Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC
|Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC|
|Argued January 10, 2005
Decided April 27, 2005
|Full case name||Dennis Bates, et al., Petitioners v. Dow Agrosciences LLC|
|Citations||544 U.S. 431 (more)|
|Prior history||Summary judgment for defendants, 436 F. Supp. 2d 132 (Me. 2006); reversed, 501 F.3d 29 (1st Cir. 2007); cert. granted, 552 U.S. ___ (2008)|
|Federal law does not preempt the application of state law in insecticide labeling requirements. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned.|
|Majority||Stevens, joined by Rehnquist, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer|
|Concur/dissent||Thomas, joined by Scalia|
|15 U.S.C. § 1334(b) (Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act); Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., Tit. 5, § 207(Supp. 2008) (Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act)|
Dow's Strongarm pesticide damaged the crop of a group of Texas peanut farmers. The district court held that FIFRA preempted their claims.
The question before the Court was which, if any, state-law crop damage claims are preempted by FIFRA?
Opinion of the Court
The court held that state labelling laws that were parallel or consistent with Federal laws are not preempted by FIFRA.
A jury decision would not constitute a "requirement", as defined previously by the court in Cipollone v. Liggett Group, Inc., 505 U.S. 504, but would rather merely motivate an optional decision. Further, §136v(b) only prohibits labelling requirement that are inconsistent with federal requirements. It allows for additional requirements that are parallel with federal rules.
Thomas, filed an opinion concurring in the judgment in part and dissenting in part: Scalia joined.
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