FRESNO – Owners of a 40-acre Fresno County blueberry and blackberry farm are suing fertilizer distributors alleging that a fertilizer recommended to them caused a lower crop yield.

James Willems and Dawn Willems filed a complaint on May 11 in the Fresno County Superior Court against Britz-Simplot Grower Solutions LLC, J.R. Simplot Co., Simplot China Inc., et al. alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that, in 2016, plaintiffs spoke with a sales representative of defendant Simplot who recommended that the Willems try out a new fertilizer spray called Cinetis. Plaintiffs claim that the product is labeled for use on blueberries and upon usage, they made no changes in irrigation patterns on their fields. However, after the Cinemas was applied, the blueberries allegedly stopped maturing properly and the quality of the berries was lower that the plaintiffs' general standards. As a result, plaintiffs claim they suffered damage to their farm and loss of gross sales. 

The plaintiffs allege the defendants failed its duty to use reasonable care in advertising, manufacturing, producing, and/or distributing any product, failed and refused to acknowledge and compensate plaintiffs in any way for harm caused by Cinetis.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek compensatory and incidental damages in an amount not less than $750,000, award of punitive damages in an amount not less than $500,000, costs of suit, attorneys' fees, and such other relief as the court deems just. They are represented by Jody L. Winter and Jennifer J. Panicker of Lloydwinter PC in Fresno.

Fresno County Superior Court number 17CECGO01628

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