Alabama Termite Litigation Attorneys
If you have a home or business, you may have hired a pest control company to inspect the premises for any signs of termite infestation or damage. When you hire a professional to identify these types of issues, you have the right to expect competence and quality service. Unfortunately, not all companies in this industry operate in an ethical manner. And when these companies fail to perform their job and/or employ tactics to mislead their customers, those affected can end up with thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in damages. If this has happened to you, you may have the right to file a termite litigation claim.
At Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C., we have extensive experience helping clients pursue termite litigation and other types of civil litigation in Alabama. Our lawyers have over a century of combined experience with this area of the law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases. We take the time to thoroughly evaluate your case and explore every potential legal avenue toward obtaining the appropriate relief. If you have been stuck with termite damage because of another party’s negligence or willful acts, you deserve to be compensated. Call our office at 800-574-4332 to discuss your case.
Types of Termite Fraud
There are numerous reasons why homeowners and business owners end up with termite infestation, and many times, it results from misrepresentation or fraud by a third party. Some of the most common types of termite fraud include:
Failure to Disclose Termite Infestation
When you are buying or renting a property, the landlord or previous owner may have failed to report that there is termite infestation in the building. The party handing over the property to you is required to disclose all known facts that will materially impact its value. If they did not do so and you discover termite damage, you may have a right to file a claim.
This can occur when an inspector from a pest control company claims to have done a thorough inspection of the property when they failed to do so. This could happen when you first take possession of the property and the inspector says that it is free of termite infestation, or during regular ongoing inspections of the property. If a pest control company includes incorrect or falsified information on their inspection report and you later discover costly termite damage that they knew about or should have known about, the company that issued the report should be held accountable.
Planting “Evidence” of Termite Infestation
As hard as it is to believe, planting false evidence of termite infestation happens a lot more frequently than most people realize. This is similar to what some crooked law enforcement officers do when they plant evidence on someone to arrest them for a crime. The way it works is that the inspector will carry shed termite wings or waste pellets and place them within the property as “proof” of termite infestation. Naturally, the inspector will recommend a costly fumigation service to get rid of the termites.
Use of Cheap, Ineffective Treatments
Termite fraud can occur when an inspector promises a fumigation service that will eradicate the termites, but they use a diluted chemical or a cheaper chemical that does not get rid of all the termites. For example, an inspector might use a chemical that kills only the termites that the chemical comes in contact with. This kills some of the termites, but the rest of the colony moves further into the wood and reproduces, which will result in future termite damage.
Recommending Overly Expensive Treatments
On the other end of the spectrum, an inspector may identify only an isolated termite issue, but they claim that the problem is more widespread. Fumigation services can be very expensive, and there are times when this type of service is warranted. However, if an inspector recommends a comprehensive fumigation service when a far less expensive treatment could have solved the problem, they are engaging in termite fraud.
Recommending Termite Treatment for a Different Problem
For a competent termite inspector, it is very easy to distinguish between problems caused by termites and problems that result from a different issue. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for the average person to tell the difference. Some unscrupulous inspectors take advantage of property owners by recommending termite infestation treatment for a problem that doesn’t exist.
“Control” vs. “Extermination” Contracts
Be very careful about the contract you sign with a pest control company. There are times when an inspector will imply that they will exterminate the termites, when in actuality the contract only calls for them to “control” them. Exterminating means they are killing off the entire colony, while controlling means they are only reducing the size of the colony. This could be become a problem when you want to sell or refinance a property and you need a “free and clear” termite certification.
Termite Litigation in Alabama
If you have been the victim of any type of misrepresentation or fraud on the part of a property owner or pest control company, termite litigation may be necessary. Pest control companies and their insurers have high-priced attorneys, and they use a variety of tactics to reduce or eliminate the value of your claim and avoid responsibility for the damages they have caused. This makes these cases more complex and challenging to pursue.
The pest control industry is governed by numerous laws and regulations. Countless hours of research are needed to learn and fully understand the science involved with termite infestation treatments, what industry providers are required to do, and to research all the case law in order to effectively pursue maximum compensation for those who have been victims of termite fraud. This is why it is extremely important to work with an attorney who has in-depth experience with these types of cases.
Contact a Seasoned Alabama Termite Litigation Lawyer
Termite damage is not something that can be easily rectified, and termite infestation can be very stressful for property owners as it threatens the value of what is often their largest investment. The attorneys at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, P.C. understand the frustration homeowners and business owners experience when they are victims of termite fraud, and we work closely with our clients to fully assess their case and aggressively pursue full damages on their behalf.
To schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys, contact our office today at 800-574-4332. You may also send us a message through our online contact form or stop by our Mobile office at your convenience.