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Orkin To Pay $2.25 Million

A three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a 2003 arbitration panel's punitive damages award to a Florida homeowner, finding that pest-control company Orkin Exterminating Inc. failed to deliver on its lifetime contract for termite protection.

Florida homeowner Collier Black's Ponte Vedra home suffered repetitive termite infestations while Black was under a contract with Orkin. In 2003, Black brought suit against Orkin for neglect of contract and accused the company of not having proper permits. The panel made explicit factual findings supporting a claim for gross negligence and fraud against Orkin and awarded Black $4.2 million, including $2.25 million in punitive damages, $750,000 in compensatory damages and $1.2 million in attorneys' fees.

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