Soybean farmers appeal CBOT lawsuit dismissal

Plaintiff attorneys are now preparing briefs to support their appeal. CBOT will file a response before a ruling is handed down.

“How much time will pass before all this happens is unknown. I’m grateful that we’re still in the fight and that the outlook for our appeal is good,” says Harvey Joe Sanner, an original plaintiff in the suit and current farmer and agriculture activist from Des Arc, Ark.

The suit was originally filed in Chicago in late 1989 following an “emergency resolution” by CBOT in July of that year. The resolution mandated liquidation of large holdings of soybean futures and resulted in soybean prices dropping. Plaintiffs claim soybean farmers lost millions, if not billions, of dollars due to the action while CBOT board member companies profited.

After 13 years of legal maneuvering, the case was finally brought to trial before a jury in September. Then, on Oct. 10, after the plaintiff’s case was presented and the defense was mid-way through its presentation, U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Andersen dismissed the suit through a direct verdict.

Appeals are nothing new to the plaintiffs. Twice before, the suit has been dismissed and later reinstated through appeal.

Editor’s note: for an in-depth look at the case, see DFP’s “CBOT/farmer trial set to begin in fall (Sept. 24),” “Trial: Days of intrigue at CBOT (Sept. 24)” and related stories available at

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