Toxic Mold Legal Claims
Personal injury law has embraced the field of toxic mold injury cases. These have become more prevalent as more people are introduced to the dangers of the mold, along with the understanding that prevention measures are simple. Often filing a legal claim is the only way to recoup losses, as well as to penalize those at fault for the infestation. Different claims depend on the facts and causes around the injury.
A toxic mold claim is built on liability. Those responsible for the maintenance of the contaminated building may not be liable for the mold. For example, the janitor may have used the cleaning protocols issued by his employer. The janitor is therefore not liable for the mold, but the employer is liable for his or her role in providing inadequate supplies. A contractor may have used carpet in the building that the supplier let sit outside for a few days. The builder is responsible for using materials that potentially bred the mold, even though it was the supplier who provided that material and left it outside, thereby exposing it to contamination. In another case, a landlord might tell the property manager to get rid of a mold problem, but the manager lets the mold colony remain. The owner is responsible for the building's maintenance, but the property manager is liable.
Different people who may be responsible for toxic mold exposure harm are contractors and subcontractors. This includes roofers, framers, general contractors, siding/stucco contractors and so on. Architects or structural engineers may also be responsible, because they did not include mold prevention into the design of the structure. Material suppliers and manufacturers can also be responsible, such as siding manufacturers and window manufacturers. Also, previous homeowners who did not disclose information about known problems like mold can also be responsible.
There are two different types of damages that a person can claim for, and these are medical damages and clean up and structural fixes. It depends on the severity of an illness, but a person can make a claim based on medical testing and treatments that were needed due to mold problems at work or home. There are many illnesses associated with exposure to toxic mold, and they include cancer, respiratory disease, and neurological issues. Mold can cause structural damage in homes and buildings that is difficult and costly to fix. Different structural elements have to be replaced or moved because of the mold weakening them. The costs for mold cleanup can also be very high, many times because an inspector is needed, as well as a professional who can make sure there is no mold remaining.
Liability translates into a claim. Cause of action in the first example above may be negligence or in some states, strict liability—the owner is responsible for the building, and therefore the mold problem as well. The contractor mentioned above may have a claim against the supplier for breach of contract in the use of sub par materials. Both the supplier and the property manager may be sued for professional malpractice. Other causes of action in a toxic mold case include fraud, failure to disclose, and worker's compensation.
Toxic mold legal claims may require professional investigation and testing to help determine the extent and origins of the problem. The judge and jury in each case need a clear line drawn from the mold contamination to the liable party, so a great deal of evidence will be gathered. A personal injury attorney who specializes in toxic mold cases may have these professionals already on hand. All of these costs are able to be recouped in court. The process needs only a claim to begin. You may wish to contact the American Bar Association (ABA) for further guidance.