Toxic mold continues to be a problem across the U.S. in homes and offices. Mold can be very dangerous, leading to all sorts of health problems. Some of the effects of mold exposure include respiratory complications, fungal infections, hypersensitivity, and in extreme cases, even death. Here are a few common situations in which toxic mold may be a problem and how the law protects your rights:
BUYING A HOME
If you are looking to buy a home, you have a right to know if potential buying options have any mold contamination in them. If a home was contaminated in the past but the problem has since been rectified, the seller has no legal obligation to disclose the home's history with mold. But if the contamination is current and ongoing in the house, the seller must notify you of this fact before any decisions or deals are made.
RENTING A HOME
In any rental situation, the landlord is responsible for maintaining safe and healthy living conditions in his rental units. This, of course, includes dealing with any mold contamination. If you find mold in your rental living space, the landlord is required to pay for and execute the removal of the mold. If your landlord neglects to take care of such problems, they can be sued.
However, it is important to note that the landlord is NOT responsible for providing or paying for any sort of contamination tests. This responsibility lies with the tenant. Once you establish that the rental is contaminated, this may indicate negligence on the landlord's part which may enable you to recover damages for mold-related injuries as well as expenses paid to gather evidence.
Employers have a responsibility to their employees to create and maintain a safe work environment. This includes monitoring the quality of the indoor air and making sure the work space is not compromised by mold contamination. Employers can be held liable for injuries sustained by employees due to unhealthy conditions.
Exposure to mold can have quite an impact on a person's life. Damages that may be rewarded in a mold injury case include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of companionship, property damage, punitive damages, and financial losses in cases where mold contamination resulted in death.