Bayer has filed post-trial motions in the Missouri Bader Farms case, asking for the $265 million verdict to be overturned in the first dicamba-related case to go to trial.The weedkiller dicamba is at the heart of hundreds of lawsuits against the company from farmers who claim the pesticide drifted and significantly damaged their crops, once it was widely sprayed as early as 2015. In February, a Missouri jury awarded the state’s largest peach farm, Bader Farms, $15 million in actual damages and $250 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit that blamed dicamba for significant damages to its orchard.
In motions filed on Friday, Bayer argues that there was no evidence presented to show that its XtendiMax with VaporGrip dicamba herbicide caused the damage at Bader Farms. The motions ask for a new trial and the striking, or at least lowering, of damages. The motions are a likely first step toward an appeal.“It is well-established law that plaintiffs must prove the defendant manufactured or sold the injury-causing product in order to prove actual causation in a product liability case, and the Court should have upheld this requirement during the trial,” said Bayer spokeswoman Susan Luke said. The Missouri jury sided with Bader Farms, which claimed it is no longer a sustainable business because off-target movement of dicamba harmed its orchards and that the companies intentionally created the problem in order to increase profits.