is a Cold Blooded Killer (series)
Part III of IV
Consumes More Than Our Health and Possessions
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
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.
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
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?
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Director Environmental Services
Hospital of Evanston
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Litigation - Is Mold Deadly? You be the judge.
The four part series of:
the COLD Blooded Killer!"
you for the worst.