DuPont Imprelis

Result: Nearly $400 million in claims paid
Year: 2013

In re Imprelis Herbicide Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation

Lieff Cabraser served as Co-Lead Counsel for homeowners, golf course companies and other property owners in a nationwide class action lawsuit against E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (“DuPont”), charging that its herbicide Imprelis caused widespread death among trees and other non-targeted vegetation across the country. DuPont marketed Imprelis as an environmentally friendly alternative to the commonly used 2,4-D herbicide.

Trees dying from exposure to Imprelis

In August 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the sale of Imprelis.

Just weeks after Imprelis’ introduction to the market in late 2010, however, complaints of tree damage began to surface. Property owners reported curling needles, severe browning, and dieback in trees near turf that had been treated with Imprelis. In August 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the sale of Imprelis.

The complaint charged that DuPont failed to disclose the risks Imprelis posed to trees, even when applied as directed, and failed to provide instructions for the safe application of Imprelis. In response to the litigation, DuPont created a process for property owners to submit claims for damages. As of early 2014, nearly $400 million had been paid out to approximately 25,000 claimants.

In October 2013, the Court approved a settlement of the class action that substantially enhanced the DuPont claims process, including by adding an extended warranty, a more limited release of claims, the right to appeal the denial of claim by DuPont to an independent arborist, and publication of DuPont’s tree payment schedule.

Civil Litigation News