In Chicago, mold can be a huge problem with the old housing stock available. Some types of mold are harmless but other types can cause severe health problems and may even be fatal. Mold forms on damp surfaces in the home so its presence may be more common in areas around the bathroom, kitchen, laundry, and known leaks. It can be found on damp indoor surface like wood, carpet and wallpaper. The worst type of mold is the “black mold” or stachybotrys, a common mold that causes health issues.
Symptoms of mold exposure can be very subtle depending on the sensitivity of the person and the amount of mold that may be present in a home or building. It may take weeks or months for symptoms to be noticeable enough to seek medical attention. Some typical symptoms are headache, fatigue, respiratory problems, memory loss, and skin rashes. Notice that these symptoms are common to a variety of ailments and it may be a while before an injured person associates these symptoms with the mold issue.
Sometimes other parties will cover the damage. Homeowner’s policies will compensate for the presence of mold under certain circumstances. It is best to call them when a problem arises and to check your policy. Those looking to purchase a home should ensure that mold issues will be covered under the requisite policy. Renters should immediately notify their landlord. Depending on the lease or the state, the landlord will have a certain period of time to rectify the problem. Workers who identify mold issues at their workplace should notify their superiors and any other relevant parties like the building management. Other possible responsible parties include building contractors, architects, structural engineers, and material suppliers.
Damages may be recoverable for mold issues. As previously mentioned, some homeowner’s policies will compensate for mold. Sometimes, a person may need to sue for damages. This may be applicable when it is discovered that a mold issue was present before a home was purchased, either from the previous homeowner or from the builder. Condominium owners may have to sue their neighbors if the source was from the leak of a neighboring unit. Worker injured at work can file a claim through workers’ compensation. Damages can include medical expenses, inspection, alternative housing, repair, and lost wages.
When considering a lawsuit, it is important to keep meticulous records of the process. This can include dates of inspection, receipts for expenses, medical bills, medical records, photographs, and any other relevant material. The most common cause of action for mold claims is negligence. This means that there was a failure to maintain a standard of care. Another is for breach of warranty if it is discovered that there was a problem with the creation of the structure. Finally, a failure to disclose can pertain to manufacturers or previous homeowners.
This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not rely on the above information as all cases are different and different laws apply to different cases. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured by toxic mold please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.