This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Ronald Peterson, et al.,
BASF Corporation, a foreign corporation,
Filed August 30, 2005
Reversed and remanded; motions denied
Norman County District Court
File No. C2-97-295
J. Nill, Douglas J. Nill, P.A., 1100 One Financial Plaza,
Michael Schwartz, Lockridge Grindal Nauen, P.L.L.P.,
Considered and decided by Minge, Presiding Judge; Lansing, Judge; and Halbrooks, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Appellant challenges the district court’s order denying its motion for approval of a qualified settlement fund, ruling that appellant lacks standing. Respondents move to dismiss the appeal and to strike statements made at oral argument. Because we conclude that appellant has standing to raise this issue, we reverse and remand to the district court for a decision on the motion. We deny respondents’ motions.
Ronald Peterson and other farmers sued appellant BASF Corporation in a
class-action consumer-fraud suit under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, based
on appellant’s marketing and pricing of certain herbicides. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 56:8-1-116 (West
2002). The jury returned a verdict in
favor of respondents and awarded damages in the amount of $15,000,000. The district court trebled damages and
awarded costs and attorney fees under the consumer-fraud act, as well as
granting prejudgment interest. This
court affirmed, as did the supreme court, but the
postjudgment issue arose in the district court regarding the distribution of
the common fund arising from the jury verdict.
The district court ruled that appellant did not have standing to raise
the issue, this court affirmed, and the supreme court denied appellant’s petition
for review. Peterson v. BASF Corp., No. A04‑1553 (
Appellant then moved the district court for an order approving a qualified settlement fund in anticipation of paying the judgment and to assist it in tax planning for the 2004 calendar year. The district court granted respondents’ motion to strike and denied appellant’s motion on the ground that appellant lacks standing. This appeal follows.
D E C I S I O N
address the preliminary issue of whether this appeal is moot. The issue of mootness is a question of law, which
this court reviews de novo. In re McCaskill, 603 N.W.2d 326, 327 (
court “will decide only actual controversies.
If the court is unable to grant effectual relief, the issue raised is
deemed to be moot resulting in dismissal of the appeal.” In re
Schmidt, 443 N.W.2d 824, 826 (
A second preliminary
issue is whether the district court lacked jurisdiction to enter the order at
issue in this appeal because the earlier order, in which the district court
ruled that appellant does not have standing to address the issue of
distribution of the common fund, had been appealed. Peterson
v. BASF Corp., No. A04-1553 (
appeal is filed, the district court’s authority “to make any order necessarily
affecting the order or judgment appealed from” is suspended.
address the current controversy. A party
has standing when resolution of the issue may adversely affect the party’s
interests. Sierra Club v. Morton, 405
Respondents’ motion to dismiss is denied. Respondents’ motion to strike statements made by appellant at oral argument regarding the availability of a QSF is also denied.
Reversed and remanded; motions denied.