Boy suffers brain injury after family’s home is fumigated for termites

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PALM CITY, Fla. – A Florida family says they knew they had to act fast when they learned their home had been invaded by termites.

They immediately hired a pest control company and moved out of their home while it was fumigated.

On Sunday, they were told it was safe to move back in.

Within hours, they all became sick.

Ed Gribben Jr. says the whole family was ill, but 10-year-old Peyton McCaughey was the worst.

“He was eyes rolling, legs weren’t working, he couldn’t hold himself up,” said Gribben.

A local doctor diagnosed him with chemical poisoning and Peyton was rushed to a children’s hospital.

While the rest of the family recovered, Peyton is still dealing with the side effects.

In fact, they say he has lost more than 90 percent of his motor skills and can’t speak or stand.

“He’s still got his sense of humor. He’s still got his personality. But he has got to be so frustrated that he knows what he wants to say and he knows what he wants to do and he just can’t do it. It’s very hard to watch,” Gribben said.

Attorneys who represent the family say they will file a lawsuit against Terminix and Sunland Pest Control Services, the company Terminix hired to treat the home.

Terminix sent WPEC a statement, saying, “We were saddened to learn of this and our hearts are with the family. We are carefully reviewing the matter.”

Experts say crews should have used a device that can detect any trace of sulfuryl flouride throughout the home before allowing the family back inside the building.

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