Toxic Mold Legal Claims
Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors | Last reviewed June 20, 2016
If you have been exposed to toxic mold in your home or in the workplace, you may be considering a legal claim against those responsible for your injuries. A number of different claims are possible in cases of toxic mold exposure --your specific claim will depend upon (among other factors) the circumstances of your exposure and the facts surrounding your injury. This article will give you some basic information about potential personal injury and property damage claims that may arise as a result of toxic mold exposure.
Toxic Mold Injuries: Who is Responsible
If you suffer harm as a result of toxic mold exposure, you may sue those responsible for your illness, structural damages, and remediation costs -- including:
- Contractors and Subcontractors (including: general contractors, roofers, framers, siding/stucco contractors, etc)
- Architects / Structural Engineers (parties who have failed to incorporate mold prevention in design)
- Material Suppliers and Manufacturers (including: window manufacturers, siding manufacturers, etc)
- Previous Homeowners (for failing to disclose known problems)
Toxic Mold Injuries: Possible Damages
Medical. You may have a claim for medical testing and treatments if you have suffered an illness because of a toxic mold problem at your home or place of work. Obviously, the amount of your claim will depend on the severity of your illness and resulting medical expenses.
Clean-up and structural fixes. Water and mold can cause serious structural damage in a home or commercial building. Legal claims for property damage may include the cost of fixing structural elements such as walls, windows, moldings, ceiling tiles, and floors. Many times such structural elements will have to be removed and replaced because they have been weakened, are ineffective in keeping out moisture, or because cleaning would not do enough to return the structure to a habitable state.
Cleanup costs for infected ventilation systems can also be very large. It is very difficult to inspect a ventilation system without professional assistance. It is possible that the whole system will have to be replaced, because mold remaining in the system can use the system itself as a gateway to all rooms within the structure.
Toxic Mold Injuries: Legal Theories of Liability
Negligence. Negligence is the most common theory of recovery in mold cases. Negligence is described as the failure of a responsible party to work with the degree of care that a person of reasonable prudence would use under the same or similar circumstances. For example, a contractor in a mold case may be negligent because they failed to use reasonable care in sealing the moisture out of your home or commercial building, and that failure caused an infestation of mold that resulted in illness, structural damage, and/or excessive clean-up costs.
Breach of Warranty. Many states have statutes that require builders and architects to warrant their work for a specified period of time. If your home or commercial building suffers from a mold infestation problem because of faulty workmanship, you may have a warranty claim. You should contact an attorney as soon as you discover mold or water intrusion, as many warranty statutes have time limitations pertaining to when you must bring your claim.
Failure to Disclose. Most states require previous owners to disclose material facts that affect the value or desirability of the property they are selling. If a previous owner knew of a potential mold problem and failed to tell the potential buyer, there may be a failure- to-disclose claim. As with breach of warranty, you should contact an attorney as soon as you discover mold or water intrusion because many laws have time limitations pertaining to when you must bring a failure-to-disclose claim.
Click here for additional things to think about before you sue.
Was this helpful?
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.