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Blueberry Farmers' Suit Against Pesticide Manufacturer, Plus Criminal Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on August 10, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

US v. Shakir, 09-2665, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress evidence, in a prosecution of defendant for armed robbery of a credit union bank.  In affirming, the court held that a search is permissible incident to a suspect's arrest when, under all the circumstances, there remains a reasonable possibility that the arrestee could access a weapon or destructible evidence in the container or area being searched.  Here, suppression of the cash found within the bag was not required as, although defendant was handcuffed and guarded by two policemen, defendant's bag was literally at his feet, and there remained a sufficient possibility that defendant could access a weapon in his bag to justify its search.

  • Lizardo v. US, 08-2044, concerned a defendant's  appeal of his conviction for various drug crimes, following district court's denial of his petition for relief under 28 U.S.C. section 2255 and grant of his petition for certificate of appealability.  In dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, the court held that, an untimely Rule 59(e) motion, even one that was not objected to in the district court, does not toll the time to file a notice of appeal under Rule 4(a)(4)(A), and as such, government's forfeiture of the timeliness objection to defendant's Rule 59(e) motion in the district court did not forfeit its timeliness challenge based on Rule 4(a)(4)(A) made before the appellate court.

    Indian Brand Farms, Inc. v. Novartis Crop Prot. Inc., 08-4484, involved New Jersey blueberry farmers' suit against defendant Novartis Crop Protection, Inc., claiming damage to their crops allegedly caused by use of a pesticide manufactured and distributed by defendant.

    In affirming in part, the court held that there is a genuine issue of material fact with respect to plaintiffs' design defect claim, and thus, summary judgment in defendant's favor was inappropriate.  The court also held that plaintiffs' negligent misrepresentation/fraud and New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) claims are not preempted as these claims are based on alleged misrepresentations in defendant's marketing brochure, and the brochure does not qualify as "labeling" under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  Thus, the court vacated and remanded  district court's grant of summary judgment as to the negligent misrepresentation/fraud and NJCFA claims as to all plaintiff's except Indian Brand Farms, as plaintiffs, other than Indian Brand Farms, have tendered prima facie evidence of their reliance on defendant's alleged written misrepresentations.  Lastly, the court held that a failure-to-warn claim is not preempted because plaintiffs' failure-to-warn claim, if successful, would not result in a labeling requirement in addition to or different from those required by FIFRA. 

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