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Ag in the Courtroom

RSS By: John Dillard, AgWeb.com

John Dillard grew up on a beef cattle farm and now works as an agricultural and environmental litigation attorney with OFW Law. His blog analyzes legal issues and court decisions that affect America’s farmers and ranchers.

 

 

 

Deadline to Apply for Potash Class Action Funds Approaching

Jul 23, 2013

 Have you used potash on your farm in the last ten years?  If so, you may be eligible for to receive a portion of a $110 million payout by fertilizer manufacturers!  Act quick!  The deadline is August 1, 2013!  That's next week!!  Sign up here!!!

(There is no way to convey the above information without sounding like a sleazy attorney, so I decided to go whole-hog on impersonating your local personal injury attorney's TV commercials.  Please excuse my indulgence.)

What is the case?

In 2009, a group of plaintiffs sued potash fertilizer manufacturers in the US, Canada, Russia, and Belarus.  The plaintiffs alleged that the potash manufacturers had conspired to manipulate the marketplace and engaged in price-fixing.  The plaintiffs sought money to recoup the additional money they paid for potash due to the alleged price fixing.

The defendants in the case, the potash manufacturers, deny any wrongdoing in terms of price-fixing.  Nonetheless, they have agreed to enter into a settlement agreement to avoid the costs and potential risks of further litigation in this matter.  The defendants have agreed to kick in a total of $110 million to make the case go away.

Who qualifies to receive settlement payouts?

You can qualify for the settlement if your farm made direct purchases of potash between July 1, 2003 to January 30, 2013 from one of the following suppliers:

  • Agrium, Inc.
  • Agrium US, Inc.
  • The Mosaic Company
  • Mosaic Crop Nutrition, LLC
  • Mosaic USA, LLC
  • Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan
  • PCS Sales (USA), Inc.
  • JCS Ukralkali
  • JCS Silvinit
  • JCS Belarusian Potash Company (n/k/a MOS Holdings, Inc.)
  • JCS International Potash Company
  • BPC Chicago LLC

Additionally, you can qualify if you purchased potash directly from Cargill Crop Nutrition and IMC Global, Inc. between July 1, 2003 and October 25, 2004.

It should be emphasized that this class action only applies to direct purchases made from the above companies. This class action does not apply to indirect purchases of potash through an intermediary, such as a co-op or local retailer.  Don't worry though, some enterprising plaintiffs attorneys are also working on a class action for indirect suppliers.

How do I participate?

If you believe you may qualify, you should check out the class action's webpage to get more information and file a claim.  Remember that by participating in a class action, you are forfeiting some of your legal rights.  As with any legal issue affecting you or your business, you should contact your attorney for legal advice.

John Dillard is an attorney with Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz P.C. (OFW Law), a Washington, DC-based firm that serves agricultural clients and clients with issues before federal and state courts, EPA, FDA, USDA, and OSHA.  John focuses his practice on agricultural and environmental law.  He occasionally tweets at @DCAgLawyer.

 

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