In what encompassed over a decade of litigation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the use of certain pesticides in flea and tick collars due to a link to brain damage in children. The collars in question are those that contain the organophosphate insecticide tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), which is neurotoxic and has been linked to adverse health effects in children, including the harming of their developing brains. While this is a positive development, there are likely to be many personal injury claims filed as a result of the use of these products.
Originally, the environmental group, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), petitioned the EPA to ban the use of TCVP in all pet products in 2009. In response, the EPA took some initial steps to restrict the use of TCVP but did not go so far as to ban it outright. However, a recent court order gave the agency 6 months to decide on the 2009 petition, which led to the EPA’s decision to ban the use of TCVP in flea and tick collars.
The Use of TCVP
Tetrachlorvinphos is a chemical insecticide used to control fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. It works by disrupting the nervous system of insects, causing them to die. However, it can also have negative effects on human health, particularly in children. It was actually originally developed as a nerve agent for use during WWII and has also been used as an agricultural and livestock insecticide and in pet products for many years. In 1996, in-home use of organophosphates was banned with the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act, as they were considered too dangerous for use around children and pregnant women.
The Dangers of Tetrachlorvinphos
Exposure to TCVP most commonly happens as a result of the chemical’s residue being left on the fur of treated pets. This residue can then rub off on people. Children are particularly vulnerable as they will tend to ingest the chemical when they put their hands in their mouths after petting an animal or crawling on the ground where an animal has been, and the chemical residue remains.
Exposure to TCVP can result in a variety of health problems in humans, including difficulty breathing, blurred vision, headaches, nausea, seizures, tremors, and vomiting. In children, exposure has been linked to lower IQ scores and attention deficit disorders. In addition, prenatal exposure to TCVP has been linked to adverse effects on brain development leading to reduced IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral and attention deficit disorders in children.
What are Your Rights if You or Your Child has Been Harmed by TCVP?
If you or your child has been harmed by exposure to TCVP, you may be entitled to compensation. In the case of flea and tick collars containing TCVP, this would be a product liability case. Product liability is the legal theory that holds product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers responsible for injuries or damages caused by a defective or dangerous product. In Columbia, MO, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer of the flea and tick collar or the pet product that contained TCVP.
How Can a Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer Help with a TCVP Product Liability Case?
To succeed in such a claim, you will need to show that the product was defectively designed or manufactured, that you used the product as intended, and that the defect caused your injuries. You will also need to show that the manufacturer knew or should have known about the risks associated with the product and failed to warn consumers. Needless to say, proof of a product defect, causation, and damages can be complicated in product liability cases.
The goal of a personal injury claim is to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered because of someone else’s negligence. This can include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. If a child has suffered an injury, the claim may also seek compensation for future medical expenses and lost earnings, as well as damages for the child’s pain and suffering.
If you feel that you or your child has been harmed by exposure to TCVP in a flea or tick collar or other pet product, it’s important to act quickly. If you haven’t already, you should seek medical attention and then contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. An experienced Columbia personal injury lawyer will know how to investigate your claim, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. They will interview witnesses, review medical records, and hire expert witnesses as needed. And if the manufacturer or other parties refuse to offer a fair settlement, they will be prepared to take your case to trial.
Contact the Law Offices of Chris Miller if You Feel You Have a Claim
At the Columbia Law Offices of Chris Miller, our experienced personal injury lawyers have helped many people who have been injured by defective products. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that such an injury can take on a family. We will fight for the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.