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Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Jury awards Florida homeowners millions for uprooted citrus trees

ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida jury awarded thousands of homeowners $20.7 million in compensation for the healthy citrus trees removed from their yards a decade ago when the state was trying to stop the spread of citrus canker, their lawyer said on Thursday. The award marked the latest in a series of class-action victories for homeowners who sued over the state's approach to containing the highly contagious disease, which threatened Florida's $9 billion citrus industry. A jury earlier this week decided the state owed more than 18,000 Orlando-area homeowners $344 a tree. In all, 60,000 citrus trees were cut down, said Florida attorney Robert Gilbert, who has led similar...