Jury Awards Millions For Pesticide Exposure

14 years after Todd and Cynthia Ebling sued Prestwick Square Apartments and its management company alleging that pesticides used in their apartment caused sever neurological problems in two of their children, a southern Indiana jury awarded the couple $23.5 million in connection with the claim.  According to the lawsuit, the children suffered from seizures after coming in contact with the spray.

The couple and their children moved into the apartment in 1994.  Later that year the children were hospitalized with seizures and other neurological problems.  The couple moved from the apartment unit about a year later.

According to their attorney, the children’s health problems were caused by exposure to Creal-O, a chemical based on the pesticide Diazinon.  The pesticide was eventually banned for residential use in 2004 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the suit, the chemical was applied in the wrong fashion, even though at the time it was legal to use in a residential context.  More was applied than should have been and it was applied in a careless manner.  The result was pesticide on the base boards, carpeting, and wall coverings.

The effect on the children was tragic, with the couple’s 20 year old daughter developmentally stalled at two years old.  The other child, while not as severely injured as his sister, struggles academically and socially.  The entire process took a toll on the family as well.  Todd and Cynthia are now divorced and had been struggling to provide for the cost of care for their daughter.

While the jury did the right thing in awarding the couple and their children money to pay for the damage done by exposure to such a toxic chemical, the tragedy of the Ebling case is that it took so long for both the judicial system and the regulatory system to remedy the obvious wrong.

photo courtesy of Greencolander via Flickr


Beatrice Henri
Beatrice Henri8 years ago

I sympathise because 25 years ago we had to have our house sprayed with insecticide because the building society who were giving the mortgage said it was obligatory in an old house. The company used 'Lindane' . Our cats died and I suffered severe fits. Now I am still on anti-convulsion medication to stop me having fits. Lindane is a lethal insecticide and many people have suffered like me and the Eblings - well done for getting compensation - I never did !

Ruth R.
Ruth R8 years ago

Almost all pesticides and herbicides need to be banned. Only some pesticides and herbicides need to be used carefully to help people and the earth.

Dean P.
Dean P8 years ago

another injustice in our much flawed system, with money, power, and government!

Debbie K.
Debbie K8 years ago

Bottom line here is people don't care about other people or the environment and the possible effects their carelessness could have on both

Mary Carmen G.

Yes...We need to gather, to be the voice of the defenseles .

Dianne D.
Dianne D8 years ago

I'm afraid there will be a lot more court cases like this in the future. What amazes me is that I still see people buying chemicals to put on their lawns and then letting their pets and kids run on the lawn. Idiots. I would never do such a thing to my pets. They depend on me for their health and safety.

.8 years ago

How horrible. It is truly a poison. I remember this one time on an Air Tahiti Nui flight, they sprayed everyone on board with a pesticide--apparently "non-toxic". These companies have a total disregard for safety, and it's a good thing to know that the family finally got the money. Shame it too this long, however.
make a wish: http://www.real-wishes.com

Philippa P.
Philippa P8 years ago

There is no species on earth that deliberately causes harm to another of its species other than man. Can I change species?

Jo Balltes
josie batlles8 years ago

Thank you very much for sharing x

Meredith H.
Meredith H8 years ago

The pesticide company was DOW. It doens't matter who sprayed it and it doesn't matter if they WERE poor when it happened. It made them poor and it drove them apart. And there is no sum high enough to pay for the stolen futures of your children let alone their care.
The pesticide companies have no conscience. Many of them wre involved with medical experiements and death of WWII prisoners.
And keep in mind, Bill Gates wants to start using DDT in Africa. To save the poor people from mosquitos. How bout spraying his 66 000 sq ft house first to show it's safe?