An Ohio homeowner has filed a lawsuit against DuPont over its Imprelis herbicide. The Imprelis lawsuit, which alleges the herbicide caused significant damage and harm to trees, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio and seeks class action status on behalf of all who have sustained extensive and permanent damage to their trees, lawns and gardens following application of Imprelis.
DuPont claims Imprelis, a new herbicide for killing broadleaf weeds like dandelions, is environmentally safer than previous weed killers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Imprelis is living up to those promises, as complaints of Imprelis tree death and damage began cropping up around Memorial Day. By June, university extension services in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana issued warnings about Imprelis. They reported that the trees that appear most vulnerable to Imprelis are those with shallow roots, including willows, poplars and conifers, and especially Norway spruce and white pine.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would launch an investigation of Imprelis after receiving reports of tree death and damage from Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Wisconsin and West Virginia. DuPont has launched its own Imprelis investigation, and recently warned turf management professionals via a June 17 letter that the herbicide should not be used near Norway Spruce or White Pine trees, or in places where the product might drift toward such trees or run off toward their roots.
Luanne Miller of Seven Hills, Ohio, the lead plaintiff in this latest lawsuit, claims that her lawn was treated with several applications of Imprelis according to instructions and directions provided by DuPont. Shortly after that, trees on her property began to exhibit damage identical to what has been attributed to Imprelis. The lawsuit alleges such incidents are not isolated, and claims thousands of trees have been reported as being infected by Imprelis, and tens of thousands more reports are expected in the future.
The complaint also faults DuPont for trying to escape blame for Imprelis tree damage:
â€œRather than pulling Imprelis from the market or otherwise offering to assist and/or compensate property owners and lawn care companies injured by Imprelis, DuPont has suggested that these thousands of tree deaths . . . were not its fault and were actually caused by environmental factors or improper applications by lawn care professionals,” it states.
The lawsuit accuses DuPont of, among other things, negligence and fraud, and seeks punitive, statutory and compensatory damages, including the cost associated with replacing damaged tees. It also seeks a court order barring DuPont from selling Imprelis.
A total of four lawsuits have now been filed against DuPont over Imprelis. Property owners who suspect that Imprelis may have killed or damaged their trees are being cautioned not to get rid of them, as they would be considered evidence should they choose to file a Imprelis lawsuit. Instead, the damage should be documented in photographs, or by gathering samples of vegetation.