Unfortunately we live in a world where our homes are in near constant danger of sustaining termite damage. Even if you do not own your own home, some of your tax dollars are spent repairing termite damages on public property. This is no small amount of money either, as termite damage repairs and prevention efforts cost billions of dollars annually in America alone. It seems that, whether anyone likes it or not, destructive termite activity affects us all, at least in an indirect manner. While termite attacks are inevitable, we can at least take solace in the fact that some valuables are simply inaccessible to termites. For example, people often store their most treasured valuables within safety deposit boxes that are located within banks. While termites have managed to consume paper money contained within bank vaults and personal safes a few times in the past, it is hard to imagine termites gaining access to the valuables kept in safety deposit boxes. After all, how and why would termites venture toward areas that do not contain any forms of sustenance? Wouldn’t termites die before gaining access to a fortified area located within a dry and air conditioned bank? As you must already know, the answer to this last question is “not in all cases,” as one woman opened her safety deposit box one day to find termites munching on her jewelry, important documents, bonds and paper money.
An Indian woman, Kanak Choudary, was forced to sue her bank for not addressing a termite infestation that she had found within her safe deposit box. The deposit box was located within the Meerut cantonment branch of the Union Bank of India. Kanak found that the termites had damaged share certificates, property papers, jewelry and Rs 56,000 worth of paper currency. Kanak was not only denied her request for compensation, but the bank manager failed to examine the safe deposit box. In response, Kanak filed a lawsuit that saw her win Rs 23,000 in damages from the bank, and the bank manager was ordered to pay the woman Rs 2,000 of his own money. The court did not allow the bank officials to dismiss her demands for compensation, as banks are responsible for maintaining their deposit boxes. The court also ruled that customer complaints must be addressed by bank employees. The bank had a pest control professional dispute the woman’s claim that termites had infested the bank. However, the judge found that the termite inspection had taken place a year after Kanak’s complaint against the bank was filed. A higher court later ordered the bank to pay Kanak an additional Rs 11,000 in compensation.
Have you ever spotted termite damages on any non-wood items, such as concrete or rubber?