Gordon & Rees San Diego Team Wins Big in California Jury Trial for Seed Manufacturer & Distributor Clients

June 2021

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani San Diego Partners Jason Meyer and Todd Konold and their trial team obtained an excellent jury trial result before Judge Dolly Gee in the US District Court for the Central District of California.

The firm's client, a seed manufacturer based out of Idaho, faced claims of negligence and products liability brought by two large Peruvian agricultural companies. The client was joined by its co-defendant, the distributor of the seeds in question. The plaintiffs’ claimed that the sugar snap pea seeds they purchased did not germinate properly, were infected with pathogens, and produced defective plants and pea pods. The plaintiffs sought damages in the amount of nearly $7 million and were represented by an experienced and highly aggressive plaintiffs’ firm based out of Miami, Florida. The last demand prior to trial was $3 million.  

After six days of trial, the jury found that there was not enough evidence to support the plaintiffs’ products liability claim and delivered a negligence verdict that was a mere fraction of the amount that Defendant offered in settlement and far less than the plaintiffs requested in their demands. Both the co-defendant and the plaintiffs’ counsel were complimentary of the Gordon & Rees team’s trial performance. The team was able to keep evidence of “unmarketable peas” out of evidence and was able to get plaintiffs' witnesses to agree that their farming practices were suspect. The plaintiffs small award was further reduced by failure to mitigate and comparative fault findings. 

The team was bolstered by outstanding support from Lisa Taylor, Harrison Smith, Tanya Villegas, and Nichole Durand.