DELAWARE (WTXF) - The Department of Justice has ordered a pest control company to pay up for using pesticide that left a Delaware family sick.
According to the plea recommendation, TERMINIX LP and TERMINIX, USVI are to pay a total of $9.2 million in criminal fines, community service, and restitution payments. Under the agreed recommendation, TERMINIX, USVI will pay $4 million in fines and $1 million in restitution to the EPA for response and clean-up costs at the St. John resort. TERMINIX LP will pay a fine of $4 million and will perform community service related to training commercial pesticide applicators in fumigation practices and a separate health services training program.
In March of 2015, Steve Esmond, his wife and two teenage sons became very sick while vacationing in the US Virgin Islands. The DOJ says the pesticide left the family with life-altering injuries.
"The sentences in this case reflect the serious nature of the defendants’ illegal actions and the unacceptable consequences of those actions,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This case should serve as a stark reminder that pesticides must be applied as intended and that those who ignore laws that protect public health will be held accountable by EPA and our law enforcement partners.”