Over the summer break, Collier County found that two local elementary schools had mold contamination. The discovery uncovered mold on carpets, whiteboards, cabinets, and even student desks and was suspected to have been spread throughout the school through the air conditioning system. Even more recently, Lamarque Elementary in Sarasota has been dealing with strange odors and respiratory problems in many students and teachers. The source of this problem is still unknown, but many suspect that mold is the culprit – possibly due to contaminated drywall.
Many attorneys have recently found themselves representing clients that have suffered from mold related health issues, and it's a problem that is more common than most realize. Approaching a legal case involving mold is very similar to other types of personal injury suits. It must be proven that the mold was at least known about or suspected and ignored, essentially showing that negligence is a central part of the problem. And clients must experience some type of medical issue because of it. Of course, knowing a bit more about the basics of mold is important as well.
Mold is a type of living organism that thrives in warm, humid environments – just the kind of environment that Florida is known for. Usually, it grows in basements or showers, but any damp, warm place can harbor mold growth. The mold itself spreads and proliferates through spores, which are carried through the air or through water. Disrupting mold in any way – even a gentle breeze – can unless millions of mold spores.
Many common allergies are caused by mold, but more serious situations can trigger infection, respiratory issues, toxic symptoms, and much more. It has a much stronger effect on the elderly, on children, and on those with breathing troubles or weakened immune systems.
In situations where a home faces a mold problem, homeowners will usually have to deal with the issue themselves. In cases where mold exposure occurs outside the home such as at a business or school, other parties will usually be responsible. Some of the more well-known mold related legal cases have involved construction companies that use mold contaminated building materials – particularly drywall, but sometimes insulation or lumber. Instead of ordering new material, the contaminated material is installed. The mold proliferates and creates a serious problem. Other cases involve knowing that a spill or leak has created a mold problem, but ignoring it and allowing the issue to grow.
In these instances, legal counsel may be needed and clients frequently seek out the help of a skilled lawyer. Numerous things must be done to take a case to court or to reach a settlement. The presence of mold must be proven, the source of it must be discovered, and negligence must be shown. If these factors can be met, a legal case can usually be won.
Our team of legal experts has years of experience in personal injury tort law, including cases of mold. Understanding the science behind mold and health issues related to mold is important, and we're ready to answer questions or help any way that we can. With offices in Sarasota, Venice, Tampa, and throughout Florida, we're also close by when we're needed. Contact us today for any questions you may have about mold and its role in personal injury cases.