Terminix Lawsuits

Lawsuits throughout the United States involving Terminix, aka Terminex, are too numerous for one page.  As the information becomes available, the lawsuits, along with any state’s action(s) and/or investigations, are now being posted on the applicable state pages, which are accessible through the chart provided on the “State Complaints” page.  The names of the cases I am aware of, with a brief explanation, are provided below; and if additional information is available, links are provided.

Alabama:

  • Leonard v. Terminix, alleged failure to make inspections as required by statutes. Class action seeking refund of all annual fees because Terminix failed to conduct annual inspections as required by law in Alabama statutes.
  • Supreme Court of Alabama, October Term, 1998-99, 1971546, Ex parte Terminix Int’l. Company, L.P. PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS (In re: Walter Leonard and Evalina Leonard v. Terminix International Company, L.P., et al.)  Writ denied...
  • Major Victory in Alabama Terminix Class Action.  Alabama Supreme Court invalidated the arbitration clause for all Alabama customers, and the Court is allowing the case to go forward.
  • Devers v. Greystone & Terminix International.  79-year-old resident of Retirement Community serviced by Terminix pest control service found with severe ant bites and ants exiting her mouth, nose, ears, and genital and execretory organs.

Arkansas:

California:

  • Class Action Filed Against Terminix (01/08) -- Suit claims company failed to deliver on termite prevention services
  • Terminix California Technicians Class Action Lawsuit - In August 2006, a class action lawsuit was filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court against Terminix International, Inc. and Terminix International Company Limited Partnership. On behalf of all California technicians, the lawsuit seeks wages, including overtime pay, for off-the-clock work, including time spent traveling from company offices to the technician's first daily assignment, time spent arranging and confirming the following day’s appointments, and working meal periods, during which employees spent unpaid lunch periods traveling between appointments or doing other work for Terminix.
  • Virga vs. Terminix, alleged faulty WDO clearance.
  • Terminix vs. Virga, alleged defamation.
  • Langenhuizen vs. Terminix, alleged exposure to Methyl Bromide causing serious health problems and loss of home and possessions -- arbitration scheduled for May 2000.

Colorado:  Richard R. Ross vs. Terminix, alleged racial discrimination.

Connecticut:

  • Mehler and Russell vs. Terminix, alleging Terminix caused a break in the heating fuel line underneath the slab and a discharge of heating fuel to the soil and groundwater below the property.  State of Connecticut taking action as a result.
  • State of Connecticut vs. Terminix, alleging Terminix degraded the environment, defied the law, and endangered Connecticut Citizens.  Investigation prompted by Mehler case.
  • State of Connecticut civil suits on line at State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Civil/Family Case Look-up.

Florida:

  • Terminix International Co. v. Michaels, alleging negligence and strict liability in connection with its ultra-hazardous activity of applying dangerous chemicals to the house.
  • Florida Attorney General vs. Terminix International.  Terminix to Offer Refunds, Retreatments, for Termite Protection.  Agreement with Terminix settles allegations the company failed to provide consumers with promised services through nine of its Florida locations.

Kentucky:  Kentucky Attorney General vs. Terminix.  January 4, 1999, Attorney General announced $800,000 Terminix settlement of allegations relating to a 1994 Consent Judgment.

Massachusetts:

  • State of Massachusetts vs. Terminix, alleging Terminix violated the law more than 2,000 times between January and September of 1991 by hiring unlicensed and uncertified workers to apply pesticides.
  • State of Massachusetts vs. Terminix, alleging Terminix charged customers for unnecissary services.  Settlement filed iin Suffolk Superior Court.

Minnesota:

  • Herb vs. Terminix, alleged personal injuries from exposure to fenvalerate.
  • McLaughlin Gormley v Terminix Intl. Co.  Terminix settled the Herb lawsuit (above) and filed a demand to arbitrate its claim against MGK for indemnification and defense costs. MGK refused to arbitrate...

New Jersey -- Kannankeril vs. Terminix, alleged exposure to Dursban causing serious health problems.

New Mexico -- Vigil, Romano, and Bielicki-Cooper vs. Terminix, exposure to Conquer causing serious health problems. Terminix ordered to pay more than $2,000,000.

New York:

  • Trimper vs. Terminix, exposure to Dursban causing severe health problems.  State of New York taking action as a result.
  • Tyler vs. Terminix.  Family forced to move from home after mother and daughter became ill after pesticide spraying.
  • Former Terminix Employee Pleads Guilty -- Falsification of Pesticide Application Records at Mineola Office Leads to Conviction of Employee
  • Terminix International vs. Erin M. Crotty (Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner) et. al
  • Attorney General vs. Terminix.  Terminix to Pay $759,000 for Environmental Violations; Company Also Violated Consumer Protection Law

North Carolina:

  • Red Springs Presbyterian Church vs. Terminix, alleging (1) inadequate and unworkmanlike termite treatment; (2) inadequate and unworkmanlike annual inspections occurring after the original treatment; (3) failure to repair plaintiff's building as required by the contract; (4) fraud for contractually waiving "minimum" termite treatment requirements; (5) unfair and deceptive trade practices; and (6) failure "to seek in good faith a resolution" of plaintiff's claim which is alleged to constitute an unfair and deceptive trade practice.
  • Gibson v. Terminix and Bruce-Terminix Company v. Zurich Insurance Company and Harleysville Mutual Insurance Company.  Through mediation, Terminix settled with homeowner, contributing $16,500 toward a total settlement of $19,000 and incurring $14,393.45 in legal expenses for a total of $30,893.45.  Terminix then filed a complaint and request for declaratory judgment in the instant case against its insurance companies, Zurich and Harleysville on July 19, 1996.
  • Phillip A. Terrell, Employee, Plaintiff. v. Terminix Services, Inc., Employer; Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Carrier, Defendants.  Employee suffered from occupational disease which rendered him incapable of earning, at any job, the wages he was receiving at the time of his incapacity. Terminix lost on appeal, claiming employee didn’t notify them in a timely manner.

Pennsylvania:

  • Terminix vs. Michael and Joanne Kay, alleging defendants had published defamatory communications concerning plaintiff and had harmed plaintiff’s goodwill among current and prospective customers of plaintiff.  Rule 11 sanctions imposed against Terminix’s attorney.
  • State of Pennsylvania vs. Terminix.  $225,000 penalty against Terminix for thousands of fish and aquatic invertebrates killed as termiticide continued downstream.
  • Kenneth and Brenda Carll vs. Terminix.  Mr. and Mrs. Carll and their four children allege they sustained numerous severe and permanent injuries as a result of negligent application of pesticides in and around their home.  Superior Court of Pennsylvania denied Terminix’s appeal to compel arbitration.

Tennessee:

  • Janice W. Ward, Merry Elizabeth Ward, and Jennifer Ward vs. Terminix, exposure to Aldrin causing severe health problems -- $10 million jury verdict cut by circuit judge and again by appeals court.
  • Dargi vs. Terminix, faulty termite clearance.
  • CERCLA.  Complaint for past costs on the above sites was filed in 1986 against Velsicol, Terminix International, Inc. (Terminix), Chemwood Corporation (Chemwood), William Bell, and Robert Meeks. Pursuant to Court ordered mediation between the defendants, all of the defendants, including the third party defendants, have settled with Velsicol with the exception of Terminix.
  • ServiceMaster Companies, including Terminix, vs. Carla Virga, alleging trademark infringement.

Texas -- Bates vs. Terminix, alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and Deceptive Trade Practices Act violations.  Ordered to arbitration.

The following e-mail letter (unedited) should help put the number of lawsuits (and the mindset of at least one current Terminix employee) into perspective:

    I have been an employee of Terminix for seven years. I have been very happy with this company. I do not know anyone who has tried to rip anyone off.  I take personal offense with this web page and the spineless people who leave e-mails without there names. If they are so unhappy they should have file legal action or gone to arbitration. Arbitration gives everyone a fair third party to decide. It's in there contract.  People should be responsible for themselves instead of trying to make everyone else pay for there stupidity.

He complained people with a complaint don’t file a lawsuit or go to arbitration; but if they do, they are irresponsible and trying to make everyone else pay for their stupidity???

Considering the fact Terminix contracts have an arbitration clause in them, as he so eloquently pointed out, I was astonished to find so many lawsuits.  Incidentally, there is no way to know how many cases have gone to arbitration as there is no public record of arbitration proceedings. As to arbitration giving everyone a “fair third party to decide,” that’s highly debatable and is the crux of ongoing lawsuits trying to overturn the binding arbitration provision; and it’s not Terminix who is trying to overturn it!  After all, Terminix took the issue of arbitration all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as one newspaper reported, “Company officials said that their contracts with customers prohibit lawsuits over service.”

“Stupidity”? The only stupidity is knowingly doing business with a company that completely protects itself from any potential lawsuits arising from their services that may result in not just poor or inadequate service (which is what I think most people would believe is meant by “any dispute arising from...”) but also in financial ruin or loss of health, home, or life.

Arbitration Alert