Yet another class action lawsuit has been filed over alleged Imprelis tree poisoning. The lawsuit, filed by Daryl and Mary Ann Haley, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa, Cedar Rapids Division, and seeks compensation from DuPont on behalf of any property owner who sustained damage as a result of Imprelis.
The plaintiffs in this Imprelis lawsuit are being represented by a group of law firms that includes Parker Waichman LLP. Just last week, this same group of firms filed an Imprelis lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division on behalf of an Ohio property owner.
According to this latest claim, which characterizes Imprelis as a “frighteningly effective tree killer,” at least one application of Imprelis was applied to the Haley’s lawn in Tipton, Iowa, according to DuPont’s instructions. The lawsuit alleges that as a result of Imprelis, trees on the Haleyâ€™s property were permanently damaged. The lawsuit further alleges that rather than being isolated incidents, thousands of trees have been reported as being infected by Imprelis, and tens of thousands more reports are expected in the future.
The Haley’s lawsuit charges DuPont with, among other things, negligence and breach of implied warranty. The Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief barring DuPont from continued sale of Imprelis, and compensatory and other damages including the cost of replacing trees damaged by Imprelis.
Imprelis is a new product for DuPont, which marketed it to turf management professionals as an environmentally friendly way to eliminate broadleaf weeds. But in late spring, reports began to crop up around the country of tree damage that followed Imprelis applications. This prompted extension services in several states, including Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan to issues alerts for Imprelis. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also started an “expedited review” of the herbicide in response to the reports.
In a letter to turf management professionals dated June 17, DuPont said it was investigating Imprelis complaints. Then, just yesterday, the company issued another letter acknowledging its review had found tree injuries associated with Imprelis, primarily on Norway spruce and white pine trees. The problems are concentrated in Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Wisconsin, the letter said. The letter promised to work with recipients to “promptly and fairly resolve problems associated with our product,” and announced the launch of the “Imprelis-Facts” website, as well as a toll-free number for information that will go online next week.
According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, while professional landscapers cheered DuPont for taking responsibility for the tree injuries, some are already skeptical of DuPont’s promise of help.
“If they take responsibility, they have to take the tree down and replace it.” Mark Underwood, co-owner of Underwood Nursery in Adrian, Michigan told the Free Press.
Underwood, who always maintained that the damage done to his customers’ trees was not the result of negligence on the part of his employees, added that his clients have filed claims with him for lost trees and won’t settle for anything less than a comparable replacement.
“My customers, they don’t want a coupon from DuPont or Teflon pans,” he said.