Insurance and Mold Litigation A Toxic Pill to Swallow

Insurance and Mold Litigation

A Toxic Pill to Swallow

By Alan R. Lyons and Mary Ellen Shuttleworth

While panic and alarm are not warranted, the time is now for real estate owners, developers, lenders and borrowers to begin to pay attention to toxic mold and their potential liability for property damage or personal injury. Though the nationwide mold discussion chronicles back to 1995, when the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) linked a cluster of child-deaths in Cleveland to black mold, new momentum is pushing the toxic mold issues to the forefront. Verdicts have fallen on the shoulders of insurance companies and property owners alike, leaving them to bear costs associated with the multi-million settlements. It is undeniable that the mold debate is highly controversial, but it is still questionable whether mold litigation is going to take off in New York.  While the debate lingers on, recent multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements make a thoughtful discussion on mold timely.

Currently there is no coverage for mold in most of today’s standard liability insurance policies. It is available for purchase, but typically at a high price. Obtaining mold coverage is advisable in certain, but not all, circumstances. This article will address the factors that real estate owners, developers, lenders and borrowers should consider when assessing their exposure to mold litigation and whether or not to purchase mold liability coverage.

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6 Comments

  • There is a definitive link between mold exposure and severe, possibly permanent illness . I suggest you go to survivingmold.com and read the groundbreaking research done by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker.
  • Purchase a business and my landlord didn't fix the leaks on time and I have toxic mold He doesnt want to fix it he want me to move out after I paid him 350,000.00 for the businesd Will I lose my investment because toxic mold
  • I rented an apartment in a low rent area and after 2 or 3 days began to wheeze and cough when I noticed it became worse when the air conditioner was on I became suspicious and read the mold addendum. I reported the suspicion to the management and the apartment maintenance cleaned some visible mold and painted over it. Then I called a State Certified Mold Consultant and they found large amounts of mold and it turned out to be Stachybotrys. I need a lawyer and live in Texas. If you know one I would appreciate it. I am trying to establish a diagnosis with lab testing of my blood and urine and find little cooperation in the medical community.Help!
  • I am living in a home with toxic mold. I told the owners about the broken water lines and also went to court begging for relief. Me, my son and 1yr old grand daughter are now infected with toxic mold and they are now trying to evict us. My hair fell out, I seize 4 to5 Times a month. My son and grand daughter have it in their sinuses and respiratory tract. We stay sick and the state, poison control and hospitals have all been notified. Now the sheriff is coming tomorrow to throw us out. I am epileptic and can't drive. My son is autistic. No one will help us and we have no where to go and no medical care
  • I need an attorney for personal injuries caused by black mold. I moved into an apartment when I was pregnant in September 2015. I have been constantly sick w allergies swelling in my face and throat, nausea vomitting, weight loss anxiety nosebleeds, headaches worsened severely and I suffered a miscarriage in October resulting in so much anguish and surgery. I found out yeaterday that the home was tested and came back extremely dangerous levels. We should not even be living here. I have no money no where to go bc I have been so sick to work. I need your help. I have been in agony for months and blaming myself for my baby's death and failing health.
  • Francis X (Rich) Finigan on Thursday, December 29, 2016 6:20 PM
    At the beginning of your article you identified CDC as linking childhood deaths in Cleveland in the 90s to mold. My recollection of the CDC findings was that they distinctly disputed a link between mold in the childhood deaths. The local pediatrician believed was caused by Stachybotrys. Check your facts I think you'll find them correct.