Bayer CropScience, LLC; Bayer CropScience, Inc; Bayer AG; Bayer CropScience, NV; Bayer Aventis Cropscience USA Holding, Now known as Starlink Logistics, Inc.; Bayer Corporation; Bayer CropScience Holding, SA; Bayer CropScience, SA; Eagle Lake Rice Dryer; Genetically Modified Rice Common Benefit Qualified Settlement Fund; Golf Rice Milling; Looper Reed & McGraw; Stoneville Pedigreed Seed Company; Texana Rice; Texana Rice Mill; Bayer CropScience, Inc; Bayer CropScience Holding, Inc; Bayer CropScience, AG Plaintiffs
Stearns Bank National Association Defendant-Appellant Amegy Bank National Association Defendant-Appellee
Submitted: March 15, 2016
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri - St. Louis
WOLLMAN, BENTON, and SHEPHERD, Circuit Judges.
SHEPHERD, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
CropScience ("Bayer") brought this interpleader
action to determine its obligations with regards to a
settlement reached with Texana Rice Mill and Texana Rice,
Inc. (collectively, "Texana"). That settlement came
about as a result of lawsuits that arose when Bayer
introduced genetically modified rice into the United States
commercial long-grain rice supply. The parties in this
appeal, Stearns Bank National Association ("Stearns
Bank") and Amegy Bank National Association ("Amegy
Bank") are both bank creditors of debtor Texana. Texana
settled its commercial tort claim against Bayer, and after
disbursement of certain amounts, $933, 697.90 remains.
Stearns Bank and Amegy Bank claim priority over those funds.
The district court found for Amegy Bank, and we reverse that
decision and remand this matter to the district court for
November 2006, Texana sued Bayer in Texas state court for
several claims related to the contamination of the United
States rice supply by Bayer's genetically modified
rice. Among the damages claimed, Texana alleged
the contaminated rice damaged its property "including
any uncontaminated rice it purchased, and its plant,
equipment, and improvements." The state court action was
eventually removed to federal court and made part of an
ongoing multi-district litigation. Texana and Bayer reached a
settlement for $2, 137, 500, and Bayer made payment into the
custody of the Clerk of Court for the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. After two
uncontested disbursements, $933, 697.90 remains.
owes separate debts to Stearns Bank and Amegy Bank which
total an amount in excess of the remaining settlement
proceeds. Each bank argues that it has a superior priority
interest in the proceeds. A timeline of events is helpful in
understanding the parties' arguments.
13, 2002 - Stearns Bank made a $2.65 million loan to
Texana. This loan was secured, in part, by a Commercial
Security Agreement covering:
All Chattel Paper, Equipment and General Intangibles
INVENTORY AND ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE)
[including] all the following, whether now owned or hereafter
whether now existing or hereafter arising, and wherever
(A)All accessions, attachments, accessories, tools, parts,
supplies, replacements of and additions to any of the
collateral described ...