In 2009, a jury awarded a woman $3.3 million for damages to her health due to toxic mold exposure. She was living in a luxury apartment complex during the time of her exposure and became ill as a result. The sicker she felt, the more time she spent at home in her apartment – increasing her exposure to the infectious mold spores. While at home, a neighbor mentioned that mold had been discovered in the building, and the woman’s doctors agreed that her symptoms were consistent with mold exposure.
She moved out immediately, leaving behind everything she owned including family heirlooms. Unfortunately, her health problems followed her and she suffered substantial permanent hair loss and a neuro-cognitive disorder, which damaged her short-term memory. Although her long-term memory was intact, she was unable to handle day-to-day tasks like remembering where she put her car keys or tracking her daily finances. Lacking a short-term memory, she was unable to keep her job or find a new one. Tests of the apartment indicated extremely high levels of various types of mold toxins.
Tips for Stopping Mold
- Damp or moist conditions are ideal for mold growth, and care should be taken to quickly fix and clean up after water damage.
- Check for roof and plumbing leaks; by the time water is dripping into your living area there could easily be mold growing in the attic.
- Spaces under kitchen and bathroom sinks are also susceptible. Inadequate ventilation in the bathroom can cause steam from a shower to condense as water on and in your walls, and the same goes for a clothes dryer if it isn’t vented to the outdoors.
- Steps should be taken to mitigate dampness in basements and crawlspaces.
- A dehumidifier is a simple and effective way to keep these spaces dry and healthy.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Illness caused by exposure to mold spores can be difficult to diagnose, because it often occurs subtly and over a long period of time. Additionally, symptoms are common to other illnesses, and unless a home or workplace is tested for mold, people are often unaware of their risks. It is important to consider mold exposure when these symptoms are present:
- Nasal stuffiness
- Eye irritation
- Skin irritation
- Shortness of breath
- Obstructive lung disease
- Mold infections in the lungs
While a stuffy nose is annoying, it is not usually a reason to run to the doctor. However, chronic stuffy nose and itchy eyes can be indicative of much more serious problems, especially when they last over long periods of time despite treatment. Mold infections growing in a person’s lungs may require hospitalization and can be complicated to cure. If you live or work in a building that has been treated for mold growth and you feel ill, or you can’t figure out why you’re experiencing the symptoms listed above, please see a doctor.
If you have been exposed to mold, the damage to your health can be costly to treat or irreversible, so you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our seasoned attorneys for a free consultation. We will confidentially analyze the details of your case and help you determine the best course of action for your recovery.