

John K. Baker
MITCHELL AND WILLIAMS
425 West Capitol Ave., Suite 1800
Little Rock, AR, 72201
(501)688-8800

 

Liaison Counsel for other Non-Producer Plaintiffs:
 

William B. Chaney
LOOPER AND REED
1601 Elm Street, Suite 4100
Dallas, TX 75201
(214)954-4135

Hearings and Conferences

This calendar provides only the upcoming hearings and status conferences. It does not include other case management deadlines. For most hearings and status conferences, a call-in number is established (and sent out approximately one week before the hearing or conference) to allow telephone participation.

  • Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 12:30 p.m., telephone status conference with lead counsel (plaintiffs will initiate this conference)
  • Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., status conference and final pretrial hearing for Gulf Pacific Rice Co., Inc., et al. v. Bayer CropScience LP, et al.
  • Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., status conference and final pretrial hearing for Beaumont Rice Mills, Inc., et al. v. Bayer CropScience LP, et al.
  • Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., status conference and final pretrial hearing for Kennedy Rice Dryers, LLC v. Bayer CropScience LP, et al. and Planters Rice Mill, LLC v. Bayer CropScience LP, et al.
  • Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 10:00 a.m., status conference and final pretrial hearing for Texana Rice Mill, Ltd., et al. v. Bayer CropScience LP, et al.
  • Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:30 p.m., telephone status conference with lead counsel (plaintiffs will initiate this conference).
  • Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., status conference and final pretrial hearing for Phoenix Advisors, Ltd. v. Bayer CropScience LP, et al.
     

Filing Tips

Revised May 2009 – Please Review New Requirements

The Orders in this case set the rules for filing matters in this case. The Local Rules apply unless changed by a specific order. The following tips are meant to assist counsel, but are not a complete summary of the rules for filing. Please read all Case Management and Procedural Orders carefully.

  • Please note that as of May 21, 2009 docket #1321 the filing rules for this case have changed as follows:

    For all cases, all documents filed with the court are to be filed in the main 4:06MD1811 case. In addition, pleadings (as defined in Rule 7(a), Fed. R. Civ. P.) and any motions or other documents directed to pleadings – for example, motions to dismiss, motions to remand, motions to amend, motions for summary judgment, or any briefs or exhibits related or responding to such motions – are to be filed in both the main 4:06MD1811 case and the individual civil case(s) to which the filing relates. Other items – such as documents relating to discovery or scheduling issues – are not to be filed in the individual civil cases.

  • Notice of Depositions are filed only in the main MDL case and no other discovery documents shall be filed.
  • The Clerk’s office has provided instructions for service of process of foreign defendants. Please follow these instructions and if you need further assistance, call the Clerk’s office.
  • All counsel and all parties are listed in the main MDL case, so all counsel will get notices of anything filed in that case. If things are filed only in an individual case, only counsel who appear on the docket sheet of that case will receive notices. The court does not send mail notices, so only counsel who have provided an electronic entry of appearance and email address receive notices.
  • The CM/ECF system provides an option for “spreading” entries. It defaults to the “no” position. If you change this to “yes”, your document will be filed in all 277 cases and all counsel of record will receive 277 emails notifying them of your filing. Please do not do this unless instructed by the court.

Reports of Counsel

 

Date Filed # Description
02/18/2011 4065 Report of State Cases with Pending Trials
02/03/2011 3997 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 02/10/2011 Status Conference
01/06/2011 3813 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 01/13/2011 Status Conference
12/02/2010 3707 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 12/9/2010 Status Conference
11/11/2010 3645 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 11/17/2010 Status Conference
10/22/2010 3578 List of Cases to be Included in the Third Remand Group
10/06/2010 3506 Amended Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 10/7/2010 Status Conference
09/30/2010 3464 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 10/7/2010 Status Conference
08/18/2010 3275 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 08/25/2010 Status Conference
08/18/2010 3275 Supplemental Scheduling Order
07/27/2010 3197 Amended Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 7/29/2010 status conference
06/09/2010 2996 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 6/16/2010 status conference
06/09/2010 2990 Amended Report listing Non-Producer cases
06/01/2010 2937 Supplement to Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 6/1/2010 status conference
05/28/2010 2936 Joint Report of Lead Counsel for 6/1/2010 status conference
04/16/2010 2812 REPORT REGARDING STATUS OF RIVIANA CASE
04/08/2010 2787 JOINT REPORT OF COUNSEL FOR 04/14/2010 STATUS CONFERENCE
03/15/2010 2648 LIST OF PENDING RELATED CASES
03/19/2010 2669 AMENDED LIST OF CASES SELECTED FOR REMAND
03/05/2010 2614 SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT FOR 03/11/2010 TELEPHONE CONFERENCE
03/04/2010 2609 REPORT FOR 03/11/2010 TELEPHONE CONFERENCE
02/05/2010 2494 REPORT FOR 02/11/2010 TELEPHONE CONFERENCE
11/25/2009 1995 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 12/03/2009 STATUS CONFERENCE
10/27/2009 1840 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 10/29/2009 PRETRIAL CONFERENCE
09/17/2009 1518 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 09/24/2009 STATUS CONFERENCE
08/20/2009 1461 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 08/27/2009 STATUS CONFERENCE
07/23/2009 1410 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 07/30/2009 STATUS CONFERENCE
06/18/2009 1363 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 06/25/09 STATUS CONFERENCE
05/14/2009 1280 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 05/21/09 STATUS CONFERENCE
04/09/2009 1181 JOINT REPORT OF LEAD COUNSEL FOR 04/16/09 STATUS CONFERENCE
03/10/09 1121 LEAD COUNSELS' AMENDED PROPOSAL FOR SCHEDULING REMAINING PRODUCER CASES
03/03/2009 1113 Report for 03/05/09 Status Conference
02/12/2009 1081 Report for 02/19/09 Status Conference
01/29/2009 1029

Report for 01/29/2009 Conference

01/05/2009 1009 List of Pending Related Cases
12/17/2008 987 Lead Counsels' Selection of Initial Trial Pool Plaintiffs
12/11/2008 983 Report for 12/18/2008 Conference
11/14/2008 931 Supplemental Report for 11/20/2008
11/13/2008 924 Report for 11/20/2008 Conference
10/15/2008 879 Non-Producer Plaintiff CMO Proposal
10/02/2008 863 Defendants' Proposal for CMO 9
10/02/2008 862 Plaintiffs' Proposal for CMO 9
10/02/2008 861 Joint Statement re Proposals for CMO 9
05/16/2008 698 Non-Producer Plaintiff CMO Proposal
11/26/2007 450 Joint Motion re Deposition Protocol
11/20/2007 438

Report for 11/29/2007 Conference

09/14/2007 362 Report for 09/20/2007 Conference
05/29/2007 285

Report for 05/31/07 Conference

 


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