Last week, we went over some of the basics about toxic mold; what it is, where it thrives and what health problems it can lead to. Now that we know some of the basics let's take a look at who can be held responsible and on what grounds you can file a claim for toxic mold on your property.
There are three main legal theories when it comes to liability for toxic mold:
- Failure to disclose. If you bought a property that had toxic mold and the previous owners knew about it but failed to tell you, you might be able to file a failure-to-disclose claim.
- Breach of Warranty. Sometimes mold can catch hold and grow because of faulty craftsmanship on the part of the builder of your home or commercial property. Many builders have a warranty for a limited period of time on new properties. If that's the case, a warranty claim might be an option.
- Negligence. Contractors and manufacturers have a duty of reasonable care to take the steps necessary to prevent mold, like sealing places where moisture could infiltrate. If they fail to do so and it leads to damages, you may be able to file a negligence claim.
With that in mind, here are some of the parties that might be held responsible:
- General contractors or subcontractors
- Manufacturers or suppliers of material
- The previous homeowners
Claims can be made for any illnesses caused by the mold, but you can also recover compensation for structural fixes or clean-up that had to be done to rectify the issue. If you feel you may have a claim for any damage done to your property by toxic mold, you will want to speak with a lawyer with experience in real estate litigation.