This case was last updated from PACER on 06/11/2021 at 15:15:58 (UTC).

Wunsch Farms v. Bayer Cropscience LP et al

Case Summary

On April 12, 2021, Wunsch Farms (“Plaintiff”) represented by Michelle J. Looby of Gustafson Gluek PLLC, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated filed an antitrust action  against Defendants Bayer CropScience, LP, Bayer CropScience, Inc., Corteva, Inc., Cargill Incorporated, BASF Corporation and others (collectively, “Defendants'') seeking injunctive relief, damages among other reliefs for alleged unlawful agreement between Defendants to artificially increase and fix the prices of seeds and crop protection chemicals. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota with Judges Tony N. Leung and Michael J. Davis presiding. 

 

The Plaintiff brings this action on behalf of itself, and as a class action under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 23(a) and (b) on behalf of all persons or entities residing in the United States that, during the Class Period, purchased from a Defendant a Crop Input manufactured by a Manufacturer Defendant and various other classes.

 

In its complaint, the Plaintiff has alleged that the Defendants “have established a secretive distribution process that keeps Crop Inputs prices inflated at supra-competitive levels and, in furtherance of their conspiracy, denies farmers access to relevant market information, including transparent pricing terms that would allow comparison shopping, better-informed purchasing decisions and information about seed relabeling practices that would enable farmers to know if they are buying newly developed seeds or identical seeds repackaged under a new brand name and sold for a higher price.”

 

The Plaintiff has further alleged that “Defendants conspired and coordinated to boycott  online Crop Inputs sales platforms because of the threat they posed to Defendants’ market position and price control. (by offering comparison tools). The Defendant’s boycott succeeded. As a result of Defendants’ anticompetitive conduct, online Crop Inputs sales platforms, such as FBN and AgVend, were unable to purchase Defendants’ Crop Inputs to sell them on their platforms. Because Defendants are the dominant manufacturers and sellers of Crop Inputs, this was a devastating blow to these sales platforms and directly harmed farmers in taking away a lower cost option for purchasing these Crop Inputs.”

 

The Plaintiff also alleged that “Defendants conspired and coordinated to boycott these online Crop Inputs sales platforms because of the threat they posed to Defendants’ market position and price control. For example, the Manufacturer Defendants and Wholesaler Defendants agreed amongst themselves not to sell Crop Inputs to FBN, and enforced strict discipline on Retailer Defendants who failed to comply with the boycott. Defendants Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, and Corteva used audits and inspections of their authorized retailers to ensure that online Crop Inputs sales platforms were unable to obtain Crop Inputs from their authorized retailers.”

 

There are four claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first claim is for alleged Conspiracy to Restrain Trade in Violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The second claim is for the alleged violation of the State Antitrust Statutes. The third claim for relief is for the alleged violation of State Consumer Protection statutes. The fourth claim for relief is for alleged unjust enrichment. Defendants have allegedly been unjustly enriched by the receipt of, at a minimum, unlawfully inflated prices and unlawful profits on sales of Crop Inputs.

 

In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the Court to determine that the action may be maintained as a class action thus adjudicating upon unlawful conduct, conspiracy or combination. The Plaintiff has  further requested the Court to decree that the Defendants have unreasonably restrained the trade or commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, and violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. The Plaintiff has also requested that the Court grant injunctive relief against Defendants, award the Plaintiff compensatory damages, interests, and costs of litigation.

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    0:21-CV-00970

  • Filing Date:

    04/12/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other - Antitrust

Judge Details

Referral Judge

Tony N. Leung

Presiding Judge

Michael J. Davis

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Wunsch Farms

Defendants

Corteva, Inc.

Federated Co-Operatives Ltd.

Bayer Cropscience LP

Cargill Incorporated

BASF Corporation

Tenkoz, Inc.

Nutrien AG Solutions Inc.

Univar Solutions, Inc.

CHS Inc.

Growmark Inc.

Simplot AB Retail Sub, Inc.

Bayer Cropscience, Inc.

Winfield Solutions, LLC

Syngenta Corporation

Growmark FS, LLC

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Michelle J Looby

Attorney at Gustafson Gluek PLLC

120 South 6Th Street, Suite 2600

Mpls, MN 55402

Daniel C Hedlund

Attorney at Gustafson Gluek PLLC

120 South 6Th Street, Suite 2600

Mpls, MN 55402

Daniel J Nordin

Attorney at Gustafson Gluek PLLC

120 South 6Th Street, Suite 2600

Mpls, MN 55402

Brett Cebulash

Attorney at Taus, Cebulash & Landau, LLP

80 Maiden Lane, Ste 1204

New York, NY 10038

Mickey L Stevens

Attorney at Gustafson Gluek PLLC

120 South 6Th Street, Suite 2600

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Daniel E Gustafson

Attorney at Gustafson Gluek PLLC

120 South 6Th Street, Suite 2600

Mpls, MN 55402

Defendant Attorneys

Richard G Jensen

Attorney at Fabyanske Westra Hart & Thomson, PA

333 South Seventh Street, Suite 2600

Mpls, MN 55402

X. Kevin Zhao

Attorney at Greene Espel PLLP

222 S 9Th St., Ste 2200

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Mary Fee

Attorney at Fredrikson & Byron

200 S. 6Th St, Ste. 4000

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Todd A Wind

Attorney at Fredrikson & Byron, PA

200 S 6Th St Ste 4000

Mpls, MN 55402-1425

Brandon J. Wheeler

Attorney at Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt, PA

220 South 6Th Street, Ste 2200

Minneapolis, MN 55402

David L Hashmall

Attorney at Felhaber Larson

220 S 6Th St Ste 2200

Mpls, MN 55402-4504

Jon M. Woodruff

Attorney at Stinson LLP

50 South Sixth Street, Suite 2600

Minneapolis, MN 55402

Kathy Osborn

Attorney at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

300 N. Meridian St., Ste. 2500

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Jaime Stilson

Attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP

50 S 6Th St Ste 1500

Mpls, MN 55402-1498

F Matthew Ralph

Attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP

50 S 6Th St Ste 1500

Mpls, MN 55402-1498

Michael A Lindsay

Attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP

50 S 6Th St Ste 1500

Mpls, MN 55402-1498

Jonathan C Miesen

Attorney at Land O'Lakes, Inc.

4001 Lexington Ave N

Arden Hills, MN 55126

Jevon Bindman

Attorney at Maslon LLP

3300 Wells Fargo Center, 90 South Seventh Street

Minneapolis, MN 55402

James J Long

Attorney at Maslon LLP

90 South Seventh Street, Suite 3300

Minneapolis, MN 55402

11 More Attorneys Available

 

Court Documents

#41

(#41) RULE 7.1 DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. Parent corporation, publicly held corporation or wholly-owned subsidiary reported for Defendant Nutrien AG Solutions Inc.. (Westerman, Luke) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

#39

(#39) MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice for Attorney Kathy L. Osborn. Filing fee $ 100, receipt number AMNDC-8728923 filed by CHS Inc.. (Chow, Emily) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

#36

No Description Available

#35

No Description Available

#34

No Description Available

#32

No Description Available

#30

No Description Available

#26

No Description Available

#24

No Description Available

#23

No Description Available

#20

No Description Available

#14

No Description Available

#13

No Description Available

#7

(#7) MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice for Attorney Kevin S. Landau. Filing fee $ 100, receipt number AMNDC-8691446 filed by Wunsch Farms. (Looby, Michelle) (Entered: 04/19/2021)

#5

(#5) Summons Issued as to Growmark FS, LLC, Growmark Inc., Nutrien AG Solutions Inc., Simplot AB Retail Sub, Inc., Tenkoz, Inc. (MKB) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

#58

(#42) ORDER STAYING CASE. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: All proceedings and deadlines in the above-captioned cases are STAYED until ten days after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determines whether to transfer these actions to an MDL proceeding and completes any transfer of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1407. See In re Crop Inputs Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2993. Signed by Judge Michael J. Davis on 5/5/2021.Associated Cases: 0:21-cv-00351-MJD-TNL et al.(GRR) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

#46

No Description Available

#1

(#1) COMPLAINT Class Action Complaint against BASF Corporation, Bayer Cropscience LP, Bayer Cropscience, Inc., CHS Inc., Cargill Incorporated, Corteva, Inc., Federated Co-Operatives Ltd., Growmark FS, LLC, Growmark Inc., Nutrien AG Solutions Inc., Simplot AB Retail Sub, Inc., Syngenta Corporation, Tenkoz, Inc., Univar Solutions, Inc., Winfield Solutions, LLC (filing fee $ 402, receipt number AMNDC-8677174) filed by Wunsch Farms. Filer requests summons issued. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Looby, Michelle) (Entered: 04/12/2021)

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Docket Entries

  • 05/26/2021
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  • Docket(#47) TEXT-ONLY ORDER in Response to #46 Letter to Magistrate Judge. With the permission of presiding District Judge Michael J. Davis, and in response to #46 the parties' letter reflecting their agreement and intention that Defendant Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. was to be added as a defendant in this matter with the filing of the Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint, the Clerk of Court is directed to add Defendant Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. as a defendant in this matter. This matter remains stayed pursuant to #42 the May 5, 2021 Order of Judge Davis staying all proceedings and deadlines, including but not limited to the filing of additional motions. Ordered by Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung on 5/26/2021. (EB) (Entered: 05/26/2021)

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  • 05/25/2021
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  • Docket(#46) LETTER TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE by Wunsch Farms . (Nordin, Daniel) (Entered: 05/25/2021)

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  • 05/06/2021
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  • Docket(#45) TEXT ONLY ENTRY: ORDER granting #39 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice of Attorney Kathy Osborn for CHS Inc.. Approved by Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung on 5/6/2021. (JGK) (Entered: 05/06/2021)

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  • 05/05/2021
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  • Docket(#44) RULE 7.1 DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. Parent corporation, publicly held corporation or wholly-owned subsidiary reported for Defendant Simplot AB Retail Sub, Inc.. (Dufresne, Andrew) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

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  • 05/05/2021
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  • Docket(#43) NOTICE of Appearance by Andrew Thomas Dufresne on behalf of Simplot AB Retail Sub, Inc.. (Dufresne, Andrew) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

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  • 05/05/2021
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  • Docket(#42) ORDER STAYING CASE. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: All proceedings and deadlines in the above-captioned cases are STAYED until ten days after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determines whether to transfer these actions to an MDL proceeding and completes any transfer of the action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1407. See In re Crop Inputs Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2993. Signed by Judge Michael J. Davis on 5/5/2021.Associated Cases: 0:21-cv-00351-MJD-TNL et al.(GRR) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

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  • 05/05/2021
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  • Docket(#41) RULE 7.1 DISCLOSURE STATEMENT. Parent corporation, publicly held corporation or wholly-owned subsidiary reported for Defendant Nutrien AG Solutions Inc.. (Westerman, Luke) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

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  • 05/05/2021
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  • Docket(#40) NOTICE of Appearance by Luke Westerman on behalf of Nutrien AG Solutions Inc.. (Westerman, Luke) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

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  • 05/05/2021
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  • Docket(#39) MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice for Attorney Kathy L. Osborn. Filing fee $ 100, receipt number AMNDC-8728923 filed by CHS Inc.. (Chow, Emily) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

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  • 05/05/2021
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  • Docket(#38) NOTICE of Appearance by Peter J Schwingler on behalf of Univar Solutions, Inc.. (Schwingler, Peter) (Entered: 05/05/2021)

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27 More Docket Entries
  • 04/19/2021
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  • Docket(#10) Joint MOTION TO SET RESPONSE DEADLINES AND BRIEFING SCHEDULE filed by Growmark FS, LLC, Growmark Inc.. (Stilson, Jaime) (Entered: 04/19/2021)

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  • 04/19/2021
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  • Docket(#9) ORDER OF REASSIGNMENT OF RELATED CASES. This case is reassigned to Judge Michael J. Davis and Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung for all further proceedings. Judge David S. Doty, Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Cowan Wright no longer assigned to case. NOTE: the new case number is 21-cv-970 (MJD/TNL). Please use this case number for all subsequent pleadings Signed by Judge Michael J. Davis and Judge David S. Doty on 4/14/2021.(MMP) (Entered: 04/19/2021)

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  • 04/19/2021
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  • Docket(#8) MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice for Attorney Brett Cebulash. Filing fee $ 100, receipt number AMNDC-8691460 filed by Wunsch Farms. (Looby, Michelle) (Entered: 04/19/2021)

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  • 04/19/2021
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  • Docket(#7) MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice for Attorney Kevin S. Landau. Filing fee $ 100, receipt number AMNDC-8691446 filed by Wunsch Farms. (Looby, Michelle) (Entered: 04/19/2021)

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  • 04/13/2021
  • Docket(#6) (Text-Only): Notice re: Non-Admitted AttorneyWe have received documents listing Brett Cebulash, Kevin Landau, Evan Rosin as counsel of record. If he or she wishes to be listed as an attorney of record in this case, he or she must be admitted to the bar of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota in accordance with #Local Rule 83.5 (a), (b) and (c) or temporarily admitted pro hac vice in accordance with #Local Rule 83.5 (d) or (e).For more admissions information and forms, please see the Attorney Forms Section of the courts website at #www.mnd.uscourts.gov/forms/all-forms#. (MKB) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

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  • 04/13/2021
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  • Docket(#5) Summons Issued as to Growmark FS, LLC, Growmark Inc., Nutrien AG Solutions Inc., Simplot AB Retail Sub, Inc., Tenkoz, Inc. (MKB) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

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  • 04/13/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Summons Issued as to BASF Corporation, Bayer Cropscience LP, Bayer Cropscience, Inc., CHS Inc., Cargill Incorporated, Corteva, Inc., Federated Co-Operatives Ltd., Syngenta Corporation, Univar Solutions, Inc., Winfield Solutions, LLC. (MKB) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

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  • 04/13/2021
  • Docket(#3) TEXT ONLY ENTRY: CLERK'S NOTICE OF INITIAL CASE ASSIGNMENT. Case assigned to Judge David S. Doty per Civil (3rd, 4th - Antitrust, Securities) list, referred to Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Cowan Wright. Please use case number 21-cv-970 (DSD/ECW). (MKB) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

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  • 04/13/2021
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  • Docket(#2) NOTICE of Appearance by Benjamin W Hulse on behalf of Federated Co-Operatives Ltd.. (Hulse, Benjamin) (Entered: 04/13/2021)

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  • 04/12/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT Class Action Complaint against BASF Corporation, Bayer Cropscience LP, Bayer Cropscience, Inc., CHS Inc., Cargill Incorporated, Corteva, Inc., Federated Co-Operatives Ltd., Growmark FS, LLC, Growmark Inc., Nutrien AG Solutions Inc., Simplot AB Retail Sub, Inc., Syngenta Corporation, Tenkoz, Inc., Univar Solutions, Inc., Winfield Solutions, LLC (filing fee $ 402, receipt number AMNDC-8677174) filed by Wunsch Farms. Filer requests summons issued. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet) (Looby, Michelle) (Entered: 04/12/2021)

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