Florida Child Injured by Pest Fumigation, Family Claims

A 10-year-old Florida boy has endured weeks of hospitalization and has suffered severe brain damage after suffering ill effects of exposure to fumigation chemicals in the family home, his parents say.chemicals2.jpg

Although the family has not yet filed a personal injury lawsuit, that seems a likely next step for the Palm City family. The once athletic, outgoing boy has lost 90 percent of his motor function. He is unable to walk and talk, and he is still suffering from seizures. He’s lost all function in his left arm and left leg. It’s unclear whether he’ll recover or to what extent.

According to media reports of the ordeal, the family hired a company to spray their home for termites. The job was handed off to a subcontractor, who performed the work on Aug. 14th. Two days later, the family was told by the company it was safe to go back inside and resume their lives.

That is not what happened. Every resident of the home – the boy, his 7-year-old sister and two parents – all became ill. They got out of the house soon after they realized they were feeling ill. While the other family members’ conditions improved, the boy’s did not.

He couldn’t control his muscle movements. He couldn’t stand. He couldn’t speak. The child’s parents took him to a walk-in clinic. The doctor almost immediately recognized the symptoms as being indicative of some type of poisoning. He had to be rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment.

He spent his 10th birthday in the hospital.

the family is now exploring their legal options. A spokesperson for the family said they first need to find out the exact chemicals that may have been involved and to what extent each of the parties may have been responsible.

Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits in Florida have four years from the date of an accident in which to file a claim. However, it’s best to consult with an attorney as early as possible because the available time is not as long as it seems when you consider there is often a great deal of investigation that is required to properly identify all possible defendants.

In this case, it is believed the primary chemical involved was one calls sulfuryl flouride. It’s a type of odorless gas that can have the effect of mild headache, dizziness or vomiting. However in more severe cases, it can result in seizures and other types of neurological issues. While poison control experts say cases of this type of poisoning are relatively rare, it’s not the only time the company involved in this case has been in the headlines for this reason.

In fact, there was another case in March involving this same company wherein a family vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands became sick after suspected pesticide exposure. However in that case, test results indicated the pesticide used was one known as methyl bromide. That substance is not allowed to be used indoors in the U.S. The Delaware family who suffered the ill effects says the father and two sons have lost much of their motor skills.

A number of state and federal agencies have launched investigations into the Florida case, and a stop work order has been issued against the subcontractor pending those findings.

Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Additional Resources:
Family Alleges Pest Fumigation Left Boy Severely Injured, Sept. 4, 2015, By Gillian Mohney, ABC News
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Expert Opines Park Partially to Blame in Roller Coaster Death, Aug. 22, 2015, Fort Lauderdale Child Injury Attorney Blog