Our clients are now in a nicer new house after resolving their termite damage lawsuit. Today they watched their old home get torn down. These clients thought they probably had a few thousand dollars of termite damage. The floor was soft and the box sill in one corner was severely damaged in the living room.
Keiron McGowin went to the home to see if we could help. After an hour he called for back-up, “Tom, get your knee pads and tool kit. You better get to Meadowbrook and take a look at this house, I think it may have to be torn-down.” Later that day we had to break the news that because of infestation by Formosan termites and the widespread distribution of small signs of damage throughout the home the actual scope of the problem could be catastrophic.
Paul Bello, a nationally known entomologist, was called in to make a more thorough analysis with the aid of two of Birmingham’s top contractors. They located even more damage and additional signs of infestation. Because of the way the home was built and the extent of damage that was visible and that which the entomologist predicted, the home needed to be demolished.The clients were terrified. Fitful nights and worry became constant companions.
Scott’s Pest Control’s insurers sent in their own investigators. They agreed the home was a total loss. All the while, as you can see from this video, the house looks perfectly fine.The family’s claims settled several months after suit was filed. They now live in an even nicer home so that will made it tolerable to watch their old house get torn-down.
The home and the hazards of termite damage and fraud in the industry will be the focus of an ABC News 20/20 investigative report in the coming weeks.The lesson is: Do not to trust your termite company’s assessment of damage or even what is infesting your house. Scott’s Pest Control insisted the home was infested with carpenter ants and their claims were not “covered.” Companies often claim that the termite bond does not cover repairs or does not cover “formosan” termites.
Those issues almost never prevent obtaining a recovery if the lawyers oversee a careful investigation and collect the right facts.
If you fail to take reasonable steps to discover all damage and if you are the victim of fraud or negligence, your claims could be barred years down the road when gravity causes your home to worsen.
Your termite company has a built-in reason to claim the problem is something other than the one you paid them to prevent. Reach out to us before you settle with your pest-control operator.