Pesticides Illegally Sprayed in Georgia Nursing Homes

October 2, 2013
by Sammons & Carpenter, P.C.

Our Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers saw a worrying story in the news recently about a pesticide company spraying dangerous chemicals in Georgia nursing homes. In Macon, a federal grand jury indicted Stephen Murray, the owner of Bio Tech Management, a pesticide company, for conspiracy, making false statements, falsifying records, mail fraud, and illegal use of pesticide. The mail fraud charges are linked to using the US mail to bill nursing homes for their illegal use of pesticides. If found guilty, Murray and his company could face $10 million in fines and he could face a combined total of 650 years of jail time.

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The Alabama company, which provided monthly pest control services to the nursing homes, is accused of repeatedly misapplying the pesticide Termidor SC from October 2005 to June 2009 in numerous Georgia nursing homes. It claims Bio Tech used this pesticide more than twice a year to spray indoors, even though Termidor's label says to only use it outside and not more than twice a year. An ingredient in Termidor has been linked to adverse health effects. Some symptoms of exposure are headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, and mild eye irritation. Adverse health side effects are particularly problematic at a nursing home because the elderly and infirm are more vulnerable to these harmful chemicals than younger healthy people are. Often nursing homes have patients with neurological disorders, weakened immune systems, respiratory problems and other illnesses or conditions that make the affects of a pesticide even worse for them.

Not only is the illegal pesticide use being alleged, but also that Stephen Murray and his cohorts covered it up. The indictment claims that when Murray found out the Georgia Department of Agriculture was investigating him, he and co-conspirators falsified reports to say they used a made-up pesticide instead.

Two dozen nursing homes were involved across the state of Georgia. Many are private nursing facilities. Others include the Georgia Veterans Home in Milledgeville. The case was investigated by the EPA's Criminal Investigations Division in Atlanta and most of the nursing homes were not aware of the problem until this case.

Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

This story is worrying, especially because even the nursing homes themselves did not know of the abuse and danger. This problem could have affected many elderly patients and the cause could have slipped through the cracks. Fortunately, it did not and the criminal trial is important. However, if patients were harmed, civil cases can also be a component of repairing the wrongs Murray and Bio Tech did here. If an elderly or disabled family member has been injured or mistreated at a nursing facility, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter may be able to help get the compensation needed and deserved. To discuss what is happening and your potential case, contact the Law Office of Sammons & Carpenter as soon as possible at 404-814-8948, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation today.

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