Interesting Court Case...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HOOLIE, Jan 10, 2007.


    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    This probably belongs more in the Pesticides forum but more people come here and this could pertain to anyone, so...

    Happened to catch the People's Court this morning, there was a case of a guy suing a landscaper for making his dog sick thru the weed killer he applied. The facts of the case were....the guy's dog had wandered into his neighbor's yard (his sister's actually) and thru contact with the chemicals had gotten very sick. The landscaper was not licensed and he had not posted any warning signs after the application. He had sprayed the weeds as a favor to a good customer. Supposed he told her he wasn't licensed but said he would do it one time for her and went and bought some name-brand spray (they didn't say what is was)

    The plaintiff was armed with the EPA regs for New York, which said warning signs must accompany any "commercial application"

    However...the judge examined the laws and "commercial application" meant pesticides applied to commericial properties, rather than chemicals applied for profit. Residentials were exempt. She then noted the county laws required the homeowner, not the applicator, must post warning signs along property lines, unless the treated area exceeded 100 sqft. He had only spot-sprayed a small area so he was OK.

    So the lawnboy won...interesting that his being unlicensed was not relevant to the case.
  2. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 693

    Saw this myself. I thought the landscaper was going to incur the wrath of that fox-of-a-judge.....

    But it went like you said - the landscaper got a big break. Neighbor should have complained to his state Pesticide Bureau, and he might have won this case.

    Oh, and the herbicide was SpeedZone.
  3. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Judge was wrong on the FIFRA Laws.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I hadn't seen that show in...forever...the judge reminds me of the mom from Married With Children...

    I hope at least the weeds died...:laugh:
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Yep...The judge (and thus the judgement) was wrong in this case. What threw me, was her definition of "commercial lawn application". They interpreted this as "non-residential", when in fact, commercial means just that...for hire - whether it is residential or commercial. She had no idea about the ol' customer bought the stuff, either. The "landscaper" was saying how this stuff can be bought over the shelf - "anyone can go to the store and buy it." The fact of the matter is, ANYone can but ANY of the pesticides that commercial applicators use - with the exception of RUP's, of course. Now, as far as the flags,...she was probably right on about the "homeowner not having to post it", but the fact was, was not the homeowner doing the ap..
  6. jrc lawncare

    jrc lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Judge is dead wrong. Commercial application are made on residential & commercial props. If I had sprayed prop in this case, and flagged property correctly, I have no control over the fact that a dog wanders into a treated area.
  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    I think she was wrong too. Those shows are entertainment to me, I really can't take them seriously.
  8. No Lawncares

    No Lawncares LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    Shes a judge and you are lawn guys trying to say she is wrong, Im going with the judge.
  9. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Go for it, but the FIFRA Laws are very clear as are the Local Texas Department of AG Laws.

    The only catch was he said he was not paid to do it. So unless you guys want to do it for free you need a license.
  10. HOOLIE

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Well regardless it was cool to see the lawnboy win...the plaintiff should keep his dogs on his own property in the first place.

    Whatever law the judge was reading, she had it right in front of her. Perhaps she interpreted it incorrectly??

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