Nine Years in the Making: Farmers’ Lawsuit Finally Goes to Trial

Brownstown, Indiana – After a nine-year wait, a bench trial in a civil lawsuit between two Bartholomew County farmers finally began this week. The plaintiff, Chad Sims, filed the litigation in 2015 against defendant Gregory W. Daily and his business, Daily Feed and Grain. The trial is being presided over by Jackson Superior Court AmyMarie Travis.

The legal battle has faced numerous delays and changes in judges and attorneys over the years. These transitions have required additional time for newcomers to familiarize themselves with the case. Complicating matters further, the lawsuit involves multiple legal agreements, conflicting testimony, and various impacted businesses. Previous attempts to resolve the dispute through mediation have been unsuccessful.

The lawsuit centers around allegations made by Sims concerning Daily’s business practices. Sims claims that Daily’s company failed or refused to provide weight tickets and settlement sheets for grain sold by Sims. Additionally, Sims alleges that Daily changed their 2010 arrangement without his consent, retroactively applying a new division of profits based on acreage registered with the Farm Service Agency.

For his part, Daily denies Sims’ claims and even accuses the plaintiff of illegal conduct. He also denies allegations that he took possession of Sims’ grain without permission or refused to release owed money. The litigation further alleges that Daily contacted a competitor, Consolidated Grain and Barge, claiming interest in corn held in Sims’ grain bins. This action allegedly led to Consolidated refusing to accept Sims’ corn, resulting in financial losses for the plaintiff.

Included in the lawsuit are claims of defamation, as Sims accuses Daily of sending letters to his customers containing false information to dissuade them from doing business with him. Daily also allegedly made false statements about Sims and another individual when communicating with his own customers. Carol Brooks, listed as a counter claim defendant, maintains that Daily requested to be removed from his Stewart Seed account while liabilities were then assigned to Sims.

Sims is seeking compensation for the grain he believes was unlawfully taken, along with interest and attorney fees. The bench trial is expected to last for five days, after which Judge Travis will consider the evidence and provide a decision in the future.

It’s important to note that the claims made in the lawsuit represent only one side of the case and may be contested in later court proceedings.