Morgan Lewis Title

A Growing Issue: Mold

April 2002

Indoor mold contamination is insidious, can be toxic – and is quite expensive to remediate. Mold contamination has been linked to brain damage, lung and other organ damage, as well as a host of other symptoms so severe that some owners have burned their mold-infested homes to the ground to escape the effects. When mold grows in a home or building, it is difficult to determine who is to blame: faulty design, the construction contractors, or poor maintenance or repair. This combination of multiple potential defendants and serious illness and property damage attracts ambitious plaintiffs’ attorneys. Recent verdicts in the tens of millions of dollars presage a disturbing trend: as in tobacco and asbestos litigation, juries are willing to award millions to plaintiffs who claim they have suffered from mold contamination. The potential for adverse health effects from exposure to indoor mold contamination is also attracting the attention of the public and regulators, and should be cause for concern for anyone who owns or occupies a commercial building, and equally those in the construction or building maintenance industry. This White Paper introduces the topic and some of the issues that arise from a litigation perspective.

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