The family of two girls who died just days after a fumigant was placed around their home has settled its wrongful death lawsuit filed against Bugman Pest and Lawn Inc., a pesticide company, located in Bountiful, Utah. The lawsuit was filed by the family of Rebecca Kay Toone, age four, and her sister, Rachel Ana Toone, 15 months, who died in February of 2010.
According to authorities who investigated the deaths, the girls might have inhaled phosphine fumes emitted from tablets of Fumitoxin, a rat poison. The Utah Medical Examiner’s Office reported that the girls had elevated levels of phosphorus in their bodies. The girls’ deaths came after an exterminator for Bugman applied Fumitoxin pellets around the family’s home in a manner allegedly “inconsistent with the labeling.” The complaint named the pest control company and its owners as Defendants. The complaint sought compensatory damages for the deaths.
The pest control company pled guilty in federal court to the unlawful use of a registered pesticide, a misdemeanor, in October. It was stated that the use of the pesticide resulted in the deaths of the two children. Less than two months after the Toone girls died, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prohibited the residential use of Fumitoxin. The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food — which regulates the use of pesticides — also tightened its rules and increased accountability after the deaths, mandating that consumers be notified in advance and given specific written information when products labeled “danger” are used. Peter Summerill, a lawyer with Hasenyager, Summerill, & Wahlquist, a firm located in Ogden, Utah, represented the family in the civil suit and did a very good job.
Source: Desert News.com
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