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Toxic Mould Protocol

Legal Liability for Mould Contamination

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, a new home buyer or a home builder, a real estate agency client or a realtor, borrower or lender, an insured party or an insurance company, if mould contamination should be discovered in a property (residential or commercial) in which you are or were involved, there are a large number of powerful causes of action (lawsuits) available to a plaintiff. These include but are not limited to:

  • Negligence, the most common cause of action asserted for Mould contamination
  • Strict liability - especially against new home builders
  • Breach of warranties against builders, sellers, and landlords
  • Constructive eviction against landlords
  • Failure to disclose in the sale or rental of property
  • Breach of contract
  • Fraud

The above are the grounds for mould contamination lawsuits.

Tenant - Toxic Mould Protocol

  1. If you suspect that you are being exposed to toxic mould either because you physically see mould or you are experiencing symptoms, have the tested and consult a doctor.
  2. Notify Management

    Management should immediately call for professional testing. Make sure you document everything. Take pictures and/or videos (helpful hint: have a copy of the newspaper in the shot to document the date). Document all areas of concern. Check all Mould "hot spots" such as under sinks, inside vents, windows and behind appliances etc.

    Once management has had an opportunity to verify the results from their experts they should:

    1. Relocate you immediately. If you have been experiencing mould exposure symptoms or the test indicates higher indoor spore levels than outdoor levels, all contents in your apartment should be considered contaminated. All clothes should be washed or dry-cleaned. The cleaned or decontaminated clothes should not be returned to the contaminated apartment. The complex should pay for dry cleaning, relocation and lodging.
    2. All "hard" non-porous item, silverware, dishes, pots, pans, etc. can be cleaned by washing them in a 10% bleach solution. All "soft" porous items like mattresses, upholstered furniture, leather, wood, etc. will need to be replaced. Some experts have expressed that a professional remediation company can successfully clean computers, TV's, etc. by blowing them free of toxic spores. The jury is still out on this! Do not try this yourself.
    3. It is normal protocol for the complex to provide you with a daily per diem. This would be money to cover your expenses until your belongings are replaced or returned.You should not pay any rent or any other lodging expenses while you are displaced. You should prepare to be out for several weeks or months, depending on the severity and the length of time the management takes to address the problem.
Environmental Impact - Furniture

There is a very important issue that requires legal testing when evaluating landlord/tenant issues that pertain to environmental fungi contamination. If a tenant is forced to move subject to a "30-day Notice to Terminate" his/her month-to-month lease so that the landlord can begin the difficult remediation process, often the tenant leaves with furniture that is most likely highly contaminated with multiple fungi species. This is an extremely dangerous cross-contamination EPA problem. Likewise, if the landlord elects to properly destroy certain contaminated furniture and belongings of the tenant; reimbursing him/her for his/her property loss electing to clean and return to the tenant those items which are considered cleanable, then another "catch-22" problem exists.

If Management is Unresponsive

Call an attorney. Make sure you get a firm that is experienced in Toxic Tort. Toxic Tort cases are normally very expensive and drawn out. Air Detectives works with many PROACTIVE groups that include mycologists, microbiologists, industrial hygienists, neurophysiologists, immunologists, toxicologists, legal professionals and media experts

Required Information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Complex name
  • Number of units
  • How long have you lived

If an Attorney is Hired

The selected attorney should order a new round of bulk/air testing. These should be conducted inside and outside at different times of the day. If this test comes back positive then he should order antibody testing. This type of test will show the levels of fungi in your system. If the antibody test results are positive the attorney should arrange for you to see a specialist(s) in the area(s) where you're having medical problems.

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