News & Updates
A team of Cargill and Greene Espel attorneys have been recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as 2023 Attorneys of the Year for their work in the Cargill v. Syngenta GMO Corn Matter. The team includes Cargill attorneys Kate Hibbard, Brooke Tassoni, and Molly Thornton, as well as Greene Espel attorneys Holley Horrell, Mark Johnson, Aaron Knoll, Jeya Paul, Faris Rashid, Anna Tobin, Gina Tonn, and X. Kevin Zhao.
In August 2023, just two months before a five-week trial was scheduled to commence in Louisiana, Cargill and Syngenta reached a confidential settlement, ending nearly a decade of hard-fought litigation. In September 2014, on behalf of Cargill, Greene Espel filed the first lawsuit in the country against Syngenta, a Swiss biotechnology company. The complaint alleged that Syngenta’s broad release of two genetically modified corn seeds caused a major trade disruption with China, a key market for U.S. corn. After Cargill filed suit, thousands of lawsuits followed. In 2017, Syngenta reached a $1.5 billion settlement with U.S. farmers. But Cargill’s first-in-the-country lawsuit against Syngenta continued in Louisiana.
The team, along with retired and former team members, reached countless key milestones over the last 9 years – from taking and defending over a hundred depositions (in North America, Europe, and Asia) to filing hundreds of pages of briefing on cross-motions for summary judgment. In the last year, the team secured three significant victories—a successful interlocutory appeal in Louisiana, an appellate victory in Illinois, and a bench trial in Louisiana—before the parties settled just two months before trial.
To view the full list of honorees, visit: "Minnesota Lawyer announces Attorneys of the Year."