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Is There Deadly Mold in Your Residence?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that mold can grow as long as there is oxygen and moisture present. It can grow in showers, on outer wall surfaces, refrigerators, or anywhere wet. Controlling dampness is the number one way to manage its buildup. There are a few normally-used every day spaces that you can control on your own when it comes to dangerous mold with regular over-the-counter items for kitchens, bathrooms, etc. But what about when there is an all-out huge mold infestation in your apartment building or somewhere on your property that you had nothing to do with? Who is supposed to pay for the remediation company to come and take care of it? And, if no professionals are called in, then who is it that you are supposed to take to court?

Well, you actually don’t have to pick just one person. In fact, if you are filing a mold lawsuit you can include many parties, from your insurance company (who might cover you for things like roof leaks that lead to mold buildup), to the contractors (who may not have used good materials or ventilated the residence correctly), to the prior owner. In California, for example, the seller of a residence has certain real estate disclosure laws that they have to follow, meaning that if there are any defects or malfunctions (like flooding or drainage issues) that could possibly lead to dangerous mold buildup they have to tell you about it beforehand.

One of the biggest lawsuits for toxic mold was back in 2001 when about 70 families in an area in Houston, Texas called The Woodlands sued a company named Finestone that made synthetic stucco, a product that’s sometimes used in the wall construction of residences. The material wasn’t installed properly in many of the homes (causing moisture to buildup), and in one case a little girl had large black pockets of mold inside of her bedroom walls and got very sick. The company that hired the contractors that installed the stucco, Life Form Homes, was also sued. More recently, a California family just won a case for $1.2 million in damages due to mold in their home. Patrick Fetzer, a resident of Laguna Beach, had a landlord that ignored his growing mold crisis, and as a result his daughter Lauren got really bad respiratory problems. Their lease owner, Sadiq Saferzadeh, failed to inform them about the water damage to the residence, then, on top of that, neglected the water intrusion that Patrick repeatedly reported to him.

According to the National Indoor Mold Society (NIMS) 500,000 deaths annually are caused by toxic mold exposure. The poisonous vapors it gives off are called mycotoxins, and they can enter the body through breathing, eating, or skin contact. The lethal fumes can trigger off asthma in children, and the effects of them are sometimes wrongly diagnosed as pet pollen allergies. If you feel that your home or residence is infested with a major mold infestation that you had nothing to do with, you should take legal action, and fast. Contact the Real Estate Litigation Attorneys at Makarem and Associates directly at 310.312.0299 or via email at info@makaremlaw.com, before it is too late.