In RE Citrus Canker Litigation


04/18/08 – 05/06/08


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.


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


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