A Northeast North Dakota farm has filed a class-action lawsuit this week against John Deere. The farmer alleges the machinery company has violated the Sherman Act by not allowing farmers to diagnose, and therefore repair, their own equipment. The Sherman Act, established in 1890, outlaws restraint of trade and monopolization. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has varied in its decisions on Sherman Act violations. Forest River Farms has asked for a trial by jury and ultimately wants the court to order that John Deere make necessary software available to private farmers and independent repair shops. “Based on recent data, out of the 1,544 dealerships affiliated with Deere, 91% of these dealerships are owned by a ‘big dealer,’ i.e., a dealer that owns five or more individual locations,” the lawsuit said. The suit also seeks damages for farmers who have paid for repairs from John Deere dealers beginning January 12, 2018 to present.
While the suit is not the first of its kind, “right to repair” has become an issue around the U.S. with legislatures introduction bills in at least 32 states to address the concern.
Read more on the lawsuit here.
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