It's hard to believe, but the State continues to defend at all co$t$ -- literally -- its disastrous citrus canker program.
Incredibly, they just completed yet another trial, this time a bench trial on liability in Lee County:
The concluding arguments were heard Thursday. If the plaintiffs prevail, a jury trial will be held to determine the amount of compensation owed the homeowners for their trees.Why doesn't the State stop the legal bleeding and put these cases to bed already?
Plaintiffs’ attorney Robert Gilbert of Miami said he expects the judge’s decision would take about two weeks.
The canker program was really a charade meant to save trees in the commercial citrus industry from the spread of canker at the expense of private homeowners, he told the judge. In effect, the residents whose trees were cut down had to shoulder the burden of a problem that should have been shared by the public as a whole, Gilbert said.
Wes Parsons, attorney for the Agriculture Department, retorted that there was no conspiracy by the state in implementing an eradication program for citrus canker, and that the state was not out to hurt residents.
Let's admit it -- the program was flawed, of dubious value, resulted in the permanent alteration of our landscape and neighborhoods, and engendered tremendous bad will.
Hasn't the legal strategy of fighting these things to the death "hurt residents" enough?