Nutrien Ag Removes Lawsuit Alleging Botched Tree Removal to Federal Court

On Friday, January 28, 2022, Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc. removed a case brought against it by DRB Realty & Properties, LLC to the Northern District of Georgia.

According to the notice of removal, DRB Realty & Properties, LLC, a Georgia LLC, filed a complaint against Nutrien and now-dismissed defendant Mills Forestry Service, LLC, on June 24, 2021, alleging breach of contract and fraud. 

The original complaint states that DRB contacted Nutrien during the summer of 2019 requesting assistance in the removal of certain undesirable hardwoods located on approximately 200 acres of the plaintiff’s property in Emanuel County, Georgia. The complaint further states that DRB informed Nutrien that it was essential to preserve the oak and pine trees located on its property. The complaint states that Nutrien responded by recommending a ground application of chemicals that would ensure the protection of the oak and pine trees. 

DRB states that it entered into a Ground and Application Agreement with the defendant on July 17, 2019, for the commercial application of chemicals for the removal of the undesirable hardwoods. However, the plaintiff alleges that Nutrein hired Mills Forestry to apply the chemicals to DRB’s property without consulting DRB or informing Mills Forestry that it should apply the chemicals in order to protect and preserve the oak and pine trees. 

The complaint further alleges that Mills Forestry did not possess the knowledge, training, qualifications, licenses or equipment necessary for the safe and efficient application of the chemicals to DRB’s property. As a result, the plaintiff alleges that no less than 1,500 trees that were supposed to be preserved and protected have been irreparable and fatally damaged resulting in a drastic decrease in the value of DRB’s business operations and income. 

In the complaint, DRB seeks punitive damages, actual damages, attorney’s fees and costs and alleges breach of written contract, breach of oral contract, promissory estoppel, negligence and fraud. The plaintiff is represented by Brown Rountree PC, and the defendant is represented by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.