Hold on costs in GM contamination case

Hold on costs in GM contamination case

Postby Oscar » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:48 am

Hold on costs in GM contamination case

[ http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/brea ... 7278281195 ]

By Rebecca Le May March 25, 2015 9:11 PM

A LANDMARK GM contamination case has for now swung in favour of an organic farmer facing a massive legal costs bill, while his adversary must reveal if he was backed by Monsanto or an industry group.

STEVE Marsh's bid last year to sue Kojonup neighbour and former boyhood friend Michael Baxter in the Supreme Court of Western Australia was unsuccessful.

Mr Marsh sought $85,000 in damages, claiming he lost organic certification for more than half of his farm because Mr Baxter's GM canola had blown onto his land.

Instead, Mr Marsh was ordered to pay a court costs bill of about $804,000.

But on Wednesday, the full bench of the Court of Appeal unanimously allowed Mr Marsh's challenge to the costs order.

The judges also ordered Mr Baxter to provide information about his trial costs, specifically any financial arrangements between him and Monsanto and the Pastoralists and Graziers Association.

That was because Mr Baxter might enjoy a windfall from the award of costs if Monsanto or the PGA had helped him pay his legal bills for the trial.

Under the indemnity principle, Mr Marsh should only have to pay Mr Baxter costs that came out of his own pocket.

"Those documents will be provided," Mr Baxter's lawyer Brian Bradley told reporters outside court.

"But I can tell you there was no funding by the PGA, no payments whatsoever."

Asked whether Monsanto had provided financial support, Mr Bradley said: "I can't tell you that because that's confidential, but all will be disclosed in the document filed with the court."

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[ http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/brea ... 7278281195 ]
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