As reported by Amarillo-Globe News, the parents who tragically lost four children in an accidental poisoning earlier this year have filed a wrongful death claim against the person who gave the family the chemical and the manufacturer of the pesticide involved (http://amarillo.com/local-news/news/crime-and-courts/2017-11-03/wrongful-death-lawsuit-filed-against-company-pesticide). A wrongful death lawyer Denver CO trusts will have to be consulted.
The suit, which was filed in the Potter County District Court of Pennsylvania by Martha and Peter Balderas, alleges that international agrochemical company United Phosphorus acted negligently in how it packaged its Weevil-Cide, which is a fumigant (gaseous pesticide). According to the filed documents, the product did not have adequate bilingual warnings or instructions. This led to Peter Balderas spreading the pellets improperly under his home for pest control because he did not read English. The second defendant is Isidro Ulloa, who provided the product to Balderas despite not being a licensed fumigator. According to the lawsuit filing, Ulloa failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions about the product to Balderas.
Ten people were living inside the home – Peter Balderas, Martha Balderas, and their eight children ranging in age from 7 to 17 – when Peter Balderas sprayed the gaseous pesticide underneath it to kill mice. He later tried to wash it away with water, and this combination created a deadly toxin known as phosphine gas that the occupants lived with for days before it was discovered.
Early in the morning of January 3, emergency responders received a call saying carbon monoxide poisoning was suspected at the Balderas home. When they arrived, one child was already unresponsive and they were not able to resuscitate the child at the scene. The rest of the family was immediately transported to the hospital for care, but three more of the children died later. All of the surviving Balderas family members suffered injuries related to the inhalation of the gas, with Martha Balderas in critical condition at one point. Thankfully, she has since recovered and returned home.
Balderas told first responders that he got the chemical from someone he knew and that the container was in a dumpster near the family home. Fire department members retrieved the container, which was clearly labeled as Weevil-Cide and was empty. One chemical found in this product, aluminum phosphide, is classified at the highest level by regulators as a toxin via inhalation.
The corporate defendant in this case filed a response with the court at the end of November, generally denying all claims of negligence related to the deaths of the Balderas children and requesting a trial by jury on the case within 30 days. Ulloa has yet to publicly respond to the wrongful death claim against him for his role in supplying the pesticide, and United Phosphorus also declined to offer any statement to local news outlets when asked.
Negligence in product instructions can have deadly consequences for the people who use those products and their loved ones. If you have been harmed by the negligent actions or inaction of another person or entity, speak to an attorney about your case and your rights as soon as possible.
A special thanks to our friends and contributors at Richard Banta, PC, for their insight on this particular matter.