Should we file suit for getting poisoned after fumigating our home?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2012

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Should we file suit for getting poisoned after fumigating our home?

We had our home fumigated for termites and 2 days later we were permitted to return. We contacted the fumigator a couple hours after returning complaining that our eyes were burning. They stated that it was from the tear gas they used to remove the poison, that it was normal and we just needed to open the house. We did that, but the burning continued. Then 2 days later my wife woke up in the middle of the night and could not breath. We took her to the emegency room and she was admitted for 88% oxygen absorption. She remained over night and was diagnosed with chemical bronchitis.

Asked on August 22, 2012 under Personal Injury, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your wife can sue the fumigation company for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable fumigation company would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Prior to filing a lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the fumigation company's insurance carrier.  When your wife completes her medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in her medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, she should obtain her medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Her personal injury claim filed with the fumigation company's insurance carrier should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of her injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If she is dissatisfied with settlement offers from the  fumigation company's insurance carrier, she should reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the fumigation company.  If the case is settled with the fumigation company's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the fumigation company's insurance carrier, your wife will need to file her lawsuit for negligence against the fumigation company prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or she will lose her rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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