In RE Citrus Canker Litigation

VERDICT

Trial
04/18/08 – 05/06/08

Play button overlay 45f08f27c7337d189e8c31e635b5d0a0781b273131135cd77ee8b6f12366e7a2
Play button overlay 45f08f27c7337d189e8c31e635b5d0a0781b273131135cd77ee8b6f12366e7a2

Summary

Class of 58,000+ Broward County homeowners sought inverse condemnation compensation for the government's alleged taking of 133,720 citrus trees pursuant to the Citrus Canker Eradication Program (CCEP). The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services allegedly destroyed the trees even though none of the trees was ever determined to be infected with asian strain citrus canker, a highly contagious bacterial plant disease spread by wind and rain.

According to the defense, citrus disease can infect even trees that look healthy. In addition, homeowners were notified of the proposed eradication, and if they did not appeal the determination to eradicate, then the tree destruction would be effected at no cost to the homeowner.

After the particularly stormy 2004-2005 hurricane season, the eradication program was determined to have failed, and was shut down. The Florida legislature adopted a homeowner compensation program offering each homeowner a $100 "Shade Florida" debit card for their first tree. For the second and additional trees the state of Florida wrote a check to the homeowners for $55 per tree.

The jury found that the total amount of compensation due was $11,531,463, minus the amount actually payed pursuant to the Shade Florida and tree compensation programs.

Outcome

Compensations for all 133,720 trees was $11,531,463.
Defendants were allowed to deduct actual payments already made.

Sessions

APR
18
APR
22
APR
23
AM Session
Other
1 Chapters
PM Session
Other
2 Chapters
MAY
5

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