Daily News Archive
From August 17, 2000

California Appeals Courts Allows Parents to Sue Pesticide Company

A California appeals court ruled on August 14, 2001 that pesticide companies can be sued over concerns that home bug sprays are making people sick, according to the Associated Press. The court rejected arguments by Dow Chemical and other pesticide manufacturers had argued that approval of their products by the Environmental Protection Agency shielded them from liability. Click here to read the article.

The appeals court ruled that the EPA-approved labels could not be challenged, but a jury could still decide that a chemical's dangers to human health outweighed the pesticides benefits. "We believe that the burden of the cost of serious injury actually caused by pesticides should . . . be borne by the pesticide manufacturers and distributors rather than the innocent consumers," Justice Michael Nott wrote is the court decision.

Chad and Michelle Arnold, alleging that pesticides used to control an ant infestation at their home in 1997 led their daughter to suffer a stroke in the womb that caused partial paralysis and blindness, brought the lawsuit. The pesticides, Dursban® (chlorpyrifos), Dragnet® (permethrin), and Baygon® (transfluthrin) had all been approved for home use, although approval for Dursban was withdrawn in 2000. The pesticides also caused health problems in their other young daughter. Click on the pesticide names to visit the Safety Source website for more information about the health effects.