Kristin Eads is a leader of Faegre Baker Daniels' food litigation and regulatory practices and a member of the firm's food and agriculture industry group. The food litigation and regulatory practice is nationally ranked by Chambers USA along with only seven other national firms. The firm's product liability group is nationally ranked by Chambers USA and "Highly Recommended" in Legal Media Group's Life Sciences edition. Kristin is also a member of the firm's national food and agriculture industry group.
Since joining the firm in 1998, Kristin has litigated a wide variety of products liability and consumer fraud cases for clients in the food and agribusiness industries. In addition to managing commercial and product defense litigation, she counsels clients in these industries on a variety of legal issues, including product labeling, marketing, contracts and general risk management. Kristin speaks nationally on numerous food and consumer fraud issues, and writes extensively on such issues in leading trade and industry publications.
Agribusiness and Food Litigation
Kristin provides national, regional and state level representation to agribusiness and food manufacturers and distributors, biotechnology companies, and seed companies in general commercial and products liability litigation. She has successfully tried, briefed and argued a variety of legal issues, including FIFRA pre-emption, the economic loss doctrine, UCC warranty disclaimers and limitations of remedy, and the state consumer protection/deceptive trade practices act claims.
Kristin's representative litigation experience includes:
In 2002, Kristin tried a crop damage case in Iowa before a jury and obtained a defense verdict. The subsequent appeal was denied by the Iowa Court of Appeals. T.F. Ltd. v. American Cyanamid Co., 690 N.W.2d 463 (Iowa. App. 2004) (unpublished).
From 2001-04, Kristin served as defense counsel in crop damage litigation in Florida, comprising 15 separate cases. The litigation settled in March 2004, shortly after a favorable FIFRA pre-emption ruling was obtained from the court.
In 2006, Kristin obtained summary judgment dismissal of claims by 13 blueberry producers on the basis of prior settlement and FIFRA pre-emption from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey District Court. The Third Circuit Court of appeals reversed the dismissal as to seven growers on the basis of an intervening U.S. Supreme Court decision. Mortellite v. Novartis (Syngenta) Crop Protection, Inc.,. 278 F. Supp. 2d 390 (2003); 460 F.3d 483 (3rd Cir. 2006). On remand, the District Court again granted complete summary judgment on the remaining claims of the remaining plaintiffs. The Third Circuit recently partially reversed that dismissal. Indian Brand Farms v. Novartis (Syngenta) Crop Protection, Inc., 2007 WL 4571087 (2007); 2010 WL 3122815 (Aug 10, 2010) (NO. 08-4484).
In 2009, Kristin was a member of the team that represented the client in a four-month trial of the claims of four bellwether plaintiffs in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. More than 400 growers of various crops alleged off-target movement of herbicide applied by the Bureau of Land Management on government-controlled, fire-damaged land to control invasive weed species. At the close of plaintiffs' case-in-chief the defense team secured dismissal of all claims for punitive damages and fraud. Adams, et al. v. United States, DuPont, et al., 622 F. Supp. 2d 996 (D. Idaho 2009); 2009 WL 18833600. In the fall of 2010, Kristin was a member of the team that represented the client in a five-week spray drift case in Arkansas state court, obtaining a defense verdict (Burns et al. v. UCPA et al.). The jury rejected the claims of eight local cotton farmers, with more than 12,000 acres of allegedly injured cotton, who were seeking more than $4 million in claimed yield loss and other related damages.
Other Representative Matters
- Represent numerous confidential clients in foodborne illness and food recall matters, including personal injury, commercial supply chain litigation, and regulatory interactions.
- Represented Fortune 500 food company in nationwide putative class action alleging misleading claims on labels of packaged sandwich meats. Along with counsel from co-defendant, succeeded in dismissing all claims on grounds of pre-emption and failure to state a claim.
Agribusiness and Food Counseling
Kristin has experience with the wide variety of federal and state laws governing the agribusiness and food industries and counsels clients in these industries on a variety of issues, including:
- Regulatory compliance
- Product labeling and packaging
- Marketing and advertising
- Product recalls
- Production and vendor contracts
- Claims handling
- Records management
- Risk management and product liability prevention
Other Areas of Practice
Kristin has litigated a variety of cases in addition to agribusiness cases, including Lanham Act violations, Section 1983 claims and general commercial disputes.
- Volunteer for Faegre Baker Daniels' State Wards Advocacy Project, representing guardian ad litems
- Staff Legal Access Point Clinic for Volunteer Lawyers Network for low-income persons
- Staff Conciliation Court Clinic for Volunteer Lawyers Network for low-income persons
- Volunteer for the Chrysalis Safety Project, assisting clients in obtaining orders from protection
- Member of the firm's Minnesota Detention Project team, a collaborative effort of The Advocates for Human Rights and the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota that provides free legal consultation to individuals who are detained by ICE and are in removal proceedings
- Minnesota State Bar Association — Food and Drug Law Section
- Hennepin County Bar Association
- Minnesota Agri-Growth Council
- American Bar Association — Food & Dietary Supplements Section
- Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI)
- Minnesota Justice Foundation — Board of Directors, 2005-present
- Minnesota Supreme Court, Hon. Kathleen A. Blatz, 1997-98
- Food Safety Modernization Act Update
Panel Moderator, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Food & Supplements Second Annual Workshop, Downers Grove, Illinois, June 2012
- Effective Defenses to Deceptive Packaging and Labeling-Based Claims
American Conference Institute's (ACI) Advanced Summit on Defending Food & Beverage Consumer Fraud Litigation, Chicago, December 2011
- Litigating with Epidemiological Evidence
Minnesota State Bar Association, November 2011
- Food Safety in 2010: Is This the Decade of Change?
Food, Agriculture & Biofuels 2010 National Conference, Minneapolis, May 2010
- Navigating the Nutrition-Labeling Maze
International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, COEX Conference, Orlando, Florida, March 2010
- U.S. Food Importers Face Tougher Rules After New Act
Food Manufacture Magazine, November 2012
- Just Label It? Potential Impact of California's Proposed GE-Labeling Legislation
Co-author, Food and Drink, Summer 2012
- Risky Business: How Food Producers Can Protect Themselves and the Public Under the Food Safety Modernization Act
Co-author, Food and Drink, Spring 2012
- Food Law: 2012 Legal Forecast
Co-author, Food and Drink, Winter 2012
- The Laws of the Label: If You Can Avoid Making Vague or Misleading Claims on Food Labels, You Might be Able to Avoid a Class Action Lawsuit
Co-author, Food and Drink, Fall 2011
- Food Labeling Remains Ripe for Consumer Fraud Class Actions
Co-author, ABA Products Liability Newsletter, Summer 2011
- Food Safety Regulations Impact Feed and Grain Industry
Co-author, Feed & Grain, June/July 2011
- Food Safety Bill Passes, But Many Questions Remain
Co-author, National Law Journal, March 2011
- 2011: Food Safety and Competition at the Forefront
Co-author, Pork Exec, January 2011
- Defending Pesticides in Litigation
Co-author, Co-editor, West, 2004-11
- Ready or Not: Federal Menu Labeling Laws Are Now In Effect. Is Your Company in Compliance?
Co-author, Food and Drink, Winter 2010
- When Labels Fail
Co-author, Food and Drink, Spring 2010
- Emerging Issues in Food Litigation, Chapter 12A: Current Law, Strategies and Best Practices in Product Litigation
PLI, 2010, updated annually
- Complying With Food Registry No Easy Task
Co-author, Feedstuffs, Vol. 81, No. 44, October 2009
- Federal Court Dismisses Blueberry Growers' Claims Based on Federal Preemption
- Country of Origin Labeling for Many Meat Products Is Now a Reality
- Potential Liability Exposure to Seed Companies From GMO Pollen Drift
Agra/Industrial Biotechnology Legal Letter, 2000
- Expert Evidence in the Eighth Circuit
Scientific Evidence Review, American Bar Association, Monograph No. 4, 1999
- U.S. Supreme Court Expands Daubert to Include All Expert Testimony