LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) - A small law firm in Logansport has filed suit against major chemical manufacturer DuPont over claims a weed-killing chemical manufactured by the company is killing more than just unwanted grass.
"That's going to be a very big project, because basically we're going to have to cut all these trees down and remove them," said Coyote Crossing Golf Course general manager Shane Weist, in reference to several dead trees at his course.
The Tippecanoe County course has a daunting task ahead. It will have to replace at least 99 trees that have been slowly dying. Weist said a herbicide is doing more than removing unwanted weeds.
"We started seeing effects about a month and a half ago. It was around 15 to 30 days after we first applied the product. We started to see the outside of the needles turning brown," said Weist.
Trees at the course are now dead. Others are slowly dying. The product in question? Imprelis. It's a herbicide many people across the country claim is killing thousands of trees. It's now the subject of a lawsuit.
The law firm Starr, Austen and Miller in Logansport was contacted by two golf courses in Indianapolis who initially reported problems. This week, the firm filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in Delaware where DuPont's headquarters are located.
"The further we investigated, we realized the problem wasn't just isolated to the Indiana market, but it was a nationwide problem," said attorney Andrew Miller.
But it's not just golf courses that are affected. Miller said landscape companies and even homeowners could be affected by the product.
"The problem is affecting a variety of individual property owners. Basically, anybody that has Imprelis sprayed on their property may have damage," said Miller.
In a statement, DuPont said its Turf Development Team has been investigating the reports and it still trying to determine if the symptoms are even related to the Imprelis herbicide.
"They've not accepted responsibility at all," said Miller.
The law firm is encouraging property owners who think they may be affected to send them soil and foliage samples. Instructions can be found online at the law firm's website.
Miller said no court date has been set yet. He said DuPont might request an extension of time to answer the complaint that was also filed with the lawsuit.
As for Coyote Crossing, Weist said a DuPont field representative is expected to come out and survey their damage.
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