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Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC

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Title: Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC  
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Subject: United States federal preemption law, Federal preemption, List of environmental lawsuits
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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
Docket nos. 03-388
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.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Stevens, joined by Rehnquist, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer
Concurrence Breyer
Concur/dissent Thomas, joined by Scalia
Laws applied
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)

Bates v. Dow Agrosciences LLC, 544 U.S. 431 (2005), is a United States Supreme Court case.


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.

See also



External links


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