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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Landmark Pesticide Drift Case Appealed

In 2008, Jacobs Farm Organic made national headlines when a Santa Cruz County judge awarded the local herb grower a $1 million dollar settlement after its organic dill, sage and rosemary crops were contaminated by organophosphate pesticides. The pesticides were sprayed by Western Farm Services on the Brussels sprout fields at Wilder Ranch State Park, a popular destination for local hikers where Jacobs Farm leases 120 acres. The trace amounts of the pesticides, which drifted from the Brussels sprout fields to the herbs, rendered the entire crop unusable for commercial sale.

As promised at the time of the decision, the pesticide application company has appealed the decision. Oral arguments took place in the Sixth District court of appeals in San Jose on Nov. 16. Dean T. Barnhard, an Indiana attorney whose services have been retained by Dow Chemical in several previous toxic tort cases, appeared on behalf of the appellant. Joel Franklin, a lawyer with a practice in Monterey, represented Jacobs Farm. At press time, neither was available for comment. The three justices who heard the appeal have up to 90 days to deliver a decision, making it available on or before Feb. 14, 2011.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 7:03 PM

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