Joseph P. Hougnon, Attorney at Law

The Devastation Black Mold Can Cause In Your Life


Finding black mold in your home or business is more common than you may realize. But a “simple” mold problem is more than just unsightly. This pervasive growth can financially devastate you when it causes health conditions requiring costly medical attention and property damage. This financial destruction can sometimes be offset through a personal injury claim for compensation, when other parties are found to be at fault or negligent in your property’s black mold growth and resulting health effects.

There are a wide variety of problems caused by black mold, many of which have only recently been realized. Some of those problems are medical issues, particularly those affecting infants, children, elderly and people with weak immune systems. Some of those health problems include:

  • Mental and neurological issues
  • Skin issues
  • Immune system changes
  • Tiredness and general discomfort
  • Respiratory problems
  • Circulatory problems
  • Vision and eye problems
  • Reproductive system problems
  • Other illnesses and health effects

Mold Contamination Legal Claims

Mold contamination is usually preventable or can be managed through appropriate measures, particularly when the growth is caught early. By properly acting on early mold growth, owners of property can ensure costly litigation does not occur. Being responsible for others’ illnesses from the mold can lead the owner to having to compensate those victims under a personal injury claim.

Mold can grow indoors or outside, with prolonged exposure being the cause of most health issues for victims. These victims have been awarded large settlements in the past when black mold has been determined as the cause of their illnesses.

Most mold infestations are found where dampness is consistent, such as in kitchens, bathrooms, basements or in homes left empty and closed without adequate climate control. Prevention of mold growth can be as simple as keeping a building’s temperature regulated and damp or wet areas quickly resolved. Checking for moisture leaks or wet areas is an easy way to maintain awareness before growth becomes rampant and health is at risk.

Mold contamination cases fall under the realm of personal injury law. Cases are handled by personal injury lawyers, as these attorneys specialize in injury and property damage expense compensation. There has been a sharp rise in black mold contamination personal injury cases since the 1990s. This means that today’s personal injury attorneys are much more aware of how to successfully manage mold cases for optimum outcome.

Negligence is the focus of most mold cases. This is because growth can be prevented and caught early for correction by property owners. This negligence is proven through plaintiff evidence, like photos of the property’s condition, mold samples and other proof.

Compensation for Mold Claims

Personal injury claims based on mold contamination have fluctuated in the past. Compensation was once exceptionally high. But as the science and medical worlds have made clearer determinations of mold’s effects on health, awards have steadied at a less dramatic amount. This is not to say that a mold poisoning personal injury case is not worth pursuing. To the contrary, anytime personal injury occurs and costs are experienced due to that injury and because of someone else’s negligence, a potential case exists for personal injury compensation.

Grounds of Black Mold Lawsuits

Negligence is the most frequent theory of liability for black mold cases. But lawsuits have been brought for other reasons. The top theories of liability in mold cases include:

  • Negligence
  • Breach of contract
  • Fraud
  • Constructive eviction
  • Failure to disclose

Workers’ compensation cases can also center on black mold poisoning, in addition to personal injury claims.

A personal injury lawyer is an expert in cases of toxic black mold. He or she will examine a complaint and find the right course of action to take the case into a court of law. The attorney will investigate and bring evidence of where the mold developed, whether there was a failure to disclose information about the origins and spread of the black mold, and whether the mold may exist in both the injured victim’s home and workplace.

Taking Action in Mold Claims

Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant in a mold case, the key to the legal claim is whether timely attention was paid to the source of the alleged black mold poisoning. The longer a victim is exposed to mold, the worse their health condition will become, according to health researchers. Simply taking steps to record or clean up the black mold can alter the course of the case. It is difficult to prove a mold case outside of the victim’s health issues, when the mold problem has been taken care of and no longer exists. The first step in dealing with injuries sustained due to black mold is to notify the property owner and insist that the mold is immediately cleaned up.

When your health has been affected by black mold, see your doctor for medical attention. If you have sustained injuries from the mold and resulting medical bills are piling up, a personal injury lawyer can help you understand your rights for a legal claim and potential compensation for those costs.

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About the Author

Since 1996, Joe Hougnon, Esq. has provided the best legal services for DUI, Criminal charges & personal injury cases in northern California.