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Toxic Mold Lawsuits: How an Attorney Can Help


 

If you or a relative had a severe reaction to mold in Virginia, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals. 

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your rental unit, military housing, office, or school. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible. 

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options. 

 

Corner of white wall with black mold growing on it

Understanding Toxic Mold Exposure

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. In part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins. 

Mold is common because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. 

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors. 

People may be more susceptible to illness if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of mold. 

If you discovered mold in your home or apartment, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Signs of Mold Exposure

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Who is Responsible for Mold?

Homeowners are responsible for preventing mold growth or getting rid of mold if it forms in their properties. If you rent, your landlord is usually responsible for mold in an apartment or house. Other liable parties could be school districts for mold in schools, commercial building owners for mold in businesses, and contractors of recently-built homes.

Mold often leads to landlord-tenant disputes. Both parties should review their state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold. 

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant. 

State and local laws about mold can be complicated. If you or a loved one are sick, we recommend talking with a toxic mold lawyer instead of trying to figure out the law yourself. 

 

Woman in mask and white sweater struggling to breathe

Compensation in Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit. During a toxic mold lawsuit, we’ll provide evidence of:

  • The presence of dangerous mold,
  • Your illness,
  • The notice you gave the owner, and
  • Their inadequate response. 

Virginia law requires landlords to perform “mold remediation in accordance with professional standards.” We have years of experience proving landlords in Virginia failed to meet that standard.

Through a legal claim, we’ll fight for you to receive compensation for your:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other physical, emotional, and financial injuries

Pain and suffering are important parts of your compensation. We’ll explain how we determine the value of the physical pain and mental and emotional suffering you’ve experienced while dealing with toxic mold exposure.  

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. If the mold infestation affected multiple units, a school, or a business, it might have harmed many people. 

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action. 

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call Our Toxic Mold Lawyers for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your home, office, or school has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.  

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Toxic Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

 

Is all mold dangerous?

No, not all molds are dangerous. However, some individuals can be sensitive to mold or have weak immune systems that cause them to become ill. These individuals can suffer respiratory illnesses from exposure to large amounts of mold indoors. If you’re one of these people, talk with a toxic mold lawyer right away. 

What is Black Mold?

Many molds can appear black on walls and other materials. What most people are talking about when they say black mold is Stachybotrys chartarum. Some people are sensitive to it and become ill. 

Can I win compensation for toxic mold exposure?

You might recover compensation if you can prove another person or business was negligent or violated the law by exposing you to the toxic mold. For example, if a landlord knew about the mold problem and refused to clean it up or give you a new, safe place to stay. You’ll also have to prove you suffered injuries from toxic mold exposure, like hospitalization or prescription medications. 

When should I call a toxic mold lawyer?

Contact an experienced toxic mold attorney right away if you or a loved one are ill because of exposure to mold in your rental unit, newly built home, military housing, school, or workplace. Smith Law Center can get started building your case immediately. Call (757) 244-7000 to schedule a free consultation.

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SPEAK TO US NOW FOR FREE

Your legal questions answered, completely free of charge.

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IF WE DON’T WIN, YOU DON’T PAY

There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

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DELIVERING RESULTS SINCE 1949

We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

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WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU


Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.
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