AP NEWS

Using banned pesticide that sickened family nets man prison

January 23, 2019

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The ex-manager of a pest-control company in the U.S. Virgin Islands has been sentenced to a year in prison for poisoning a Delaware family with a banned pesticide.

The News Journal reports 59-year-old Jose Rivera was charged with knowingly using methyl bromide in the St. John condominium complex where the Esmond family stayed in 2015. He was also charged with applying it in St. Croix and St. Thomas. He pleaded guilty to four counts.

His public defender lobbied against prison, arguing Rivera didn’t know the pesticide was banned. He was sentenced Tuesday.

Stephen Esmond became paralyzed after checking into a unit above one where Terminix had sprayed the odorless neurotoxin. His sons were in critical condition for weeks.

Earnings reports suggest they received a nearly $90 million settlement. Terminix paid $9.2 million in criminal fines.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com

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