Dupont’s Imprelis Named In 29 New Lawsuits

Dupont’s Imprelis weedkiller has been named in 29 more lawsuits over allegations that the herbicide is responsible for widespread damage and death of their trees.

The plaintiffs allege that Dupont ‘s product is killing, or has killed, their trees and that the chemical giant touted Imprelis as an environmentally friendly and safe herbicide. The plaintiffs state these claims are “simply not the truth,” according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel (JSOnline). Imprelis was introduced in 2010.

“In its relatively short time on the market, DuPont’s Imprelis has proven to be a frighteningly effective tree killer,” the suits say, wrote JSOnline. Coniferous trees appear to be specifically vulnerable to Imprelis, some being damaged, but others dying, or dead, said the lawsuits. Summit Police Chief James Race and Waukesha County Circuit Judge Ralph Ramirez are among those suing DuPont de Nemours and Co., said JSOnline.

According to Race’s lawsuit, a lawn care service applied Imprelis to his Ottawa property five times since last June, and in accordance with DuPont’s instructions, said JSOnline. That autumn, a certified arborist examined Race’s trees noting that 25 Norway spruce trees were 75-100% brown and were dying and twisted; signs of death were on all of the property’s trees and trees on a neighboring property were in a similar state, according to the lawsuit. The herbicide was not used on the other property. The neighbors, Steven and Janette Zwicke, are suing DuPont.

“I have 29 trees that are either dead or dying,” Race said. “I have a group of trees that lost their needles over the winter. DuPont knows they killed a lot of trees. They are not taking responsibility for it,” he added, wrote JSOnline, noted that the Zwickes have also lost a couple dozen trees. Ramirez’s lawsuit states that lawn service applied Imprelis on his Town of Waukesha property once in June; by October, all eight of his trees showed signs of death.

Dupont marketed Imprelis as a revolutionary herbicide, touting its ability to target certain nuisance plant varieties and kill them. Problems arose when commercial landscape services began applying Imprelis to public parks, golf courses, and at private residences. Suddenly, trees such as the white pine and Norway spruce began yellowing; the trees’ needles shed and the trees died. After several months of use, damage was widespread and massive leading to tens of thousands of trees dead and millions of dollars in damage.

The manufacturer was ordered to remove Imprelis from the market in response to these claims and further investigation revealed Dupont never properly tested Imprelis’ efficacy, including its effect on the tree species it was killing. And, while damage reports continued to mount, Dupont insisted Imprelis was safe and not responsible for the damage. The company will not disclose how many lawsuits it is currently facing but has since changed its message.

These are not the only lawsuits concerning Imprelis, DuPont faces a number of similar lawsuits nationwide and class action lawsuits against Dupont over Imprelis damage have been filed in Delaware, Indiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Wisconsin.

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