Law Street Media

Farmers Claim Nutrien Knowingly Sold Contaminated Herbicide

A tractor fertilizing a field

Tracking shot. Drone point of view of a Tractor spraying on a cultivated field. Small Business.

Three farmers are seeking over $1 million in a lawsuit against Nutrien Ag Solutions claiming herbicide they bought was contaminated and “completely destroyed” their cotton, costing them their entire 2018 crop. On Friday the court case moved to the Texas Eastern District Court and was assigned to Judge Ron Clark after a notice from the defendants.

The notice says the case is able to be moved to the District Court system because of the amount of damages sought by the plaintiffs and because Nutrien is a company that is not based in Texas. The defendants Nutrien AG Solutions, Inc. and its former entity Crop Production Services Inc. are represented by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Michael Brown, Rhonda Brown, and Charles Brown, represented by William R. Pemberton, filed the initial complaint in early April in the District Court of Houston County.

The farmers claim they purchased a tote of herbicide from Crop Production Services, Inc. in June 2018 which was meant to contain Enlist Duo herbicide also containing another substance that harmed their crops. The plaintiffs claim Crop Production Services, now Nutrien Ag, claimed to have knowledge of agriculture and should have been a trustworthy source but they did not fulfill their obligation.

“The herbicide was not as warranted, but was defective, in that it was contaminated and not fit for the ordinary purpose which it was to be used, was not merchantable at the time of sale and would not pass without objection in the trade under its contract description,” the complaint states.

The Browns further claim Crop Production Services knowingly gave them an herbicide that was not what they had purchased. They claim the herbicide was “valuleless” and that they are entitled to damages for the cost of their lost crop value. The petition argues that under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act, they should be allotted “up to three times the amount of economic damages.”

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