“Toxic Mold” and the Toxic Tort

Generally speaking, people are exposed to molds every day without adverse health effects. However, “toxic molds” can adversely affect human health through three processes: (1) allergy, (2) infection, and (3) toxicity. Health risks of toxic mold include allergies, respiratory issues, headaches, dizzy spells, neurological problems and in some cases, death.  Prolonged exposure to toxic mold can be particularly harmful.

Despite knowing that toxic mold exposure is a health hazard, many rental agencies and landlords are slow to respond to complaints of mold.  If you or someone in your family has suffered physical illness or property damage due to mold, we urge you to get your home or your apartment tested. Before you call up the mold removal experts, mold sampling is expensive, and a clear reason should exist for doing so. In most cases, testing for mold growth on surfaces or for airborne spores in the home or building is neither economically practical nor useful.

Mold victims who have suffered property damage or personal injury as a result of mold exposure may be eligible to file a lawsuit against, renter’s or landlord’s liability insurance policy.  To protect yourself and your claim, document the mold problems.  Start with taking notes, photographs, and collecting medical records if applicable.  Speak to your landlord or rental agency about what you find.  If they remain unresponsive, contact a mold specialist to determine the type of mold present in your home.

Inevitably no one will want to take the blame for the presence of toxic mold in your home or the injuries that result from expose to the toxic mold.  All of the potentially responsible parties will blame each other and deny coverage rather than resolve the situation. This is when contacting a lawyer may be your best option.  An attorney will work with you to resolve your claim or at the very least, help you explain to twelve jurors, most of whom would be homeowners, former homeowners, and renters, how it is that you have been harmed by the fault of another.

Remember that Virginia has a stringent statute of limitations which will absolutely bar your case if allowed to lapse. Therefore, timely filing of a lawsuit is important to stop the running of this clock.