Full Appeals Court Will Not Hear Citrus Canker Case

Randall Weiseman Citrus, Florida, Industry News Release


A divided appeals court Wednesday said it would not reconsider a decision last year that cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit stemming from the state’s destruction of tens of thousands of citrus trees in Miami-Dade County. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has fought the lawsuit, as the destruction of the trees stemmed from an effort to block the spread of citrus-canker disease.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal, in a 7-3 decision Wednesday, rejected a request for a hearing before the full court. Last year, a three-judge panel of the court upheld the certification of a class, a key step in class-action lawsuits.

In a dissent Wednesday, Judge Thomas Logue wrote that the matter presents a textbook example of a case of exceptional importance that should be considered by the full court.

Whether or not the majority’s opinion is correct, the decision will impact the 83,630 homeowners whose trees were destroyed and the budget of the state of Florida, Logue wrote.