Mississippi farmers denied new trial in Monsanto suit
A federal judge has denied a motion for a new trial from a north Mississippi company sued by Missouri-based Monsanto for saving seeds from one harvest and planting them the following season.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mills ruled this week that Mitchell and Eddie Scruggs owe Monsanto Co. $6.3 million damages as a jury found in 2010. Prejudgment interest dating back to 2000 has increased the amount to $8.9 million.
In 2006, as court found Mitchell Scruggs, Eddie Scruggs and their business in Lee County violated Monsanto's licensing requirements and its patent for use of the company's seeds.
Monsanto has a policy that prohibits farmers from saving or reusing the seeds once the crop is grown.
Farmers contend there is no patent on the seeds, which are products of nature.