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DuPont Herbicide Blamed for Tree Deaths

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New York, NYImprelis, a commercial herbicide manufactured by DuPont and used in commercial applications is alleged to be responsible for damaging or causing the death of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trees, on mostly large-scale properties like golf courses and country clubs in the US. "People care about their trees and this is ugly stuff," says Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP attorney Jonathan Selbin from his office in New York. The firm has just filed a national class action against DuPont.

"We are hearing from landscapers who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trees," says Selbin. "So I think this is ultimately going to be a very large case. We are getting reports from across the country," says Selbin.

"Everyone knows that landscapers use this kind of product in the spring and that is a growth period for trees," says Selbin. "The core issue is what did DuPont know about the dangers to trees and whether they adequately warned landscapers about how to apply it."

Although Imprelis was sold only to licensed professionals, some homeowners who hired a landscaping company to control weeds on their properties may also become part of the class. In fact, the lead plaintiff in the case, Marsha Shomo, from Johnston, Pennsylvania, came forward when two trees on her property died after she hired a landscaping company to spray her lawn with Imprelis.

"She planted some trees when her sister was diagnosed with cancer and she agreed to take care of them so obviously they have a great deal of sentimental value," adds Selbin.

Selbin points out that timing of the Imprelis application is important. "Trees go through growth periods in the spring," he says. "It could be that you could go out right now and apply some of this stuff next to a tree and it wouldn't have much of an impact because trees are not in their growth period right now."

Anyone who thinks that their trees may have been affected by Imprelis should take care to gather evidence as soon as possible advises Selbin. That means taking photographs, soil samples, bagging leaves and more. Information on how to do that is available on Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein's website.


Jonathan Selbin is a partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and focuses on representing clients in defective product and consumer protection cases. He has recovered more than $2 billion for clients in verdicts and settlements. He was named to the list of Super Lawyers in 2010.

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