Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bottoms Farm Partnership v. Perdue

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 17, 2018

Bottoms Farm Partnership; Bell Family Partnership; Bell Planting Co.; Nez Farms, Inc. Plaintiffs - Appellants
v.
Sonny Perdue, Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture; Risk Management Agency; Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Defendants - Appellees

          Submitted: March 15, 2018

          Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri - St. Louis

          Before WOLLMAN, SHEPHERD, and ERICKSON, Circuit Judges.

          ERICKSON, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         Bottoms Farm Partnership, Bell Family Partnership, Bell Planting Company, and Nez Farms, Inc. ("Appellants" or "farm entities") appeal from a grant of summary judgment by the district court[1] deferring to an insurance policy interpretation made by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation ("FCIC") and a determination regarding the FCIC's authority made by the Risk Management Agency ("RMA"). We affirm.

         I. Background

         The Appellants are rice farmers in southeast Missouri. They each planted rice in Stoddard County during the 2012 crop year. The rice crops were insured under federally-reinsured multi-peril crop insurance policies purchased from Rural Crop Insurance Services ("RCIS"). The insurance policy was provided under the auspices of the Federal Crop Insurance Act ("FCIA" or "Act"), which is administered by the FCIC and the RMA.

         After the farm entities purchased the insurance and planted the 2012 crop, their rice crops were damaged by excessive rainfall in Stoddard County. The farm entities filed claims for indemnity with RCIS. RCIS denied the claims on the ground that the crops were not insurable under the policy because levees were not surveyed and constructed immediately after seeding the rice and levee gates were not immediately installed and butted as required by a special provision in the policy. The special provision states:

In addition to the definition of Planted Acreage specified in section 1 of the Crop Provisions, the following must have occurred immediately following seeding. If these activities have not occurred, the acreage will be considered "acreage seeded in any other manner" and will not be insurable:
1. levees are surveyed and constructed;
2. levee gates are installed and butted; and
3. the irrigation pump is operable, ready to be started in the event sufficient rainfall has not been received, and turned on to provide sufficient water for the purposes of germination or elimination of soil crusting.

         When the farm entities' claims were denied, they sought arbitration with RCIS as was mandated by the Basic Provisions of the policy. In their arbitration request, they each stated their proposed interpretation for consideration. After considering the arguments of the parties, the FCIC agreed with RCIS's interpretation and provided the following explanation:

Any time a term is not defined in the policy, its common meaning is used and that is found in any standard dictionary. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "immediately" as "without any delay." This means the listed activities must occur right after planting has ended, weather permitting, without any delay. If weather prevents ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.