Producers Should Soon Learn if Syngenta Claims Were Accepted, But No Payments This Year

June 21, 2019 | Kristine A. Tidgren

A June 18 update posted to the Syngenta settlement claims administration page states that eligible class members will receive notices of determination showing their "compensable recovery quantities" as early as July. This is the number of bushels for which they can recover, not the amount of the payment to which they are entitled. Those claimants who provided insufficient information in their claims are receiving notices of rejection this month. These claimants can respond to the notice with an attempt to cure the deficiency. Final rejection notices will issue by the end of August. Producers can appeal a final rejection with the special master, and notices of determination will issue in October, with final appeals being resolved by December of 2019.

After that time, the claims administrator can finally issue a preliminary report to the district court, explaining the number of class members who submitted proper claims and the compensable recovery quantity for each of those class members. The special master will then resolve any appeals to the report, and the claims administrator will submit its final report to the court for approval. It is then that the actual dollar value of a producer’s claim can be determined.

Based upon this schedule, the notice states that payments will issue February 2020 at the earliest. Actual timing of the payments will depend on the above claims determination appeal process, as well as the resolution of a pending appeal challenging the fairness of the settlement. Several class members objected to the final settlement, and the district court overruled their objection. The class members appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and filed their opening brief on May 30, 2019. Final payments cannot be made until that appeal is resolved.

The notice also clarifies that attorney fee disputes and appeals will not delay the timing of the payments to class members.

We will keep you posted!