John Tull, Chip Chiles, and Joe Falasco of our Little Rock office obtained a defense verdict
John Tull, Chip Chiles, and Joe Falasco of our Little Rock office obtained a defense verdict for their two pesticide-formulator clients in a recent four-week trial concerning allegations of crop damage due to widespread pesticide drift over several Northeast Arkansas counties. The plaintiffs’ claims concerned the application of the pesticide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) to rice fields in Northeast Arkansas in 2006. The plaintiffs contended that a portion of large amounts of 2,4-D applied during several weeks in June and July 2006 traveled west over Crowley’s Ridge to the plaintiffs’ cotton fields and caused yield loss to thousands of acres of cotton. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant formulators’ product labels should have precluded the aerial application of the pesticides in Northeast Arkansas during the summer months. The plaintiffs sought more than $4 million in compensatory damages for claims based on allegations of negligence and strict liability. The plaintiffs’ claim for punitive damages was dismissed on directed verdict by the court. After hearing nearly four weeks of testimony, the jury found in favor of all defendants after approximately five hours of deliberation. The recent trial included eight plaintiffs and twelve defendants, with six of the defendants going to verdict. The larger case involves approximately 60 plaintiffs. No trial dates have been set for the remaining plaintiffs’ claims.