Back in July 2020, we filed a consumer fraud class action against Dean Innovations, a local gardening and landscape materials supplier, arising out of widely reported contamination of soil amendment products that it sold to Portland-area gardeners. In that consumer fraud case, on behalf of the class, we’re pursuing claims under the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) and demanding that Dean Innovations cover remediation costs and other property damages that their customers suffer when they used the contaminated products.
We’re happy to report that the court recently certified the case as a class action under the UTPA. In its order certifying the class, the Multnomah County Circuit Court found that even though individualized issues relating to damages exist, the case would be most effectively and efficiently handled if the court and the parties have answers to the common question of whether Dean Innovations is liable under the UTPA. The court also held, applying the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision in Pearson v. Philip Morris, that any customer who purchased the products at issue from Dean Innovations purchased a product that was potentially contaminated with Clopyralid, an herbicide, and that selling a planting or composting mix that is potentially contaminated with herbicides could violate the UTPA.