$175 Million Brobeck Litigation Victory for Mycogen is Largest Compensatory Damage Award in California History
SAN DIEGO, March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The $174.9 million in damages that a Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP litigation team persuaded a Superior Court jury to award Mycogen Corporation in a breach of contract suit March 20 is the largest compensatory damage award in State of California history. The judgment against Monsanto Company arose from Monsanto's delay in fulfilling the terms of an option agreement to license Monsanto's genetically engineered crop technology to Mycogen for use in its seeds business.
The Brobeck litigation team led by Partner Dan Lamb included of counsel Ken Klein, associates Kristen Caverly and Jason Isaacs, former Brobeck associate Chris Knudsen, and paralegals Bob Davis and Heather Vigue. Trial in the case began February 17, 1998.
The damage award compensated Mycogen for profits it would have made on sales of corn seed with Monsanto's insect-resistance technology and corn, cotton and canola seed with Monsanto's herbicide tolerance technology.
"The size of this award reflects the tremendous value of genetic engineering in modern agriculture," Lamb said. "Our challenge was to make the jury understand that the profits from this technology could be of this magnitude. Our success reflects the extensive time and effort we spent working on the presentation of this evidence so that a layman jury could understand the complex issues involved."
Mycogen President Carl Eibl said, "We are gratified that the jury has held Monsanto accountable for the negative impact the delay in receiving this technology has had on our seeds business. These traits are creating tremendous value for seed companies, and we have been trying to exercise our right to obtain them since 1993."
"We are extremely pleased with the trial work by Dan Lamb and his team. They were very forceful and persuasive advocates for Mycogen and have enabled Mycogen to obtain some compensation for the losses we incurred," Eibl added.
Mycogen is a diversified agribusiness and biotechnology company that develops and markets seeds and value-added traits for genetically enhanced crops and provides crop protection products and services. Mycogen is majority owned by Dow AgroSciences LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.
Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP is one of the nation's leading law firms with more than 450 attorneys in eight offices, San Francisco, San Diego, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Orange County, Austin, Denver and New York, and the joint- venture office of Brobeck Hale and Dorr in London. Brobeck is a national leader in the representation of emerging growth technology companies, particularly those in the biotechnology and high technology industries.
SOURCE: Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP