New Jersey

How many complaints and lawsuits involving Terminix have been filed in New Jersey? How does the State of New Jersey rate as a public agency in providing information to the public and in their own knowledge of pest control companies spraying toxic chemicals in homes, businesses, and schools?

State of New Jersey Responsiveness

The following questions were asked in an e-mail letter on February 26, 1999, to the State of New Jersey, Ask Consumer Affairs.  The responses, indicated as (a) below were received March 31 from David Bass, who stated, “We can answer your question concerning how many complaints have been filed against Terminix International here in New Jersey.  However, your other questions about this company you need to present to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection....”  After a search of the Internet for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, I sent them an e-mail letter on April 5 for answers to the questions as Mr. Bass suggested. The response letter signed by John Orrok, Chief, Bureau of Pesticide Compliance was mailed April 29, 1999, indicated as (b) below:

  1. What is the name and address of New Jersey’s pest inspection/pest control licensing and regulating agency?
  2. a. The agency that licenses this sort of company is the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  You can reach that agency by calling 609-292-2885 or 609-530-4123.

    b. New Jersey’s pesticide regulatory agency is the Department of Environmental Protection, Pesticide Control Program, P.O. Box 411, Trenton, NJ 08625. There are currently no licensing requirements for individuals and business who are doing strictly pest inspections.

  3. How many years does New Jersey’s licensing and regulating agency maintain records of complaints against pest control/pest inspection companies?
  4. a. Unanswered (referred to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection).

    b. Since the statute of limitations for environmental cases in New Jersey is 10 years, records are generally purged after the 10 years has passed.

  5. How many Terminix branches are currently operating in New Jersey?  (My records, taken from the Yellow Pages on the Internet, indicate there are currently 20 Terminix, aka Terminix International, aka Terminix Termite & Pest branches operating in New Jersey.)
  6. a. Unanswered (referred to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection).

    b. Records show 10 Terminix branches currently operating in New Jersey. It is common in the pest control industry to advertise a local phone number in the Yellow Pages to assure consumers they are hiring a “local” company, but have the phone line connect to the nearest licensed branch.

  7. In New Jersey, does each Terminix branch operate under a separate license or do all the Terminix branches operate under one license?
  8. a. Unanswered (referred to New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection).

    b. Each Terminix branch operates under a separate license.

  9. How many complaints, if any, have been filed in New Jersey against Terminix International (and its aka’s); including the nature of the complaints, name and location of Terminix branch involved; and disposition of complaints (dismissed, settled, fine, suspended or revoked license, probation, etc.)?
  10. a. There have been 21 complaints filed concerning the practices of this company.  Seventeen of these are now closed with the remaining four still open.  The basic allegations made by the consumers include unsatisfactory service, deception, contract problems, billing disputes, nonfulfillment, damages and excessive charges.

    b. The Pesticide Control Program has on record at least 54 complaints against Terminix since 1991. The other information requested (nature of the complaints, specific branch involved, and disposition of complaint) would require a time and cost-prohibitive search by our records custodian.  These records are, however, available for public inspection by you or your designated agent, and copies of particular public documents identified are available for a set fee.

Terminix/Terminex Lawsuits Filed in New Jersey

A search for Terminix and Terminex lawsuits in New Jersey at the web site resulted in 100 cases from 5/88 to 12/99 (defendant 99; plaintiff 1).  This seemed like quite a few cases, considering the facts that, as one official of Terminix stated, their contracts prohibit their customers from filing a lawsuit against them; and their service contracts contain a binding arbitration clause.  As far as I know, there is no public record of binding arbitration cases.

KnowX is not a free site.  It costs $1.50 per name searched, per state, to get a listing; $15.00 per name searched, per state, per 24-hour period, to search the cases. I have the results of the $15.00 searches for Terminix and Terminex in New Jersey, but KnowX has denied me permission to publish any more than the number of cases found on their site.

Kannankeril vs. Terminix, alleged exposure to Dursban causing serious health problems. Plaintiff Mary Kannankeril, a former Medical Director of Psychiatric Emergency Services at Saint Mary's Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey sued Defendant Terminix International, Inc., alleging that she had suffered injuries to her cognitive systems as a result of Defendant's application of pesticides to the Kannankeril residence. Plaintiff's expert, Dr. Benjamin Gerson, was prepared to testify that Plaintiff's exposure to Dursban, a chemical found in Defendant's pesticides, over a one-year period was the cause of the injuries to Plaintiff's central nervous system.

New Mexico