Claims by growers that they were victims of racketeering by DuPont Co. when they settled crop damage claims in the 1990s were discarded by a federal judge in Miami in a major legal victory for the chemical maker.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Alan Gold on allegations that DuPont engaged in a high-level cover-up of a defective fungicide, coupled with earlier rulings dismissing fraud and all other claims, could end the cases, but an appeal is expected.
Thirty-four growers accused DuPont of racketeering and fraud for allegedly hiding test results implicating Benlate DF as the cause of the damage, primarily to nursery plants. The growers were among those who settled with DuPont in the early 1990s.
DuPont, which ordered a halt to Benlate production in April after 32 years, has paid out more than $1 billion in settlements and legal fees on damage claims.
On the New York Stock Exchange, DuPont shares gained $1.11 to $42.25.