Andrew Bernstein weighs in on Canadian corn market class action

November 13, 2019

Litigation partner Andrew Bernstein spoke with Law Times on a class action lawsuit in the Canadian corn market. Darmar Farms Inc. is seeking compensation from Syngenta Canada Inc. for prematurely marketing genetically modified (GMO) corn to China without foreign approval to do so. As a result, the GMO corn was rejected by Chinese regulators leading to an over-supply in the North American market which drove down prices.

Andrew told Law Times the common law has struggled for decades in dealing with negligence law when the relationship is economic—as opposed to a consumer who suffers illness or injury from a product, for example.

“The significance of this case is that it extends product liability, potentially, beyond physical harm to economic harm,” Andrew said.

“These cases, in a way, feel obscure because they are based on a semi-obscure legal nicety. But in reality, they have a potentially enormous impact, because they set out the potential liability that a business has, if it does something negligent… the specific nature of the harm isn't that important here, what's important is the legal principle that you could potentially be liable for it.”

Learn more about Torys’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice.

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