Arbitration Win for Pest Control Provider in Fraud Lawsuit
September 10, 2014
Lightfoot attorneys Stephen Rowe and James Gibson successfully defended a large pest control provider in a week-long arbitration where claimants sought contract and fraud damages after discovering structural damage to their home. The homeowners alleged that the pest control company failed to report on moisture conditions that would have been visible when technicians were performing annual inspections at the couple’s home. The homeowners did not learn of the problem until their home’s flooring system began to fail as a result of high moisture, resulting in significant structural damage to the residence. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that because they hired the company to monitor for and protect against termite infestation, it was obligated to inspect for excessive moisture in the home’s crawl space, a condition that is attractive to termites. The homeowners sought almost $250,000 in repair costs, as well as mental anguish and punitive damages. The pest control company argued that it properly performed its obligations and that no duty to report on moisture existed under its contract with the homeowners, common law, or relevant Alabama statutes and regulations. After the lengthy June 2014 hearing, which involved testimony from numerous fact and expert witnesses, the arbitrator sided with the pest control company on all claims and awarded no recovery to the claimants.