The New York Times reported on August 12, 2011 that the E.P.A. has banned the sale of DuPont’s Imprelis Herbicide. Jordan Chaikin, a partner at our law firm was quoted in the article: “We expect at the end of the day there’s going to be more than a billion dollars of damage or as much as several billion,” Mr. Chaikin also stated, “You are talking about a lot of people who have dead trees 40 to 50 feet tall, 30 or 50 years old that each cost $20,000 or $25,000 to replace.”
On August 11, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned sales of Imprelis herbicide by issuing DuPont a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order (SSURO). The EPA decided to act after DuPont’s own data confirmed that certain coniferous trees, including Norway spruce, white pine and balsam fir, were susceptible to being damaged or killed by the application of Imprelis. At the time the order was announced, the EPA said DuPont had submitted over 7,000 adverse incident reports involving damage (including death) to non-target trees related to the application of Imprelis.
The EPA’s SSURO followed DuPont’s August 4 announcement that it was voluntarily suspending sales of Imprelis. DuPont also announced at that time that it would soon conduct a product return and refund program for Imprelis customers. A day prior to the DuPont’s Imprelis recall announcement, the EPA sent the company a letter informing it that it was considering issuing a stop-sale order for Imprelis.
The Imprelis stop-sale order was issued under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Act, a federal law that requires the registration of pesticide products and pesticide-production facilities, and the proper labeling of pesticides. In a statement posted on its website, the EPA said it was investigating whether reported Imprelis side effects were the result of product misuse, inadequate warnings and use directions on the product’s label, persistence in soil and plant material, uptake of the product through the root systems and absorbed into the plant tissue, environmental factors, potential runoff issues or other possible causes
DuPont Admits Imprelis Herbicide Damaged Trees
July 28,2011: Dupont, the maker of the Imprelis herbicide that has been reported being responsible for the death or damage to numerous Norway spruce, Eastern White Pine and other shallow root system trees has issued a statement admitting to tree injuries associated with Imprelis herbicide. Dupont has also established a addressing Imprelis tree injury problems.
Dupont’s Imprelis herbicide, a supposedly “environmentally safe” weed killer is suspected of causing the deaths of thousands of trees, including Norway spruces and eastern white pines, conifers, willows, poplars and Deodora Cedar and more. Substantial tree damage that may be linked to Imprelis has been reported throughout the Midwest, in East Coast states, and as far south as Georgia. The tree deaths have already prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to announce that it will undertake an “expedited review” of the Imprelis herbicide. Class action lawsuits have been filed over alleged Imprelis herbicide tree deaths in Michigan and Ohio, and it is likely that more state class action lawsuits will soon follow.
Parker Waichman LLP attorneys specializing in Imprelis herbicide tree deaths are investigating complaints and potential class action lawsuits by landscapers and property owners that use of this herbicide on lawns has damaged and led to the death of nearby trees. If you have experienced dead or damaged trees that you believe could be linked to the use of Imprelis, you may be entitled to compensation. It is vital that you contact one of our lawyers investigating Imprelis tree damage immediately to protect your legal rights or call Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOURLAWYER(1-800-968-7529).
Imprelis Tree Death & Damage Reports
Dupont Imprelis herbicide, was brought to market in October of 2010, is used for killing broadleaf weeds like dandelion and clover and is sold to lawn care professionals only. DuPont marketed Imprelis as “the most advanced turf herbicide in over 40 years,” and claimed the herbicide was safer for the environment than 2,4-D Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (known as 2,4-D) and other older herbicides. These promises convinced many landscapers and professional gardeners to switch to Imprelis.
Landscapers who used Imprelis began reporting dead and damaged trees around Memorial Day 2011, prompting DuPont to launch an investigation. For now, the company is warning landscapers not to use Imprelis near spruces or white pines, and to avoid using it in places where the product might drift toward such trees or run off toward their roots. Wilting and browning leaves at the end of branches is the most obvious symptom of Imprelis tree damage, however curling and twisting of new growth has also been observed. According to a New York Times report, Imprelis seems to affect trees with shallow root systems, including willows, poplars and conifers.
The following is a list of shallow root system trees that seem to be affected most by the use of Imprelis herbicide:
- Norway Spruce: A large evergreen coniferous tree. It is an importnant timber and ornamental tree native to Northern Europe and is used in reforestation both there and in North America.
- Deodora Cedar: An excellent evergreen with graceful pendulous branches. They are tall trees with large trunks and massive, irregular heads of spreading heads.
- Balsam Fir: A North American fir, a small to medium size evergreen tree 46-66 feet tall with a narrow conic crown.
- Willow Trees: Graceful and refined, easily recognized by its open crown of ground-sweeping branches.
- Conifer Trees: Conifers or softwoods are classed as gymnosperms or plants with naked seeds not enclosed in an ovary. They have needle leaves and pollen with bladders.
- Poplar Trees: Any of several species of trees belonging to the willow family, containing 35 species of trees. They are native to North America and divided into three main groups, cottonwoods, aspens and poplars.
- Eastern White Pine: A large pine native to eastern North America, also known as White Pine, Northern White Pine, Soft Pine and Weymouth Pine in the U.K.
Landscapers and property owners who have reported Imprelis tree death and damage are now faced with the prospect of spending thousands of dollars to replace dead or damaged trees. One landscaper told The New York Times that he had already spent $150,000 to replace customers’ trees that may have been damaged by Imprelis. The executive director of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association reported that one member was looking to replace 1,000 damaged trees. The livelihoods of many landscapers could be threatened if their insurance will not cover the cost of tree replacement.
Lawsuits have been filed that shallow root system trees have been killed by use of a “low environmental impact” weed killer, such as DuPont’s Imprelis.
DuPont has already been named in one class action lawsuit that alleges Imprelis caused unintended damage to trees at the Polo Fields Golf & Country Club in Southfield, Michigan. The complaint alleges that Imprelis has caused “the loss of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of mature pine and spruce trees,” and the nationwide damage “is mounting with no end in sight.”
The EPA has also said it has received reports from “numerous states” about problems with Imprelis. In July 2011, the agency acknowledged that it was preparing to begin an investigation to determine whether changes are needed in how Imprelis is used.
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