DuPont…perpetrate a fraud..? *Gasp*…Unthinkable! Unimaginable…Or Notsomuch…
Excerpt Bloomberg Business – A DuPont Co. (DD) shareholder sued company directors and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman, claiming mismanagement of the seed business led to a $1 billion judgment that threatens to wipe out the company’s cash.
In a complaint filed Jan. 16 in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, shareholder Robert Zomolosky asked a judge to force Kullman and the board to pay any damages stemming from DuPont’s loss of a patent lawsuit involving Monsanto Co. (MON)’s weed killer, Roundup. The jury award, the third-biggest last year, could grow to $3 billion depending on future legal rulings, according to the lawsuit.
The patent case grew out of the company’s effort to compete with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crop business, which held 90 percent of the market for soybean and cotton seeds as of 2008, according to the lawsuit. Because DuPont’s research wasn’t producing results, company managers used Monsanto’s technology to try to create seeds that could resist Roundup, a key requirement for farmers, Zomolosky claims.
The Wilmington-based company plans to appeal the jury’s verdict, according to the complaint, and has asked the judge to overturn the award.
During that patent lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Richard Webber ruled that DuPont “knowingly perpetrated a fraud against the court,” by lying in court and to investors about its right to use Monsanto’s seed technology.