There have been many lawsuits over mold during recent years. People all over the country are becoming more and more aware of the negative health impact that the breathing in of mold spores can have. Mold poisoning is serious business. It will cause many types if illness' such as upper respiratory issues, chronic fatigue, infections, short term memory loss, and in extreme cases, even death. Based upon just these facts you would think there would be some sort of federal legislation that sets a limit on permissible levels of indoor mold exposure. Unfortunately, the federal government has not set any permissible mold exposure limits or building tolerance standards for mold. In addition, state and local officials have been reluctant to enact any serious legislation regarding indoor airborne mold levels. Hence, lawsuits abound like in the wild wild west days of the past. Below is a quick look at small sample of multi-million dollar lawsuit settlements regarding toxic mold exposure.
Michael Jordan is on the list of high profile celebrities whose homes have been infected with mold. Jordan is suing the manufacturer of synthetic stucco that he claims has trapped moisture in his home and has caused over 2.6 million dollars in damage to his home in Chicago Illinois.
Ed McMahon sued his insurance company due to toxic mold that ran rampant throughout his home when a pipe broke and flooded the den. He and his wife stayed in the home during remediation process. According to McMahon's attorney, the house filled with toxic mold and the most toxic area was the couple' s bedroom. Their dog, Muffin, died and Pamela McMahon got sick. McMahon's claimed that the remediation was not properly performed. The suit was eventually settled for a little over $7 million dollars.
Ron and Melinda Ballard received $32 million from Farmers Insurance Group for damage to their 22-room mansion in Dripping Springs, Texas. Not everyone lands a multi-million dollar verdict, but mold lawsuits are on the rise nonetheless. According to USA Today, the state of Texas saw their mold litigation cases increase five fold in the year following the Ballard lawsuit and its accompanying media exposure. As a result of the increasing amount of lawsuits, insurance companies have begun to slash water damage-related coverage from their home insurance policies, and rates for home owner's insurance have gone up dramatically.
Mold Lawsuits Have Become a Popular
Occurrence in the 21st Century
In New Jersey a toddler began suffering from a wide array of illness'' while medical tests for cystic fibrosis, leukemia and other diseases all came back negative. The child's mother felt that there was something in the air in their home that was making her baby sick as she would have bouts with throwing up that would continue on for between a week to ten days. She and her family then discovered the truth of the matter which was rampant mold growth was going on in their crawlspace and they quickly evacuated the home. There is no record of a settlement at the time of this writing.
In Indiana, a former deputy prosecutor claims she was fired after blowing the whistle on a mold problem in her office which she claims was giving her chronic headaches, coughing, fatigue and respiratory infections. When she complained to her manager an argument ensued which ended in her being terminated. When other co-workers complained the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration ended up testing the office and found bacteria plus two toxic kinds of mold that cause allergies and can lead to diseases. The former deputy prosecutor is now filing suit against Lake County Indiana.
In California Lou Ferrigno, the former bodybuilder better known as the Incredible Hulk reached an out of court settlement with Mercury Insurance Company. Mr. Ferrigno claimed that the insurance company's inspector failed to locate and repair a faulty leak that caused mold to grow in multiple rooms inside their home. The remediation work took over a year.
In Virginia a family received $4.75 million in February 2009 when their contractor's negligence caused toxic mold to spread throughout their new home and left nearly the entire family with irreversible medical injuries.
In California a family won $2.7 million in July of 2008 when the apartment they were living in ended up covered in toxic black mold which caused them severe injuries.
In California a group of 24 condominium owners received an award of 5.0 million through an arbitrator who ruled the developer of the buildings hid knowledge of an existing mold problem during the properties construction.
In California a family won $22.6 million against a lumber company and 16 other co-defendants. The family claimed they took ill because the framing studs used to build their home were left in a wet environment which caused a severe mold problem in the home.
Lonnie Wong FOX40 News
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