Jury: Scruggs owes Monsanto $8.9M

GREENVILLE – Lee County farming businessmen Mitchell and Eddie Scruggs, and their ag operations, owe $8.9 million in damages to corporate giant Monsanto, a federal jury decided today.

Monsanto sued the Scruggses a decade ago over the re-use of genetically patented soybean and cotton seeds and accused them also of selling the seeds to others.

The courts agreed it was not an anti-trust case.

Scruggs attorney Jim Waide of Tupelo said the verdict, which they hope to appeal, is “an enormous personal tragedy” for the men and their farming businesses.

Waide said the verdict will put a chill on seed-saving and any further challenges to Monsanto’s marketing practices to corner the market on seeds.

• Read Wednesday’s Daily Journal for more details.

Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal