Terminix Offers to Pay Family $87 Million for Poisoning

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As you may recall, a family was sickened when visiting our island in early 2015. It appears a settlement has been reached. Please remember that this was an isolated incident. Here’s the story from NBC News:

Termini has offered to pay $87 million to the Delaware family seriously sickened by a pesticide at a U.S. Virgin Islands resort last year, the company said in an earnings report Thursday.

About $3 million related to the family’s claims have already been paid, and a “tentative settlement agreement” has also been reached relating to any of the civil claims, according to ServiceMaster Global Holdings, the Memphis-based company that owns Terminix.

In addition, the company in March said it would pay $10 million in fines and restitution for using the banned chemical methyl bromide — a highly noxious and odorless gas — at units at the St. John resort where the family was vacationing in March 2015.

The Environmental Protection Agency prohibited the chemical, which can lead to nervous system and respiratory damage, for residential use in 1984. American growers, however, have been able to use it in certain cases on their fields.

Stephen Esmond, wife Theresa, and their teenage sons fell ill not long after checking into their rooms, which was above a fumigated unit. They were brought to a Philadelphia hospital to recover from severe respiratory trauma, according to NBC Philadelphia.

The EPA later found the toxic pesticide was used several times in the past at the Sirenusa resort. The resort’s owner, Sea Glass Vacations, has said it was unaware that Terminix was using the banned chemical and said it ended its contract with the company.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a criminal investigation into the case.

Click here to read the full story on NBCnews.com.

7 thoughts on “Terminix Offers to Pay Family $87 Million for Poisoning”

    • Unfortunately, probably not well. An $87m settlement (offer! not even the end of the negotiation, sounds like) is far larger than you would see if the plaintiffs had recovered meaningfully. In other words, it is safe to assume that they are permanently disabled.

      How terrible.

      • Actually — I just looked up the SEC filing — it’s even worse than $87m. The $87m (plus the $3m already paid) is IN ADDITION TO the amount paid by Terminix’s insurance company. So now I would assume it’s even more terrible. Ugh.

        • The Elhrich guy that comes to our cabin told me this case has been discussed in their training sessions so at least the industry is stepping up their education/awareness. From what this guys said, it’s not that uncommon of a chemical and is used in agricultural applications.

          The honor for that family is almost too much for me to process, my heart breaks for them.

  1. I wonder how much the USVI government will pony up for their lack of oversight of letting this chemical into the territory? While 87 million is a ton of cash and will greatly help with future medical bills and assistance, it will NEVER make this family whole again.

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