Toxic Mold Cases

Molds are a type of fungi that feed on organic matter. Once mold spores settle in your home, they require a food source, moisture, and appropriate temperature and humidity levels to grow. Common building materials, such as wood, sheet rock, and insulation are good sources of food for mold. The water source can be nothing more than a small water leak. Temperatures between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels in excess of 60% are ideal for mold growth.

Because the temperature and humidity in southeastern North Carolina usually fall within these ranges for a large portion of the year, weather conditions in North Carolina are ripe for mold proliferation. When excessive moisture builds up inside your home, conditions become ideal for mold growth.

Why is mold proliferation such an important problem? There are over 100,000 types of mold, and most are easily handled by the human immune system. The spores of some molds, however, contain a protective substance called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are poisonous substances emitted by mold spores to protect them from natural predators. Exposure to mycotoxins has been shown to have potential harmful health effects on humans. Health problems from exposure to high levels of toxic mold can range from nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, and shortness of breath to severe respiratory problems such as asthma or worse. Some toxic molds are suspected carcinogens.

Toxic mold claims have aspects of both construction law and, potentially, personal injury claims. There are generally two kinds of mold claims. The first is where there is toxic mold in a home as a result of moisture intrusion from sources such as a leaky roof or busted water pipe. When these types of mishaps occur, toxic mold may grow because of the persistence of excessive moisture. Indoor air quality testing is the only way to determine the nature and extent of a mold problem.

When this type of damage occurs, the party responsible for the moisture intrusion, such as a home builder or manufacturer of faulty materials, may be responsible for the cost of repairing the problem, cleaning up the water damage, remediating the toxic mold, and reconstructing the house. Typically, clearance testing from a mold testing company is necessary to ensure that the toxic mold has been fully remediated. Damages for personal injury resulting from mold exposure also may be brought in this type of case.

The second common type of mold case involves personal injuries caused by mold exposure suffered by tenants in a rented apartment, condominium, or single-family home. In these cases, property damage is usually limited because those affected do not own the residence.

If you suspect you have a mold problem in your residence, Hodges Coxe Potter & Phillips, LLP has the experience and resources to help you determine the exact type of mold, its source, and the identity of any responsible parties. We can help you and your family obtain compensation from multiple parties, including builders, building owners, and manufacturers of products used in the construction industry.


Practicing in this Field

Bradley A. Coxe

Partner, Attorney at Law

C. Wes Hodges, II

Partner, Attorney at Law

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Toxic Mold Cases