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Andrus v. Agrevo USA Co.

ELR Citation: 29 ELR 21466
Nos. No. 98-60611, 178 F.3d 395/(5th Cir., 06/28/1999)

The court holds that the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) preempts a farmer's state-law claims against a herbicide manufacturer. The farmer sought damages based on the herbicide's failure to perform as advertised, his detrimental reliance on the herbicide's label, and the manufacturer's breach of implied warranty of fitness. The court first holds that FIFRA §136v(b) preempts the farmer's claims because the claims are obviously based on the contents of the herbicide's label and any adverse judgment would have the undeniable practical effect of imposing additional labeling requirements on the manufacturer. The court further holds that the farmer cannot automatically avoid FIFRA preemption by challenging the alleged off-label misrepresentations of the manufacturer's representative. Even off-label statements are preempted if they merely repeat information contained in the label, and the farmer presented no evidence that the representative's advice differed from the contents of the product label.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Philip P. Mansour Jr.
Mansour & Adams
143 N. Edison St., Greenville MS 38701
(601) 378-2244

Counsel for Defendant
W. Kurt Henke
Henke, Heaton & Bufkin
408 Hopson St., Clarksdale MS 38614
(601) 624-8500

Before Stewart and Parker, JJ.