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Suit Filed to Close Dedham Courthouse

Buildings called overcrowded and dangerous

Calling the 100-year-old Dedham courthouse a ''deathtrap,'' employees of the Norfolk Probate and Family Court tomorrow will ask a judge to order the building closed, saying it poses a serious health threat to workers and visitors. The three-story edifice hasn't passed a building inspection since 1978

 

How sick is City Hall? (Boston)

Municipal staffers think they’re working in a sick building; the mayor says it’s healthy, and for now, nobody’s talking

ALMOST ONE YEAR AGO, a furor swept through Boston City Hall. On April 24, 2001, more than 300 employees — roughly 30 percent of the building’s workforce — felt angry, frustrated, or worried enough to sign a petition charging that City Hall is a "sick trap" — a "toxic wasteland," rife with mold, bacteria, and other pollutants causing illnesses at a rate so startling that it cannot be chalked up to mere coincidence. The petition was circulated from department to department; its signers represented a broad base of employees from a number of agencies — including the Office of the Parking Clerk, Elderly Commission, Appeals Board, City Clerk, Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Retirement Board, to name a few — located throughout the municipal headquarters.

 

Airing Grievances

Teacher complaints suggest more sick buildings

TWO PUBLIC HEARINGS on sick-building syndrome held in December and March may not have attracted many Boston City Hall employees, but they did manage to draw employees from the Boston Public Schools. Testimony by school staffers raises the possibility that facilities throughout the city, not just City Hall, could be making occupants ill.

 

State Officials Urge Citizens to be Aware of Rare Disease

RALEIGH -- With the diagnosis of a seventh case of blastomycosis in Duplin County, state health officials urged people with persistent lower respiratory tract symptoms to see their doctors.

 

Family Loses House, Health to Toxic Mold

They lost their house.

They lost their possessions.

And they lost their health.

 

Pair Wants out of 'Sick' School

MILFORD – Two teachers at John F. Kennedy School are requesting transfers, saying the still suffer allergic reactions and health problems

 

Homeowners Insurance

A Growing Problem

Source: Best's Review, November 2001

A.M. Best Company, the Insurance Information Source, offers comprehensive, quality data covering all aspects of the insurance industry. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best became the first company in the world to report on the financial condition of insurance companies. 

Toxic mold is eating away at homes and homeowners insurers' profits.The real and perceived threats of toxic mold are creating havoc in the homeowners insurance market. Mold claims have skyrocketed nationwide, and in Texas, where mold claims are especially prevalent, the top three homeowners insurers, Toxic mold has been found everywhere in the United States from mansions to schools.

 

Mold - State of The Industry September 2001

A must read for anyone involved in IAQ.

 

Man Died of Rare Fungus, Officials Say

A check of death records by Duplin County health officials has revealed that a man died in May of the same fungal infection that has led to the hospitalization of five other county residents this month. Duplin County Health Director Scott Harrelson said the 45-year-old man lived between Kenansville and Warsaw. The five most recent cases occurred in four students who attended Warsaw's James Kenan High School as well as in an 81-year-old man who lives near the school.

 

Arizona Seeing More Cases of Valley Fever

PHOENIX – The number of valley fever cases is on the rise in Arizona. Valley fever, a regional disease caused by mold spores in the ground, can cause symptoms ranging from mild flu-like feelings to severe illness and even death in especially vulnerable victims.

 

Mold Worries Home Builders

Court awards, public concern about homes driving up liability fears

ATLANTA — During the last few years, America's home builders have grappled with rising material costs, labor shortages and a growing burden of government regulations. But the housing industry's current foe has been around since the dawn of time: mold. A series of multimillion-dollar legal awards and exploding consumer concern about mold contamination have caught the residential construction industry's attention. "It's one of the most important issues home builders face," said Bruce Smith, a California home builder who has spent the last year heading the 200,000-member National Association of Home Builders. "We've gone from talking about dirty office buildings to mold in houses.

 

Household Mold Lawsuits are Spreading through the Courts

It drove Ann and William Miller out of their $5.5 million house in Alpine. Linda Santarsiero of Hamilton says it gave her nosebleeds and made her too sick to work her normal shift. And it ravaged Marie Crosby's Branchburg home, ruining most of her furniture and closets full of clothes, her wedding dress and family pictures. These people have two things in common: Their homes were invaded by stachybotrys atra, a black mold linked to everything from sinus infections to brain damage. And they are suing for damages. Mold litigation is one of the newest growth industries in the legal profession. Hundreds of people around country are suing landlords, insurance companies, contractors and builders, claiming indoor mold growth has caused numerous health problems.

 

Mom: Mold Killed Daughter, Sues Landlord for $65M

NEW YORK (AP) -- A woman who says her daughter was killed by poisonous mold growing inside her Manhattan apartment has filed a $65 million wrongful-death lawsuit against the daughter's landlord. Mattie Quailey, administrator of the estate of Lorraine Woods, filed the lawsuit against the management of Henry Phipps Plaza South, a 396-unit complex in two buildings in the Kips Bay neighborhood. 

 

Seven Deaths are Related to the Mold.

Tribal officials say at least seven deaths are related to the mold, and that scores of people have been sickened by it. The infestation is blamed on the flooding of crawl spaces under the houses.

 

Toxic Mold, Beware: The Law is Watching

At one time or another, everyone has dealt with mold, the multicolored fungi that grow in damp areas of basements, laundries and bathrooms. Most are safe, but a new term has entered the lexicon -- "toxic mold" -- and concerns are being raised about the potential dangers of exposure to too much of the wrong types of mold. A new law requires a comprehensive study into the health problems related to toxic mold.

 

Mold Battle Hits Home Buyers

Small insurance firms joining market leaders in halting policy sales

Home buyers across Texas are scrambling to find insurance as more and more companies refuse to sell comprehensive policies because of worries over rising mold claims.

 

Jury Awards $32 Million

AUSTIN – A Travis County District Court jury awarded a Dripping Springs family $32 million Friday after finding that a subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group mishandled the family's homeowner's claim for black mold damage.

  

Mold Sends Apartment Tenants Packing

DALLAS – A number of residents at Saratoga Springs Apartments in Dallas packed their bags and moved out Thursday after their units tested positive for the toxic stachybotrys mold. At least 50 are suing apartment owners and managers claiming not enough was done to safeguard their health.

 

Don't call Stachybotrys the Black Plague,

But it is Plaguing the South

ADDISON, Texas -- Last October, Teresa Koehlar noticed sores and tiny red bumps on her legs and nose. Her dogs started having stomach problems. Soon, her neighbors were throwing their own infected couches and mattresses in Dumpsters.

In March, residents of her suburban apartment complex were told to vacate, and workers in white jumpsuits began prowling around with special equipment looking for what caused the outbreak. Ms. Koehlar says friends and family began to avoid her.

"You're standing there dressed really nice, but people immediately think you have it on you," says the former tenant of Saratoga Springs Apartments. "They think you're contaminated."

 

Commercial Real Estate - Mold is Growing Concern

New awareness of the fungus leads to a rise in insurance claims

You can't get rid of mold, says Mark Sheets, senior industrial hygienist at Raba-Kistner Consultants Inc. "It's out there. Mold is in the environment. It's part of us. You're walking around with mold on you right now." Despite mold's ubiquity, at unprecedented rates, those that occupy, manage and own the commercial buildings that the fungus lives in are trying to get rid of it.

 

Mold Levels 20 Times Higher this Year

This year's levels of pollen and mold are straining resources and filling clinics.

When a person calls the allergy clinic at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, it may be months before the patient sees an allergist. If the patient gets an appointment, it will be in a special clinic where only acute symptoms will be treated. The reason? This year's allergy season has stretched the center's resources to the limit, creating a three-month backlog. "We have just been overwhelmed this spring," said Richard D. deShazo, MD, chief of allergy at the center.

 

Dangerous Fungus Found in Maui Building

by Gary T. Kubota

Star-Bulletin WAILUKU

An "active fertile colony" of fungus known to cause respiratory problems and death in some instances has been discovered in the Maui County building that was evacuated in February. The colony of "stachybotrys sp." was found on the surface of a water-stained ceiling tile near lockers in the electrical area of the Kalana Pukui Building. Some 80 planning and public works employees were evacuated from the building on Feb. 20 after several complained of eye irritation. One person said he had respiratory problems.

 

Fungus In the Chest of a Second Patient

Hospital Probes Death

The Royal Victoria Hospital is trying to find out whether a fungus found in the air ducts of its operating rooms is the same type that infected a heart patient who later died. Doctors discovered a fungus in the chest of a second patient two weeks ago, and infection-control experts are trying to determine through DNA testing whether it can be traced to the mould in the ventilation system, two sources have told The Gazette.

 

Mold Causing Health Problems

by Max Albright

Amarillo Globe-News Special Projects Writer

Household mold is spawning health concerns and new legislation. Some people familiar with the problem say moldy homes are serious health threats. Others say more research is needed and there's no need to panic. Advice to fix water leaks is one thing mold experts agree on, adding that leaks inside a home or school should be repaired immediately as water causes mold problems. David C. Straus, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Texas Tech University, said certain types of household mold caused by water damage are dangerous. In high concentrations on surfaces or in the air these molds - also called fungi - are health hazards, he said. "It's serious as a heart attack. It will make you sick," Straus said.

 

Jupiter Center in Plano Condemned

$60,000 Cleanup Planned

Days after more than 300 preschoolers were moved to an east Plano church, air-quality tests revealed dangerous levels of black mold at the Jupiter Center, according to a report. The Plano Independent School District has launched a major cleanup of the building at 2450 Jupiter Road, a procedure that may cost as much as $60,000, school district officials said Friday. Although the building is leased, the contract requires the district to cover the costs of repairs.

 

Two Asthma Deaths Highlight Dangers

Arquisse McGregor, 16, was rushed to Carney Hospital at 11:54 p.m on March 21 with an acute asthma attack that shut down his breathing and stopped his pulse. Emergency workers pumped air into his lungs but could not save him. The Brighton High School student's death hurt all the more because when he was 8, his mother, Pearl, starred in a radio ad about asthma management, explaining that with better control of the disease, the boy who used to miss school because of shortness of breath could blow on a trumpet with gusto.Nineteen hours after McGregor's death, another ambulance rolled up. It brought a 13-year-old girl who lived in Mattapan, eight streets from McGregor. She, too, was having an asthma attack, and despite the hospital's efforts, she also died.

 

Is School Making Your Child Sick?

Is your child suffering from asthma, chronic fatigue, loss of balance, irritability, nosebleeds, chronic sinus or respiratory infections? If so, and symptoms seem to be worse when school is in session, the American Lung Association of Oklahoma suggests it may be caused by exposure to mold in school.

 

Erin Brockovich Explains Dangers of Toxic Mold

Erin Brockovich, the real-life inspiration of a movie nominated for five Academy awards, is accustomed to playing the role of champion for toxic exposure victims. But now the environmental crusader says she's a victim herself. She says she suffers from respiratory ailments, facial rashes, chronic headaches, sinus infections and other health woes that have caused her to miss work and lucrative speaking engagements for more than a year. 

 

Update - Infant Bleeding-Lung Research Continues

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has raised some questions about definitive proof linking a toxic black mold to deaths in Cleveland infants ("CDC reports flows in mold study, " March 12), researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine will continue their studies into links because the consequences of inhaling the mold are potentially so dire.

 

Attack of The Black Mold! iMD

The Latest Environmental Hazard in Dallas and the Country is Displacing Homeowners, Covering Walls and Pets, and Making Lawyers Even Richer. Welcome to the Weird World of Toxic Mold.

 

$50 Million Lawsuit Launched Over Toxic Mould

By Harold Levy

Newmarket court officer claims occupants exposed York Region and the Ontario Realty Corp. knew the Newmarket courthouse contained toxic mould but failed to protect the occupants, a $50 million class action lawsuit alleges.

 

Sebastian Police Department

A recent clean bill of health given to the Sebastian Police Department building by an environmental consultant won't prevent several past and current department employees from seeking compensation for alleged unhealthy working conditions, said one of the attorneys for the employees. Orlando attorney Mick O'Brien and Rockledge attorney Arna Cortazzo represent 26 Police Department employees, who allege they suffered various illnesses from mold, mildew and toxic chemicals at the building on Main Street.

 

Supervisors Tackle Mold Issue At Hunters Point Apartments

Denouncing the living conditions in four Hunters Point apartment complexes, San Francisco Supervisor Sophie Maxwell asked the city attorney's office yesterday to investigate whether local government can force the landlord to rid the homes of toxic mold. 

 

U of O Basketball Coach Sues

University of Oregon basketball coach Ernie Kent has filed a lawsuit against a homebuilder and two contractors alleging that faulty workmanship in his home led to an infestation of health-damaging toxic mold. Kent and his wife, Dianna, are seeking $5 million from general contractor Lynn Development Corp. and McLaughlin Plastering Inc. The suit, filed Wednesday in Lane Circuit Court, also names Michael Miller, a plumber who worked for Lynn, as a defendant.

 

It's Hard To Believe Hunters Point Mystery

IT'S HARD TO believe that the high incidence of sickness and disease among residents of four Hunters Point housing complexes is unrelated to the mold and mildew that have been seeping through their apartment walls for years. Even though scientific evidence can't seem to pin the blame on the slime, it's hard to conclude that the disproportionately large numbers of rashes and respiratory ailments among residents are occurring merely by chance.

 

New Innovation for Food Allergy Screening

FoodSCAN, the latest advancement in food intolerance testing, has been launched in the United States by York Nutritional Laboratories, Inc. With 70-80% of the chronically ill population in the US & Canada currently suffering from medical conditions either caused and/or aggravated by a food sensitivity, it is anticipated that for many this laboratory innovation, which has been available throughout Europe for many years, will be the key to gaining optimal health.

 

Employee Files Toxic Mold Lawsuit Against Amgen Inc.

A worker at Thousand Oaks-based biotech giant Amgen Inc. has filed a lawsuit against her employer, claiming she was exposed to toxic mold that made her sick, that the company knew about the mold but covered up its findings and failed to alleviate the hazard. Thousand Oaks resident Darcy Jensen, 31, is currently on disability as a result of claimed respiratory distress, headaches, dizziness, sinus infections, and other allergic-type reactions from alleged toxic mold contamination in one of the Amgen buildings in which she used to work. The lawsuit, filed at the Ventura County Superior Court in Simi Valley, accuses Amgen of fraud and concealment, negligence, battery and other "unfair business practices." Among court documents filed is an internal Amgen report indicating that the building where Jensen worked "appears to have problems" and that "mold is showing up in too many places."

 

Mold Found In School Over A Year Ago

As it turns out, some people in the Fort Bend Independent School District knew about the problem at First Colony Middle School a year ago and did nothing.

 

Mold is Gone, Distrust Lingers

RIDGEWOOD -- The mold spore counts in Village Hall no longer present a health hazard, but disappointment still festers among village officials, employees, and volunteers who say they were kept in the dark about a report that showed significant mold growth in the building. "It's more disappointment than anger at this point," said Robert Greenlaw, the village director of emergency services. "It's going to take time to rebuild communication and trust."

 

Deadly Spores Hitchhike

Visitors' clothing can put the sickest at risk 

 

Victims of Mysterious Illness Suffer From Public Ignorance

"This has changed my life in so many ways."

 

Mold Quickly Spreads as Health and Legal Issue

Sunday, February 4, 2001 Mold Quickly Spreads as Health and Legal Issue A lawsuit brought by two sickened apartment dwellers reflects a problem that experts are taking much more seriously.

 

Hamtramck's City Hall is Not in Good Health

A lung disease specialist recently diagnosed it as suffering from "sick building syndrome." And a building analysis by the Albert Kahn Collaborative Inc. concluded in 1998 that there are "constraints to the extended use or adaptive reuse" of the landmark. The building was constructed as Hamtramck Municipal Hospital in 1926-27. An addition was built in 1937, but the building got little maintenance after 1969, when it was converted into a city hall and space for the 31st District Court. The roof over the 1937 addition leaked, the Kahn study determined. The roof, damaged further by the July 1997 tornado, was repaired the next year. Steam from leaking pipes caused destructive heat and humidity in the basement, the analysis found. Result: Mold and mildew is growing between some walls.

 

House of Mold

We hear a lot about the bad air here in Houston. But, most of us automatically think of the air outside. The problem has families fearing for their lives and insurance companies bracing for an epidemic.

 

Mold Plagues Tenants, Landlords

Anyone who wonders whether indoor mold is a serious problem just needs to tune into the drama unfolding at Deer Park Apartments in Antelope.

 

Mold Forces Another Family Out of Their Home

By Carolyn Mungo

It's a frightening problem that has people abandoning their homes all over the Houston area. Letís take a look at another family fighting moldís effect on their health ó another horror story.

 

Did one School District Keep Parents in the Dark?

Watch KOMO 4 News tonight at 11 for Emily Langlie's special report on toxic mold in our schools. More than half of our nation's schools have poor air quality, according to a 1995 study

 

San Francisco State University

I am a junior at San Francisco State University, and I live in the residential apartments. Recently a meeting was held to inform the rest of the residence community about what I already knew - the apartments leak and are filled with mold. In most apartments the mold is just in the walls, and leaking is minimal, but mine is different.

 

Molds may be Hazardous to Workers and Occupants

Some molds present in rotting wood-frame buildings may be hazardous to your health. Although the majority of molds found in modern day structures are relatively harmless, exposure to some of the more toxigenic strains can lead to escalating medical complications and severe consequences.

 

Owner Group Suing Three Residents

The homeowners association of a Gateway subdivision is suing three residents who decorated the outside of their homes with statements against the builder, Pulte Homes.

 

Family's Dream is Shattered by Toxic Mold

In November of 1993, Larry and Alda Brunson moved into their dream home, a beautiful brand new two-story house in Alden Bridge in The Woodlands, complete with a separate fenced yard for their dogs, and a large swimming pool and hot tub with mosaic tile pictures. They spent lots of extra money to customize the house and make it truly theirs, putting a hardwood floor of Larry's own design laid diagonally throughout much of the first story. They also spent some extra money they now regret-instead of having the synthetic stucco exterior siding in just a few places as decorative accent, they paid to have the entire house sheathed in the product. And that decision sealed not only their house, but their future. For unbeknownst to the Brunsons, the EIFS or Exterior Finishing and Insulation System product they had put on their home would eventually trap water deep inside their walls, which led to rotting wood and a loss of structural integrity of the home. That was bad, but worse yet was the hidden growth of a deadly poison, tachybotrys mold, so dangerous that it almost cost the Brunsons the life of their daughter, Iris, before they discovered what was going on.

 

Like the Mold, a Homeowner's Dispute with City Grows

Nobody lives in the small white house on Unander Street in Vancouver, Wash. There are curtains at the windows and furniture in the rooms. There are children's drawings displayed, clothing in the closets, dishes in the cupboards.

 

Household Mold Hide-and-Go-Seek

A team of researchers is working to make your home a healthier place. No, they are not concentrating their efforts on asbestos removal or proper nutrition. Their focus is mold. Scientists from the Cyuahoga County Department of Development are just beginning a three-year study during which they will assess 170 homes of children suffering from allergies and asthma in Cleveland, Ohio. After doing an environmental evaluation to determine allergen levels inside the living spaces, they will help homeowners correct the problems.