Seed Disputes Pt 1
The Washington Policy Center's Madilynne Clark says the state's non-binding arbitration rule makes it difficult for the parties involved...
MADI CLARK ... "So they come to the table, there's an arbitrator, and they make a ruling on who actually is at fault and who has to take the responsibility of that bad seed. If it's the seed seller and then they have to repay the grower. The problem is that it's non-binding and so it immediately goes to the courts. It was designed to lower the burden on the courts, reduce traffic there, but inevitably they end up at the court because if you don't like the ruling, it's non-binding so you can proceed to court to get a binding ruling."
Clark says non-binding arbitration uses up everybody's time and money un-necessarily ..
MADI CLARK ... "So, it's a waste for everybody and WSDA has to devote their staff hours to organize arbitration and private industry representatives have to serve on the panel and they're not compensated. So, it's a waste for everybody involved and it's time to move away from that type of process."
12 other states have adopted similar to Washington requiring costly arbitration.
Two bills currently in the legislature would put the costs of mediation back onto the involved parties instead of the tax payers.