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Spartan
01-27-2009, 04:30 PM
Everyone ~

I have a questions and need some help. I'm taking my Commercial pesticide exam in two weeks and want to ask a question. Has anyone encountered a homeowner complaining that their animal or family member got sick or worse AFTER you applied chemicals to their lawn? If so, does anyone have a letter taking the liability away from you. Does anyone have a copy that I can have? Thoughts?

Thanks,

Mr. Spartan

Steve
01-27-2009, 11:33 PM
Has anyone encountered a homeowner complaining that their animal or family member got sick or worse AFTER you applied chemicals to their lawn? If so, does anyone have a letter taking the liability away from you. Does anyone have a copy that I can have?

I haven't seen anything like that on the forum yet but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

If so, does anyone have a letter taking the liability away from you.

I don't know if I have ever seen such a letter. The only thing I can think along a similar line is when we were talking in the past about having the customer sign something about the lawn care business owner not being responsible for irrigation heads that may be damaged during mowing. Ultimately it seemed that no matter what they signed when it came to this, you would still be responsible.

I think this also falls into a public relations issue. If a customer 'thinks' something a lawn care business owner did, caused their pet to become sick, I can't imagine the lawn care business owner being around for long.

What's your view?

jimlewis
02-11-2009, 03:08 AM
I don't know of any indemnity letter. But your lawyer could easily make one up, if you really wanted.

I have had one or two customers over the last 13 years and hundreds of homes we maintained over that time complain that our fertilizer gave their dogs a rash. A VERY small percentage. Fertilizer and normal lawn chemicals like 2,4-D or Roundup have a super low toxicity rating for animals, including humans.

I would think any indemnity letter would actually work AGAINST you, if you tried to use it. Imagine the following conversation;

You, "Before we begin, I need to explain that I will be applying chemicals to your landscape when I come and you need to sign this document saying you won't hold me or my company responsible if your pets or kids are harmed in any way by the chemicals. They are ...."

Customer, "Hold on! Just exactly what kind of chemicals are you talking about? And why would they harm my kids and dogs?? How strong are these chemicals? I don't want to sign that! And just let you poison my dog and kids with harmful chemicals? Um. I'm gonna have to talk to my husband about this and get back to you..."

The next day....

Customer, "You know what? We decided to go with another company. Thanks for your bid, though....."

And you lost a job because you made the customer worried about something that isn't really even a big issue.

Besides, talk to your attorney. He will explain to you that indemnity letters really don't protect you anyway. If you are negligent, you're negligent. That's all the court cares about. They'll throw that signed letter right out the window if they feel you've been negligent.

Spartan
02-12-2009, 05:00 PM
Thanks for the response. After I wrote this thread, my wife brought up a similar response. So, you two are good sounding boards.

Mr. Spartan