“For decades, Brian Patchen and his wife, Bunny, enjoyed the bounty of fruits picked from the half-dozen robust citrus trees growing on their Miami Beach property. Then, without warning, the state chopped them all down to stumps in the fall of 2000.
“On Halloween, our trees got tricked instead of treated,” Patchen, a longtime Miami attorney, testified on Monday.
Patchen is the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit representing an estimated 100,000 property owners in Miami-Dade who believe they were wronged by the state. Depending on the outcome of the class trial, they could be eligible for more than $120 million in damages from the state of Florida for having cut down about 250,000 of their citrus trees at the height of the canker wars between 2000 and 2006.”