Family business wins two trials, now faces a third


“Everyone deserves their day in court,” says Steve Arnold, the owner of Peachtree Pest Control in Loganville, Georgia. “But when is enough, enough?”

He’s referring to a fourteen-year long ordeal that forced his small, family owned business to endure a lawsuit, two trials, heavy legal expenses, and endless hours of wondering whether his business would survive.

It all began in 1996, when Steve was informed of an individual claiming they got sick due to pest control work done by Steve’s company. He investigated and found that the individual worked nowhere near where his technicians had performed their work. Despite this, Steve’s company was sued by the individual.

After going through a full trial, a jury found against the plaintiff and absolved Steve’s business from liability. The plaintiff refused to concede and appealed the verdict.

Five years later, after a second trial, a jury came up with an identical verdict: Steve’s business was not liable.

But the story still isn’t over. The plaintiff is threatening to appeal the second verdict and seek a third trial, which Steve could avoid by settling with the plaintiff for $500,000, despite the fact that his business did nothing wrong.

In addition to the endless hours and numerous legal expenses associated with going through multiple trials, the uncertainty created by the lawsuit has made it hard for Steve’s business to plan for the future or contemplate expansion.

“You’re unable to do anything during that process,” Steve says. “It ties you down so much.”

And leaving aside the obvious economic costs of going through fourteen years of litigation, Steve mentions the emotional impact of having to sit through endless legal proceedings where his business’s hard-earned reputation is dragged through the mud.

“It tears me up to this day,” he says, “sitting there thinking that everything I built is on the line.”

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363 Responses

  1. Don says:

    I hope they win the third appeal too. Then they should countersue the plaintiff for abuse of process. This extortion must end.

  2. Joseph says:

    You must counter-sue the plaintiff for abuse of process right now. This counter action on your part will be equal to standing up to a bully on the school ground. This woman is extremely abusive and needs help buy not from a lawyer. Her attorney should be held to account too if he/she is the same who litigated twice before. Where is your hard hitting counsel? You need a tiger not a lamb. God bless with success!

  3. Troy says:

    You need to countersue asap and you also need to sue for all legal expenses

  4. Brian says:

    Lawsuits like this are brought on just as much by the attorneys as they are the people allegedly “hurt”. I knew someone who accidentally rear-ended another car at a low speed; 4 years later at the trial the woman who was hit still came to work in a neck brace. The plaintiff attorney was awesome though, had video of the “hurt” person roller-skating, wrestling with kids, etc…they ordered her to pay court costs related to the case!

  5. maria says:

    Can he counter sue for court costs?

  6. Marcia Thompson says:

    Justice? How many times must a jury say there is no case? Definitely an abuse of the system. Countersue today! This has got to stop! I’ll be praying for true justice on your behalf.

  7. Margaret Cabral says:

    Counter Sue That Person

  8. Margaret Contard says:

    He should counter-sue that ‘plaintiff’ for legal expenses and lost income due to a frivolous lawsuit.

  9. doris hamilton says:

    Please do not give up and let this thief win. We have to take a stance for what is right. I know that is easy for me to say since I am not invested in the law suit. If you do not stand up and after 14 years you might never forgive yourself for giving in. I will fight to the end if I feel I am right about something

  10. Bob Dyer says:

    Countersue the individual? At least try to scare her a bit and maybe recover some legal expenses.

  11. Sherry says:

    These articles need to pubish the name(s) of both the attorneys and the plantiff. Expose the creeps!

  12. M Ciani says:

    This is absolutely the most horrible thing to have happen to someone. After two trials and the plaintiff losing both, he should not be able to sues for a third time. Sounds just like a Money hungry son so a &$&$@. I agree with Joseph. Counter sue the idiot

  13. Seana says:

    So sorry this is happening to you and your family. There are so many dirt bags out there that will do anything they can for a buck…except to work for it. Stay strong..don’t give this jackass a cent. Right will win out in the end. Best of luck.

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