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1301 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 502
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-296-6889
Fax: 202-296-6895


CRC News Releases


FOR IMMEDIATE: April 27, 2005
RELEASE CONTACT: Timothy Dowling, 202-296-6889


COMMUNITY RIGHTS COUNSEL APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT'S
VINDICATION OF FEDERALISM IN BATES V. DOW AGROSCIENCES

Today, in Bates v. Dow Agrosciences, No. 03-388, the Supreme Court held that consumers may seek State law remedies against a pesticide manufacturer where a defective pesticide harms human health or property, rejecting industry arguments that the federal pesticide laws preempt this relief.

The Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that prohibited 29 Texas peanut farms from pursuing State law claims based on allegations that a pesticide damaged their crops. The farmers assert that the manufacturer recommended the pesticide for use on all peanut crops even though it knew or should have known that it would stunt peanut growth in certain soils.

Timothy J. Dowling, Chief Counsel of Community Rights Counsel, stated:

"We applaud the tenacity of the Texas farmers in securing this win for consumers, public safety, and the environment. The Court's ruling is also a big victory for federalism because it preserves the vital role of the States in protecting the public against defective products."


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Community Rights Counsel (CRC) is a nonprofit, public-interest law firm in Washington, D.C. that helps state and local governments defend against preemption claims and other legal challenges to community protections. CRC filed an amicus brief in support of Supreme Court review in Eyl v. Ciba-Geigy, No. 02-1500, a previous preemption case that raised similar issues. For further comment on Bates, contact Mr. Dowling at 202-296-6889.

 

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