$23.5 Million Awarded in Dursban LawsuitSep 21, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
An Indiana family has been awarded more than $23 million for medical problems their children suffered after pesticides, including Dursban, were applied to their apartment. The lawsuit, which was filed in 1996, named Prestwick Square Apartments and its management company as defendants.
The original lawsuit named the pest control company and the manufacturers of Dursban, including Dow Chemical Company and Eli Lilly & Company, but the family’s lawyer told NewsandTribune.com that “the claims were resolved.”
In June 2000, after a lengthy review, the Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with Dow Chemical to ban most home and garden uses of Dursban, citing health risks to children. The agency also required that Dursban use be phased out in areas where children would be most likely to be exposed – schools, daycare centers, parks and recreation areas, stores and malls. While Dursban is now banned in the US, it is widely used in agriculture under the name Lorsban.
According to a report on NewsandTribune.com, the lawsuit filed by Todd and Cynthia Ebling and their two children claimed that Prestwick Square Apartments entered into a pest control service agreement with Louisville-based Affordable Pest Control in April of 1993. That company was used for one year during which time they sprayed Dursban in the apartment units. After the contract was terminated, Prestwick started having its own maintenance personnel use Creal-O, a ready-to-use pesticide.
The Eblings moved into Prestwick Square in February 1994. In October, their 5-month-old was hospitalized for uncontrollable seizures, and their 3-year-old was hospitalized for a seizure three months later. Since then, the children have suffered respiratory disorders, developmental delays, brain damage and seizures and still have serious health problems, the lawsuit said.
The family moved out of the apartment in February 1995. The Indiana State Chemist’s office tested the apartment and found chlorpyrifos from Dursban. The presence of chlorpyrifos and diazinon, which is found in Creal-O, was found on the children’s toys and clothes as a result of tests in 1997.
Last week, the six-person jury hearing the Ebling’s lawsuit awarded the family $23.5 million. According to NewsandTribune.com, the jury found First Richmond Corp., the apartment management company, responsible for 75 percent, while Prestwick Square of New Albany and Prestwick Square Associates will split the remainder.