CHS vs. Anderson Seed four-day trial now scheduled for June
FARGO, N.D. -- The trial date for a $1.4 million suit by CHS Inc. against Anderson Seed and its owners has been delayed again -- this time to June 1, according to the Polk County District Court in Crookston, Minn.
FARGO, N.D. - The trial date for a $1.4 million suit by CHS Inc. against Anderson Seed and its owners has been delayed again - this time to June 1, according to the Polk County District Court in Crookston, Minn.
CHS filed the suit on behalf of its elevator in Pierre, S.D. - Midwest Cooperatives. CHS alleges it was not paid for sunflowers delivered to the Mentor, Minn.-based company and its North Dakota and South Dakota locations, including a processing plant in Redfield, S.D.
The suit names defendants Ron Anderson of Mentor, Minn., and his daughter Stephanie Anderson of Fosston, Minn. Stephanie was the manager of Anderson Seed, a sunflower processing company, and was part of a group of family company owners, headed by her father, Ron Anderson. Anderson Seed went insolvent in February 2010 when it sold many of its facilities, some of its seed inventories, and a separate St. Hilaire Seed Co., an edible bean business, to Legumex Walker of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Seattle, Wash.
Jon Brakke, a Fargo-based lawyer representing CHS, declined to comment on the case. The trial initially was scheduled for April 2014 but had been delayed to start Jan. 13. District Judge Kurt Marben of Crookston, Minn., signed the continuance on Dec. 12.
In the suit, CHS attempts to “pierce the corporate veil” and make Ron and Stephanie Anderson personally liable for claims against the company.
In a previous, separate but related case, Cass County North Dakota District judge on Feb. 25, 2014, approved a cash settlement of $965,000 to cover 43 percent of the $2.23 million in cash claims by those who had delivered to the North Dakota Anderson Seed locations. Contract holders received 80 percent of their valid claims, or about $640,000, from a state indemnity fund. Payments to North Dakota elevator patrons went out in mid-June.
CHS and Midwest Cooperatives initially had claimed $740,140.52 in unpaid grain deliveries to Anderson Seed receiving stations in Durbin, S.D., and Selz, N.D., but the North Dakota Public Service Commission approved only $45,512 of its claims - 1/16 of what it had claimed.
In still another earlier, separate legal action, Milton Handcock, general manager of Midwest Cooperatives, was one of three South Dakota elevator operators who called on Fifth Circuit Court Judge Tony Porta of Aberdeen, S.D., to reverse a decision that allowed Ray Martinmaas, an Orient, S.D., farmer, to make a claim against Anderson Seed’s bond in that state.
Martinmaas claimed the company owed the Martinmaas family $47,000 for credit sale contract grain, even though Martinmaas hadn’t completed paperwork. Porta refused to change his mind and the Martinmaases were paid, temporarily destabilizing credit sale contracts in South Dakota.