Termite damage

What's worse than termites snacking on your wood siding? The thought that your exterminating company may have engaged in dishonest practices.

Lawyers in several states are seeking class-action lawsuit status against Orkin Exterminating, one of the nation's largest pest-control companies.

Orkin is accused of fraud, forgery, and theft. A lawsuit filed in Florida last year alleges that Orkin employees billed customers for inspections that were never performed and used the wrong chemical treatments on termites.

Meanwhile, Orkin is battling accusations on multiple fronts, including lawsuits in at least three other states and an investigation by authorities at the Federal Trade Commission.

The charges stem, in part, from a series of internal memos circulated among Orkin managers in 1996. Following an audit, regional managers allegedly sent warnings to branch managers to revise their tactics. Since then, several customers have come forward with claims that their signatures were forged by Orkin inspectors.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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