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This case was last updated from PACER on 04/20/2021 at 10:08:45 (UTC).

Budde v. Syngenta Corporation et al

Case Summary

On February 19, 2020, Melinda Budde (“Plaintiff”), represented by Gregory M. Bentz, Isaac L. Diel, Rex A. Sharp and Ruth Anne French-Hodson of Sharp Law, LLP, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit against Syngenta Corporation, Bayer CropScience Incorporated, Bayer CropScience LP, Corteva Incorporated, BASF Corporation and others (collectively, “Defendants”) seeking table damages with pre and post judgment interest and disgorgement for their alleged scheme to defraud through anticompetitive conduct. This case was filed in U.S. District Court in theDistrict of Kansas with Judge John W. Broomes, Judge Sam A. Crow, and Judge Teresa J. James presiding.

 

Plaintiff filed this action individually and on behalf of the class including all persons or entities in the United States and its territories who purchased a Crop Input for their own use and not for resale from January 1, 2014, through and until Class Notice was given.

 

In the complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that “Defendants dominate all levels of the Crop Input market. Through a coordinated enterprise in which they all participated, either directly or indirectly, Defendants have established a secretive supply-chain process using authorized licenses, commissions, rebates, and incentives to keep Crop Input prices inflated at supra-competitive levels and deny farmers access to relevant market information. This opaque Crop Input market prevents farmers from comparison shopping, making better-informed purchasing decisions, and discovering deceptive seed relabeling practices. Defendants also seek to control and capitalize on farmers’ data through the development of farm management platforms.”

 

The Plaintiff further alleged that “Defendants’ enterprise to manipulate the Crop Input market continued when FBN tried to enter the Canadian market by purchasing an existing retailer with long-standing supply agreements. But after coordination, Defendants again almost simultaneously chose to end those supply agreements and boycott future sales to FBN in Canada”  and that “as a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ scheme to defraud through anticompetitive conduct, Defendants have been able to maintain their supra-competitive prices, control over farmer data, and an opaque Crop Input market preventing farmer bargaining or comparison shopping. This behavior not only shut down existing competitors but also chilled other potential market entrants.”

 

There are three claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first and second claims have been filed on behalf of Plaintiff and the Nationwide Class for violation of The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Civil RICO) under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and (d) and for violation of the Sherman Act: Conspiracy to Restrain Trade in Violation of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. § 1), respectively. The third claim filed on behalf of Plaintiff and the Kansas Class is for the violation of The Kansas Restraint of Trade Act (Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 50-101, et seq.).

In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff requested the court to determine the class as requested and to adjudge and pass a decree against the unlawful conduct, conspiracy, or combination of the Defendants as alleged under the complaint. Plaintiff further requested the court to pass an order for disgorgement, treble damages with pre and post judgment interest and the costs of litigation.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    2:21-CV-02095

  • Filing Date:

    02/19/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

  • Court:

    U.S. District Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Kansas District

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Teresa J. James

Presiding Judges

Sam A. Crow

John W. Broomes

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Melinda Budde

Defendants

Simplot AB Retail Sub, Incorporated

Federated Co-operatives Ltd.

Bayer CropScience Incorporated

Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution, Incorporated

BASF Corporation

Bayer CropScience, LP

Tenkoz Inc.

CHS Incorporated

Cargill, Incorporated

Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc.

Winfield Solutions, LLC

Corteva Incorporated

Syngenta Corporation

Univar Solutions, Incorporated

GROWMARK, Incorporated doing business as Farm Supply

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Isaac L. Diel

Attorney at Sharp Law, LLP

5301 West 75Th Street

Prairie Village, KS 66208

Ruth Anne French-Hodson

Attorney at Sharp Law, LLP

5301 West 75Th Street

Prairie Village, KS 66208

Gregory M. Bentz

Attorney at Sharp Law, LLP

5301 West 75Th Street

Prairie Village, KS 66208

Rex A. Sharp

Attorney at Sharp Law, LLP

5301 West 75Th Street

Prairie Village, KS 66208

Defendant Attorneys

Sharon B. Rosenberg

Attorney at Thompson Coburn, LLP - St. Louis

One Us Bank Plaza

St. Louis, MO 63101

Christopher M. Hohn

Attorney at Thompson Coburn, LLP - St. Louis

One Us Bank Plaza

St. Louis, MO 63101

Jennifer L. Berhorst

Attorney at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP - KCMO

One Kansas City Place, 1200 Main Street, Suite 3800

Kansas City, MO 64105

 

Court Documents

#1

(#29) ORDER granting #28 Joint Motion Regarding Case Scheduling Pending Order From United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Plaintiff and Defendant Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc., with the support of the remaining Defendants, seek extensions of certain deadlines pending a ruling by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on a motion to create an MDL that could consolidate and transfer this action to another district. By granting the motion, the deadlines for Defendants to answer or otherwise respond to the #1 Class Action Complaint and for Plaintiff to respond to #16 Bayer Cropscience Defendants' Motion to Transfer Venue Under 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) are vacated. No later than April 5, 2021, the parties shall file a joint status report regarding the status of the motion to stay filed in related cases in the Southern District of Illinois, along with any other relevant information. The joint status report shall include the parties' proposal for new deadlines regarding the events whose deadlines are vacated by this order. The Court encourages the parties to submit a joint proposal, but if they are unable to agree, the status report shall include separate proposals. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 3/18/2021. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (ts) (Entered: 03/18/2021)

#28

(#28) Joint MOTION for extension of time by Defendant Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc. (referred to Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James) (Berhorst, Jennifer) (Entered: 03/16/2021)

#25

(#25) ENTRY OF APPEARANCE by Sharon B. Rosenberg on behalf of Bayer CropScience Incorporated, Bayer CropScience, LP (Rosenberg, Sharon) (Entered: 03/10/2021)

24 #1

Exhibit 1 - Electronic Filing Registration Form

#24

(#24) MOTION for attorney Sharon B. Rosenberg to appear pro hac vice ( Pro hac vice fee $50, Internet Payment Receipt Number AKSDC-5429788.) by Defendants Bayer CropScience Incorporated, Bayer CropScience, LP (referred to Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James) (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1 - Electronic Filing Registration Form)(Hohn, Christopher) (Entered: 03/08/2021)

#22

(#22) SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED -- Personal Service by Melinda Budde upon Univar Solutions, Incorporated served on 2/24/2021, answer due 3/17/2021 (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 03/04/2021)

#19

No Description Available

17 #2

Exhibit B - Ms. Budde's 2017 TSA

17 #1

Exhibit A - Declaration of K. Abrams

#16

(#29) ORDER granting #28 Joint Motion Regarding Case Scheduling Pending Order From United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Plaintiff and Defendant Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc., with the support of the remaining Defendants, seek extensions of certain deadlines pending a ruling by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on a motion to create an MDL that could consolidate and transfer this action to another district. By granting the motion, the deadlines for Defendants to answer or otherwise respond to the #1 Class Action Complaint and for Plaintiff to respond to #16 Bayer Cropscience Defendants' Motion to Transfer Venue Under 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) are vacated. No later than April 5, 2021, the parties shall file a joint status report regarding the status of the motion to stay filed in related cases in the Southern District of Illinois, along with any other relevant information. The joint status report shall include the parties' proposal for new deadlines regarding the events whose deadlines are vacated by this order. The Court encourages the parties to submit a joint proposal, but if they are unable to agree, the status report shall include separate proposals. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 3/18/2021. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (ts) (Entered: 03/18/2021)

#15

No Description Available

#13

No Description Available

#11

No Description Available

#9

No Description Available

#8

No Description Available

#5

(#5) SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED -- Personal Service by Melinda Budde upon GROWMARK, Incorporated served on 2/24/2021, answer due 3/17/2021 (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 03/03/2021)

#2

(#2) CIVIL COVER SHEET by Plaintiff Melinda Budde. (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 02/19/2021)

22 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 04/05/2021
  • Docket(#31) ORDER - The Court has reviewed the timely status report filed by Plaintiff and Defendant Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc. on behalf of all other Defendants. The Court agrees efficiency is best served by coordinating this case with proceedings in the substantially similar cases pending in other courts. Accordingly, no later than May 5, 2021, the parties shall file another joint status report regarding the status of the motion to stay filed in related cases in the Southern District of Illinois, along with any other relevant information. The joint status report shall include the parties' proposal for new deadlines regarding the events whose deadlines were vacated by the Court's order dated March 18, 2021 (ECF No. 29). The Court encourages the parties to submit a joint proposal, but if they are unable to agree, the status report shall include separate proposals. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 4/5/2021. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (ts) (Entered: 04/05/2021)

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  • 04/02/2021
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  • Docket(#30) JOINT STATUS REPORT AND SCHEDULING PROPOSAL by Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc.. (Berhorst, Jennifer) (Entered: 04/02/2021)

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  • 03/18/2021
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  • Docket(#29) ORDER granting #28 Joint Motion Regarding Case Scheduling Pending Order From United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Plaintiff and Defendant Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc., with the support of the remaining Defendants, seek extensions of certain deadlines pending a ruling by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on a motion to create an MDL that could consolidate and transfer this action to another district. By granting the motion, the deadlines for Defendants to answer or otherwise respond to the #1 Class Action Complaint and for Plaintiff to respond to #16 Bayer Cropscience Defendants' Motion to Transfer Venue Under 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) are vacated. No later than April 5, 2021, the parties shall file a joint status report regarding the status of the motion to stay filed in related cases in the Southern District of Illinois, along with any other relevant information. The joint status report shall include the parties' proposal for new deadlines regarding the events whose deadlines are vacated by this order. The Court encourages the parties to submit a joint proposal, but if they are unable to agree, the status report shall include separate proposals. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 3/18/2021. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (ts) (Entered: 03/18/2021)

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  • 03/16/2021
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  • Docket(#28) Joint MOTION for extension of time by Defendant Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc. (referred to Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James) (Berhorst, Jennifer) (Entered: 03/16/2021)

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  • 03/16/2021
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  • Docket(#27) ENTRY OF APPEARANCE by Jennifer L. Berhorst on behalf of Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc. (Berhorst, Jennifer) (Entered: 03/16/2021)

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  • 03/10/2021
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  • Docket(#26) ORDER finding as moot #24 Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice in light of #25 counsel's entry of appearance. Signed by Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James on 3/10/2021. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (ts) (Entered: 03/10/2021)

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  • 03/10/2021
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  • Docket(#25) ENTRY OF APPEARANCE by Sharon B. Rosenberg on behalf of Bayer CropScience Incorporated, Bayer CropScience, LP (Rosenberg, Sharon) (Entered: 03/10/2021)

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  • 03/08/2021
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  • Docket(#24) MOTION for attorney Sharon B. Rosenberg to appear pro hac vice ( Pro hac vice fee $50, Internet Payment Receipt Number AKSDC-5429788.) by Defendants Bayer CropScience Incorporated, Bayer CropScience, LP (referred to Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James) (Attachments: #1 Exhibit 1 - Electronic Filing Registration Form)(Hohn, Christopher) (Entered: 03/08/2021)

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  • 03/04/2021
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  • Docket(#23) SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED -- Personal Service by Melinda Budde upon Syngenta Corporation served on 2/24/2021, answer due 3/17/2021 (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 03/04/2021)

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  • 03/04/2021
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  • Docket(#22) SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED -- Personal Service by Melinda Budde upon Univar Solutions, Incorporated served on 2/24/2021, answer due 3/17/2021 (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 03/04/2021)

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14 More Docket Entries
  • 03/03/2021
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  • Docket(#7) SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED -- Personal Service by Melinda Budde upon Bayer CropScience, LP served on 2/24/2021, answer due 3/17/2021 (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 03/03/2021)

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  • 03/03/2021
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  • Docket(#6) SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED -- Personal Service by Melinda Budde upon CHS Incorporated served on 2/24/2021, answer due 3/17/2021 (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 03/03/2021)

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  • 03/03/2021
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  • Docket(#5) SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED -- Personal Service by Melinda Budde upon GROWMARK, Incorporated served on 2/24/2021, answer due 3/17/2021 (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 03/03/2021)

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  • 02/23/2021
  • Docket(#4) MINUTE ORDER REASSIGNING CASE: Case reassigned to District Judge John W. Broomes for all further proceedings. U.S. District Senior Judge Sam A. Crow no longer assigned to case. Entered by Deputy Clerk on 2/23/21. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.)(msb) (Entered: 02/23/2021)

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  • 02/23/2021
  • DocketSUMMONS ISSUED as to Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (issued to Attorney for service) (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry) (lb) (Entered: 02/23/2021)

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  • 02/22/2021
  • DocketSUMMONS ISSUED as to BASF Corporation, Bayer CropScience Incorporated, Bayer CropScience, LP, CHS Incorporated, Cargill, Incorporated, Corteva Incorporated, GROWMARK, Incorporated, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc., Simplot AB Retail Sub, Incorporated, Syngenta Corporation, Tenkoz Inc., Univar Solutions, Incorporated, Winfield Solutions, LLC. (issued to Attorney for service) (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry) (lb) (Entered: 02/22/2021)

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  • 02/22/2021
  • DocketNOTICE OF JUDGE ASSIGNMENT: Case assigned to District Judge Sam A. Crow and Magistrate Judge Teresa J. James for all proceedings. (This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (lb) (Entered: 02/22/2021)

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  • 02/19/2021
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  • Docket(#3) DESIGNATION OF PLACE OF TRIAL filed by Plaintiff Melinda Budde - trial to be held in Kansas City. (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 02/19/2021)

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  • 02/19/2021
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  • Docket(#2) CIVIL COVER SHEET by Plaintiff Melinda Budde. (Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 02/19/2021)

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  • 02/19/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT with trial location of Kansas City ( Filing fee $402, Internet Payment Receipt Number BKSDC-5415104.), filed by Melinda Budde.(Sharp, Rex) (Entered: 02/19/2021)

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