Etcheverry v. Tri-Ag Services, et al.
- Case Date: 1/22/1999
- Project Name: Environmental Law Project
On March 9, 2000, WLF scored a victory when the California Supreme Court ruled that state law tort claims against manufacturers of pesticide chemicals are preempted by federal law administered by the EPA. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA requires manufacturers to provide specific information on the labels of such products. The plaintiffs argued that the information was not a sufficient warning, and sued the manufacturer, Bayer Corporation, and the retailer for damages. WLF argued that the federal law preempts any state law requirements and that the companies should not be held liable for following the federal law. The EPA filed an unprecedented brief in this private tort case, siding with the plaintiffs. Most courts have decided in favor of the businesses, ruling that the federal law does preempt private tort suits.