Lawsuit Over Pesticide Injury at Apartment Complex Results in $23M Verdict

An Indiana family has been awarded $23.5 million in a personal injury lawsuit over pesticide exposure at an apartment complex, which allegedly caused the family’s children to suffer permanent neurological damage. 

The toxic tort lawsuit, filed by Todd and Cynthia Ebling, alleges that the operators of the Prestwick Square apartment complex used a pesticide that caused their children to suffer seizures and other neurological problems shortly after they moved into an apartment there in 1994. The lawsuit has taken 14 years to make its way through the court system due to various motions and other delays.

The lawsuit alleged that the children, who were 2 years old and 6 months old at the time, were injured due to exposure to Creal-O, a Dianzinon-based pesticide which was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2004. According to the lawsuit, the apartment complex used the pesticide incorrectly; smearing it across baseboards and splashing it across carpets instead of putting it into cracks and crevices where it should have been placed.

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The children suffered severe neurological damage. Christina Ebling, who was 2-years-old when the family moved into the apartment, is now 20, but cannot do much more besides feed herself. Alex Ebling, who was a six-month-old at the time, is now 17. He is in the 11th grade, but the family says that he suffers from social and academic problems, and his ability to trust, mistrust, or judge people is impaired.

The parents first noticed something was wrong when their children began having seizures shortly after moving into the Prestwick Square apartment. Doctors traced the problems to chemical exposure, and the family moved out after less than a year in the apartment, before their lease was up. But according to the lawsuit, that was already too late.

A Floyd Superior Court jury awarded $16 million for the care of Christina Ebling, $6.5 million for the care of Alex Ebling, and awarded $1 million to the parents. According to a report by The Courier-Journal, the apartment complex intends to appeal the verdict.


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