Representative Cases

Syngenta vs. Minnesota Farmers

Copies of the fee agreement and letter of notice are available for download here and here. Patton, Hoversten & Berg, P.A. is participating with a group of other law firms to pursue claims on behalf of Minnesota corn producers for the dramatic reduction of corn prices since 2012. The claim will be made for losses arising from the use of Syngenta GMO products and the adverse effect those products had on the U.S. corn market. PLEASE NOTE: Because of the nature of the proposed litigation, a claim can be made for farmers even though they are not now farming and even though they never used Syngenta products. The crop years currently in question are 2013 and 2014. Please note the dates of upcoming meetings that we encourage you to attend if you feel you have been affected. THERE IS NO COST OR OBLIGATION TO ATTEND THESE MEETINGS. Please feel free to bring along any other farmers who may be interested in this matter. If you are unable to attend these meetings and want information, please call any of our offices for an information packet and the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the claim at NO CHARGE. For interested parties, legal representation is being offered on a contingent fee basis. Persons making claims will incur NO expenses as they are advanced by the law firm on behalf of the parties. In the event there is no recovery, the parties owe NOTHING to the respective law firms. We believe this opportunity is something you should seriously consider. The first step is to learn more about it by attending one of the NO obligation meetings. Because we are seeking the opportunity to represent you in this matter, the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct require that we tell you that this letter constitutes Advertising Material. Read More

Farm drainage case

Mr. Berg obtained summary judgment for his client in a farm drainage case. The client was sued by a neighboring farmer for damages allegedly resulting from tiling his our clients own property. The adverse party claimed our client trespassed on his land and connected to an old tile line that was in disrepair which caused his property to flood. He further claimed that he was damaged because he had to repair tile on his property to prevent further water damage. Six years after he learned of the drainage problem, he sued our client. Mr. Berg moved the court for dismissal because the installation of drainage tile is an improvement to real property and is governed by a two year statute of limitations, Minn. Stat. §541.051. This means that an action must be started within two years from the discovery of the problem. The Judge agreed with Mr. Berg and entered summary judgment in our client’s favor, dismissing the matter. Read More

CHILD CUSTODY: Protecting the Best Interest of the Children

Perry A. Berg recently obtained a favorable decision in a custody dispute for the mother of two children. Six years after the couple was divorced, the mother requested permission to move the children out of the State of Minnesota. The father objected, although the distance between the family homes would increase only slightly. The father filed a motion requesting the physical custody of the children be modified and he be awarded sole physical custody on the grounds that the children were endangered by staying primarily with their mother due to her history of moving and health problems.After an evidentiary hearing, the Court concluded that the move of the children’s residence out of state was in the best interest of the children, and that the father had failed to prove that the children’s physical or emotional health was endangered by continuing custody with the mother. Read More

Brothers v. New York State Elec. & Gas Corp.

In an action by a forestry worker injured on the job, alleging negligence by his employer for which defendant, which contracted with the employer to perform the work, should be held vicariously liable, summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) a contractual obligation does not necessarily constitute a nondelegable duty in tort; and 2) on the facts of this case, liability could not be extended to defendant. Read More

Lazy Y Ranch v. Beherns

In an equal protection case arising out of a dispute over an auction for Idaho grazing lands, denial of defendants’ motion to dismiss is affirmed where: 1) the Court had jurisdiction over the interlocutory appeal due to defendants’ claim of qualified immunity; 2) defendant adequately pled an equal protection claim under section 1983 by alleging disparate treatment due to status as a non-conservationist for which defendants put forth no rational basis; and 3) defendants had no qualified immunity because plaintiff adequately pled that defendants violated a constitutional right and that right was clearly established. Read More

Velde v. Kirsch

In a bankruptcy appeal brought by the trustee, claiming that a check received by appellee from debtor in replacement of a dishonored check was a payment made within the ninety-day period prior to the filing of a bankruptcy and was thus a prohibited preference under the Bankruptcy Code section 547(b), a ruling against trustee is affirmed where the replacement check resulted in the release of appellee’s bank’s security interest in collateral, and thus it constituted a contemporaneous exchange for new value falling within an exception to the trustee’s avoidance powers. Read More

State of Alaska v. Fed. Subsistence Bd.

In a challenge to a Federal Subsistence Board (FSB) Customary and Traditional use determination (C & T determination) allowing the Chistochina community increased permission to harvest moose under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) the FSB’s fact finding regarding the Chistochina’s use of moose was supported by substantial evidence and took into account specific moose populations; 2) the C & T determination was not arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law under the APA. Read More

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides v. US Envtl. Prot. Agency

In a case challenging pesticide tolerance levels set by the EPA, petition for review is granted in part and reversed in part and the case remanded to the EPA, where: 1) the Food Quality Protection Act requires the EPA to set pesticide tolerance levels at a ten times reduction (10x reduction) absent reliable data that a higher tolerance will be safe for infants and children; 2) the EPA data presented, including computer modeling, was reliable data for avoiding the 10x reduction on four of seven challenged pesticide tolerances; but 3) the EPA did not explained its data rationale for avoiding the 10x reduction for tolerances of three pesticides. Read More

A&J Produce Corp. v. Bronx Overall Econ. Dev. Corp.

In a claim concerning the distribution of proceeds received from the sale of certain assets in a statutory trust created pursuant to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), grant of co-plaintiff’s motion to turnover PACA assets and summary judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) a secured creditor’s lien does not constitute a transfer of PACA trust assets within the terms of the statute; and 2) proceeds generated from the sale of such assets were therefore properly awarded to the PACA creditors. Read More

Five Points Road Joint Venture v. Johanns

In an agency action regarding the award of federal farm program benefits to plaintiffs, summary judgment determining that the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) applies to National Appeals Division (NAD) proceedings, and that plaintiffs were therefore entitled to attorney’s fees and costs for their successful NAD appeal, is affirmed where the review of agency determinations by NAD met the statutory definition of a proceeding to which the EAJA applied. Read More

Delta & Pine Land Co. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co.

Summary judgment in favor of defendants after the court concluded that the insurance policies purchased by plaintiff from defendant do not cover claims made in a lawsuit filed against plaintiff, and that defendant has no duty to defend or indemnify, is vacated and the case remanded where: 1) Mississippi law resolved ambiguity in favor of the insured so that a Seed Merchants Endorsement enlarged the term “damages because of property damage” in the commercial general liability policy to cover “loss resulting from an error in mechanical mixture of seed;” 2) a Seedmen’s Limitation to the umbrella policy can also be read to enlarge the terms of coverage to include loss arising out of error in mechanical mixture of seed; 3) a “property damage expected or intended” exclusion does not apply; 4) a “your product” exclusion does not apply because the damage was done to the farmer’s crop land’s use; and 5) a Seedmen’s Modified Liability Coverage Endorsement does not apply since it limits recovery for losses resulting from the seed’s failure to germinate. Read More

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