New Imprelis Lawsuit Claims DuPont was Negligent in Bringing Herbicide to Market

DuPont has been hit with another lawsuit over its Imprelis herbicide. The new <"">Imprelis lawsuit, filed by a Pennsylvania homeowner and an Indiana golf course, asserts the herbicide is killing trees, shrubs and ornamental plants across the country. The new filing comes just days after the Polo Fields Golf & Country Club LLC of Southfield, Michigan, filed a similar Imprelis lawsuit.

Unfortunately for DuPont, it doesn’t appear its Imprelis headache will be going away anytime soon. 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 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.

As we reported previously, DuPont claims Imprelis, a new herbicide for killing broadleaf weeds like dandelions, is environmentally safer than previous weed killers. It was only approved by the EPA last October, and that approval was conditional. It followed an agency review of 23 months that found Imprelis appeared to be a good product, even though all safety data was not yet in. The herbicide is available to landscapers and professional gardeners in all states but New York and California, both of which have their own approval process for such products.

According to various media reports, university extension services in several states began receiving complaints of Imprelis tree death and damage around Memorial Day. By June, extension services in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana issued warnings about Imprelis. DuPont also acknowledge receiving such reports in a June 17 letter to turf management professionals, and said it had begun its own investigation.

According to The New York Times, this latest Imprelis lawsuit seeks compensation for all property damage suffered as a result of applications of Imprelis, an injunction barring DuPont from selling the product and unspecified punitive damages. It accuses DuPont of being negligent or reckless in bringing Imprelis to market. It further alleges that DuPont failed to warn Imprelis users that it had the potential to migrate through the soil and come into contact with root systems. The lawsuit was filed Monday in United States District Court for the District of Delaware.

This is at least the second lawsuit to be filed against DuPont over Imprelis. It is expected that more will follow, as Imprelis is suspected of causing death and damage to trees on lawns, golf courses and country clubs around the country. 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.

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