On the morning of June 23, 2017 a jury in Kansas City federal court issued a verdict against Syngenta for $217 Million. This is very good news as it affirms our liability claims against Syngenta, which vigorously fought at this trial. However, the jury declined to issue any punitive damages against Syngenta. The law for Kansas on getting punitive damages is much more difficult than that of Minnesota. Syngenta may very well appeal this verdict.
Regardless of whether it appeals, this verdict does not cover the more than 55,000 farmers and elevators represented by our lead firm of Watts & Guerra of San Antonio. Our firm represents nearly 800 of you farmers, and some coop elevators, predominantly in western Minnesota, with the Watts Guerra firm.
Then, during the week of June 29, Syngenta came to the table and settled the case for one of our farmer clients, Mr. Mensik of Nebraska. We are very pleased with the result. However, the settlement amount is confidential, and applies just to Mr. Mensik. Obviously, it bodes well for Syngenta eventually agreeing to a global settlement for all farmers.
The next scheduled trial is another class action trial that is set to begin on August 14 in Minneapolis. This is a class action for farmers of Minnesota who have not filed their individual lawsuits, as we have for you.
Our lawyer team led by Mikal Watts is very encouraged. We have been able to preview the defense efforts of Syngenta in the Kansas City trial, and we believe our expert witnesses and other witnesses will be even better against Syngenta in the Minneapolis class action trial, and any future trials. Plus, we have a better shot at having punitive damages awarded under Minnesota law.