ADM Disputes Suit for Damages Based on Injury at its Iowa Corn Sweetener Plant

On Thursday, Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) removed a lawsuit against it alleging that its negligence caused a serious personal injury at ADM’s Cedar Rapids, Iowa corn sweetener plant to the Iowa Northern District Court.  The plaintiffs originally filed their petition in the Iowa District Court for Linn County in November. 

The first plaintiff was reportedly injured while working on a concrete construction project at the plant where he was a contractor, the injury also purportedly caused his wife, the second plaintiff, a loss of companionship and support. The plaintiffs asked for damages to cover medical bills, expected medical bills, lost earnings, and “past and future loss of full mind and body.” 

The defendant explained in its notice of removal that the federal court has jurisdiction because there is a diversity of citizenship between the party since ADM is a foreign corporation. The defendant denied that its home office is in Illinois as the petition said. ADM also said that the amount in controversy in the case for each of the plaintiffs is over $75,000, based on ADM’s knowledge of the injuries. 

ADM filed an answer on Thursday to the allegations against it, the company denied that it is liable for the damages to the plaintiffs. The defendant denied allegations from the plaintiffs that it did not keep its location safe, did not discover conditions that could cause harm, and did not use ordinary care and safeguards. ADM further claimed that the plaintiff did not assert a claim where relief could be granted and that the plaintiffs’ claims are barred because the injuries were not caused by ADM, or an employee of ADM but rather third parties. 

The defendant also alleged that the plaintiff had knowledge of the risks of the construction and that the plaintiff had already received some compensation from a separate source. The defendant asked the Iowa Northern District Court to deny relief to the plaintiffs and asked for a jury trial. 

ADM is represented by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath. The plaintiffs are represented by RSH Legal