Florida

Owner gets $ 42 million for a citrus tree destroyed by Florida

16 years after the court battle began, there are about 18,000 homeowners in the center Florida Florida will pay a total of more than $ 42 million for destroying their citrus trees during efforts to eradicate harmful citrus diseases.

Homeowner Orange county You will receive about $ 700 per healthy tree destroyed as part of an order issued by the state court Orlando last month. In a 2014 court ruling, each healthy tree was valued at $ 344, but years of fees and interest doubled the per-tree payment.

More than 60,000 healthy, uninfected trees were destroyed in Orange County between 2002 and 2006 as part of the Florida Agricultural and Consumer Services Department’s efforts to eradicate citrus ulcers, according to the lawsuit. rice field.

Citrus ulcers do not harm the human body, but they can shed citrus leaves and fruits prematurely, creating unattractive lesions in the fruits. According to the USDA, lesions leak bacterial cells that can spread to other trees by wind, rain, or contaminated equipment.

The Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services argued that homeowner trees are pollution and not worth compensating. Under this program, healthy trees within 1900 feet (580 meters) of the infected tree were destroyed to stop the spread of the disease.

As compensation, the 2000s state offered Florida homeowners a Wal-Mart gift card of $ 100 for the first destroyed tree and $ 55 for each additional tree. If the homeowner resisted, authorities threatened arrest or obtained a warrant to go to private land and destroy trees.

Last year, the Florida State Assembly approved payments to Orange County homeowners. A third-party administrator distributes the check to track homeowners whose addresses are no longer present.

Broward, Lee, and Palm beach The county won a class action proceeding against the state over the destroyed trees, and compensation varied from county to county.Case Miami-Dade County Still pending.

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Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP.



Owner gets $ 42 million for a citrus tree destroyed by Florida

Source link Owner gets $ 42 million for a citrus tree destroyed by Florida

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