Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Universal Cooperatives, Inc. v. AAC Flying Service, Inc.

Mar 26: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, Case No. 12-1970. Appealed from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Little Rock. The Appeals Court summarized the case saying, Universal Crop Protection Alliance, LLC, a formulator and distributor of a herbicide known as 2,4-D (or 2,4-D Amine), and its parent company, Universal Cooperatives (collectively, Universal), successfully defended a lawsuit brought by a group of cotton farmers in Arkansas state court for damages arising from off-target aerial application of the herbicide. Universal now sues several aerial herbicide applicators (collectively, Crop Dusters) who were not parties to the cotton farmers' litigation, seeking to recover its attorney's fees incurred during the cotton farmers' litigation. The Appeals Court says, "The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, predicting that, under the circumstances presented, the Arkansas Supreme Court would not recognize a cause of action against a third party for attorney's fees incurred in separate litigation. Universal appeals, and we affirm."
    Finally, the Appeals Court rules, "Because the Arkansas Supreme Court most recently has rejected any cause of action against a third party for attorney's fees incurred in earlier litigation against another party, and in this case there is no duty running from the third party to the plaintiff that would support such a cause of action in any event, we affirm the dismissal of Universal's claims based on the third-party-litigation exception to the American Rule and Restatement (Second) of Torts section 914(2)."
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Toxics, #CA8]
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