A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions to: camarigg at uark.edu


JUDICIAL: Includes pesticide, urbanization and ag, and CWA issues.

In Elisabeth MARTIN v. MONSANTO COMPANY, No. ED CV 16–2168–JFW (SPx), 2017 WL 1115167 (C.D.Cal. March 24, 2017), plaintiff claimed breach of express warranty after using defendant’s Roundup product and court considered her motion for class certification. Plaintiff claimed she relied on Monsanto’s statement that the product “Makes up to 23 Gallons” in purchasing Roundup. Defendant argued that because class members had different reasons for purchasing Roundup concentrates, “materiality and reliance are predominating individual issues.” The court reasoned, however, that plaintiff need not prove individualized reliance because “if plaintiff can prove materiality on a classwide basis, she can also demonstrate classwide reliance.” Court concluded that, “Plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the ‘Makes Up to __ Gallons’ statement is material to the reasonable consumer,” and granted class certification.

HENSTOOTH RANCH LLC, Plaintiff, v. The BURLINGTON INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant, No. 17-cv-00006-SI, 2017 WL 1133286 (N.D. Cal. March 27, 2017) concerned violation of a conservation easement. Plaintiff filed motion to stay and wanted to assert its rights under an insurance policy after it was accused in another case of violating an easement by constructing a new road, removing a tree, and damaging property. Issue was whether property damage is a covered “occurrence” (i.e., accident) under defendant’s insurance policy. Court observed that defendant “will seek to prove that Henstooth acted intentionally in building a road, moving a tree, and causing other damage,” and concluded that, “Findings on this issue would not interfere with the state court’s determination of whether Henstooth or the Thompsons violated the SLT easement.” Plaintiff’s motion to stay denied.

In UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, v. RICHARD M. OSBORNE, SR., et al., Defendants, NO. 1:11CV1029, 2017 WL 1050342 (N.D. Ohio March 20, 2017), plaintiff sued defendants under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for discharging pollutants from a real estate development site “into the waters of the United States and the State of Ohio, without a prior permit.” Issue was whether there was “a sufficient relationship between [defendants] Gray and JTO for implied indemnity.” Defendant JTO, who built a road at issue, argued that defendant Gray’s “failure to delineate wetlands on the site resulted in harm to environmentally protected areas and led to JTO’s potential liability.” Court reasoned it could not accept that JTO was only a “passive participant.” Court concluded defendant JTO “was actively involved in the conduct impacting the wetlands on the Riverside Commons site,” and granted Gray’s motion for summary judgment.


REGULATORY: Includes FSA, FS, ITA and NOAA rules and notices.

FARM SERVICE AGENCY:

Notice FSA seeks comments on an extension with a revision of a currently approved information collection supporting Customer Data Worksheet Request for Business Partner that contains the producer’s personal information. Details here.

Notice FSA seeks comments on the extension with a revision of a currently approved information collection in support of Disaster Assistance programs. Info here.

FOREST SERVICE:

Notice the Deschutes Provincial Advisory Committee will meet in Bend, Oregon. Info here.

Notice the Eastern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee will meet in Louisville, Kentucky. Details here.

Notice the Eastern Washington Cascades Provincial Advisory Committee will meet in Wenatchee, Washington. Info here.

Notice the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (Committee) will meet via teleconference. Info here.

Notice the New Mexico Collaborative Forest Restoration Program Technical Advisory Panel will meet in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Info here.

Notice the Siskiyou (OR) Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Brookings, Oregon. Info here.

Notice the Sitka Resource Advisory Committee will meet in Sitka, Alaska. Details here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION: Notice that on March 16, 2017, the United States Court of International Trade issued its final judgment concerning the less-than-fair-value investigation of utility scale wind towers from Vietnam. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Notice that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute has applied for a permit to take Pristis pectinata for purposes of scientific research. Details here.

Notice NMFS received an application from Washington State Department of Transportation for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals. Details here.