Indiana State Chemist Bans Imprelis

Indiana has officially banned sales of DuPont’s Imprelis in that state. According to a report from TheIndyChannel.com, the Indiana State Chemist Office at Perdue University is notifying lawn care companies and other professional users of Imprelis that they are no longer allowed to distribute the tree-killing herbicide.

Imprelis was already banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August, after data provided by DuPont confirmed that certain coniferous trees, including Norway spruce, white pine and balsam fir, were susceptible to being damaged or killed by the application of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Imprelis-DuPont-herbicide-tree-death-side-effects-lawsuit">Imprelis. The herbicide, which was only approved by the EPA last October, was supposed be an environmentally safe solution for controlling broadleaf weeds.

According to a statement issued by the Indiana State Chemist Office, it has been investigating numerous complaints of damage to “non-target trees and ornamentals” associated with the application of Imprelis. In most cases, Imprelis was applied according to package directions, but the damage occurred anyway.

The Indiana Imprelis ban was implemented by the State Chemist to ensure the herbicide is not used in the state.

“This is a way to plug any holes, because the EPA order technically applied only to DuPont,” Dave Scott, pesticide administrator with the chemist’s office, told TheIndyChannel.com.

Under the Indiana ban, lawn care professionals are only permitted to return the herbicide to DuPont. DuPont has said customers will be reimbursed for the cost of the product whether it is in a closed container or an open container, Scott said.

DuPont recently set up a claims process for lawn care professionals and property owners to obtain compensation for Imprelis-damaged trees, but it is requiring that claimants surrender their right to sue for damages. However, some property owners have decided to seek recourse through the courts. Jordan Chaikin, a partner with the national law firm of Parker Waichman Alonso LLP, recently told The New York Times that DuPont could be facing more than a billion dollars in liability over Imprelis tree damage. According to Chaikin, homeowners could be out $20,000 or $25,000 per tree if they seek to replace the evergreens Imprelis killed.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Delaware is scheduled to hear arguments today on a proposed injunction being sought by plaintiffs’ lawyers in a consolidated case involving six Imprelis lawsuits. According to a report from the Associated Press, they want the court to require DuPont to adopt a protocol for preserving evidence related to the use of Imprelis and to pass it on to customers. Attorneys for plaintiffs argue that such an injunction is needed to prevent victims of Imprelis tree damage from unknowingly disposing of important evidence.

DuPont has asked that the injunction request be rejected, arguing that it shouldn’t be made to tell potential claimants how to preserve evidence they may want to use against the company.

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