The Hargreaves family hired Flick, a pest control in Sydney to apply pesticides for spiders, cockroaches and ants. In short notice, the family of four developed a sickness. They experienced difficulty in breathing, frequently vomited and had diarrhea.
The family prepared a legal action against the pest control provider to the District Court, saying the chemical used in their house was banned in the United States, poisoned and forced them to relocate from their brick house.
“The chemical they used was diazinon, and was not supposed to be sprayed inside the house. It also appeared that they applied excessive amounts of the chemical,” said the lawyer of the family, Richard Royle.
Mrs. Hargreaves and her elder son Guy are looking into a $750,000 in damages, the maximum amount awarded by the District Court, on grounds that the pest control in Sydney did not take responsible precaution to prevent contamination of the family’s house. They did not also provide competent, experienced and qualified technicians to spray their house; warn them of the risks; and treat the house based on industry practices and standards.
The family also filed a separate claim of $400,000 to compensate the costs of demolishing their house, rebuilding into a different site, and pay rentals for moving out in May 2000.
Flick admitted such liabilities and had paid Mr. Hargreaves and his younger son Cody the damages.However, the pest controller argues paying the damage claims of his wife and elder son as well as the claim to no longer live in their house.
Lawyers of the company said they can prepare payment for the cost of cleaning the house, sealing of all porous surfaces and replacing few contents.
Mr.Royleinformed the court that the company sprayed the Hargreaves’ house for insects in February 1999, filling up the floors, walls and carpet with a deadly chemical.
After experiencing difficulty in breathing, diarrhea and vomiting, the family moved out of the house for a week. “In a couple of days, their health improved. When they returned home, they observed the same smell and developed the same symptoms and understood there may be a connection with Flick’s pesticide and their illness,” Mr. Royle said.
However, the lawyer of the pest control in Sydney, Simon Kerr said the company is currently considering settling the problem in the quickest ways.