The Dangers of Defective Products When purchasing a product, the last thing you should have…
In every country, state, and community, there are industries that are the heart and backbone of their culture, economy, and life. Although this can certainly vary from place to place, a few are constant – one in particular: Agriculture.
The hard work and efforts of those in the agriculture industry are felt by virtually everyone – anyone who isn’t raising and farming their own food is certainly participating. We need our dedicated farmers, and they need our support in return. More than that though, they need to trust the companies they work with to do right by them – sometimes though, that trust is violated, and the costs are beyond calculation.
This is what happened to peach grower Bill Bader, owner of Bader Farms, who discovered that an uncontrolled drift from the weedkiller dicamba had caused millions of dollars worth of damages to his farm – the largest peach farm in Missouri. The harm brought to his farm was undeserved, but worse was knowing it was avoidable because the companies behind the responsible products knew they were harmful.
Fortunately, a jury ruled in favor of Bader and that the responsible parties, Bayer and BASF, should pay a combined $250 million in punitive damages. During the trial, it was shown that Bayer and BASF had anticipated issues related to the drift of the dicamba product. Their decision to release the product anyway affected Bader, as well as countless other farmers and millions of acres of crops that were also damaged. The ruling, while a great victory, will not restore Bader’s farm nor reverse any other damage, making it all the more important we take every step to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
When it comes to seeking justice, the difficult part is knowing the wrongs that were done can never truly be undone – we can only seek to minimize the suffering of the victims and set a better example for the future. It’s impossible to assign a dollar value to something invaluable, like crops that take years to develop – and yet, in many cases just like this, it’s the only option to move forward at all. This fact alone emphasizes why we need to fight against morally corrupt companies that focus solely on their bottom line and pay no regard to the cost to others. It’s not only to hold them accountable, it’s not only to defend and support those they’ve wronged – it’s also about showing others who might commit the same crimes that they will not get away with it, and possibly spare others who might otherwise be wronged in the future.
Bader is not the only one currently affected by the damage caused by these herbicides, and the fight for justice for all farmers who have suffered is a cause that needs our support. It can feel daunting to take on a massive business within an even more powerful industry. Kristensen, LLP has experience fighting against big companies in a range of product liability cases for consumers – we’re here to win.