mold vs legal
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Mold is a Cold Blooded Killer  (series)
Part III of IV

Mold Consumes More Than Our Health and Possessions
Litigation and Mold

With an increase in lawyers who all have to divide up the business to survive (why else would hot coffee cause a law suit?) wouldn't you know that mold has become a new pass time. I have several family members and friends that are lawyers and most lawyers are okay, but they do seem to lose sight of decency and use the law to generate a lot of cash - for themselves.

Mold litigation against someone who knows very well that there is a problem but who then neglects the mold infestation, is absolutely needed. Landlords, quit just milking the cash cow. Help your tenants and keep them healthy and alive. They can't pay the rent if their off work due to medical problems caused by mold that you let grow.

Litigation around mold is a rather new area. In 2001 a jury trial in Texas awarded a homeowner $32 Million in damages that was against her insurer for mishandling mold related claims. In 1996 a county courthouse had construction problems that led to mold infestation and the jury award to that county was $14 Million.
These two cases are just a couple of high profile decisions that have resulted due to mold problems.

What does this really mean to all of us "regular" people? It means that when buying and selling real estate, we must be careful. Even though most states have a mold disclosure form that you sign-off on, that doesn't mean there aren't problems.

If you do have mold problems that you find existed at the time of purchase, you could be signing away your right to damages. But whether you can win a law suit or not shouldn't really be the issue. Getting rid of what ails you is the answer.

I hate the fact that today's society thinks that they can sign a piece of paper that states,  "...there are no problems that exist ... that I'm aware of..." and get away with not cleaning up a problem. I also hate the fact that a buyer can bring a claim against the seller for mold that is found. In fact, from my understanding, you can sue anybody for any reason.

Frankly, I adhere to this: "Do what's right 100% of the time."

From the year 2000 to 2003 there were about 10,000 mold related legal cases in the USA. That is ever increasing and you can now find attorney's that specialize in this type of action.

Whether it's right or wrong, whether it's moral or immoral, doesn't matter because it is happening. So how do you protect yourself?

Added Mold Costs

You guessed it - pay for some level of protection. There are mold inspectors, DIY mold test kits, and an entire industry set up for scoping out mold. That adds $200 to $400 to your home purchase if you choose.

There are other costs surrounding mold. Your health is a cost. If mold is impacting your life, then you're buying an above average amount of allergy and sinus medicine. You may have acute allergies that all seem to have come along over time. That's how mold affects you. It lowers your general immune system and then other disease and allergens are able to penetrate and start making you sick. Sick costs money!

I've been in the inspection business (repair and maintenance of medical equipment) since 1980. I can look at a device right now, test its output and that it is properly working, then put it back into service. Tomorrow morning during its next use, it may fail! Does that mean I didn't inspect it? NO, it means something happened between the time that I documented my inspection and the time of use that created the malfunction.

Mold is the same way. I can inspect your home right now and find no significant problems. I can also inspect the same areas with the same means a week later and find a significant problem. Why? Because things change. With mold it's usually due to moisture issues like leaks, floods, spills, water vapor, etc. So inpsection doesn't really keep you safe.

You must take responsibility no matter if you're a homeowner, home buyer, home seller, or landlord. You must keep everything as clean and dry as possible. When moisture is left unattended it has the potential to allow mold to take "root".

You have the responsibility to stay vigilant, to keep your living area in order, to keep humidity down, to clean up water trouble quickly, to keep your environment safe. No one else will do as good of a job as you. So learn how to do it. In fact, learn to automatically control mold.

Mold Litigation - Who Loses?

We all do. The people involved in the suit are put out. The jury has to show up, how many of you want to sit on a jury? So the jury is put out. Realtors and their clients are put out because it is something that should be cared for by everyone, but with the law the way it is everyone is trying to cover their own a - -.

The lawyers make money and the inspectors make money, but that's what the market will bare. You can't fault them that we as a society would rather litigate rather than do what's right 100% of the time.

Also, read Part II again if you missed it. The tax payers pay, the government pays, insurance companies pay, and who funds all of those enterprises - YOU. YOU LOSE!

Instead of litigation, maybe there's a serious need for legislation. Take some of the ideas that are found in "How to Get Rid of Black Mold" and make them mandatory in all new construction, new remodeling, etc. What are those ideas? You'll have to read the book, but instead of millions of dollars in law suits, instead of trillions of dollars in health care, maybe simple - affordable solutions are the answer.

If the legal beagals can make smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors a law, then they can make some of my findings a law and really save YOU - the TAX PAYER, the HOME OWNER money for a change.

In the next part I discuss mold's impact on you - personally.

Howard Doughman
Former Director Environmental Services
St. Francis Hospital of Evanston
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Mold Litigation - Is Mold Deadly? You be the judge.
The four part series of:
"MOLD the COLD Blooded Killer!"
will prepare you for the worst.

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