Bronx Personal Injury & Real Estate Blog

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mold Busters: Who Ya Gonna Call for Toxic Tort Claims?

Q: Will the new Mold Busters program eradicate dangerous mold in NYCHA housing?

Admit it, when you heard the program was named Mold Busters, the tune from the 1984 epic movie Ghostbusters popped into your head. Maybe you even laughed.

But mold is no laughing matter – – especially for those who suffering from the many health problems and diseases caused and/or worsened by exposure to toxic mold. Many tenants in NYC housing projects have been suffering for years with unabated mold problems in their apartments, despite a court settlement to fix the problems four years ago.

Toxic Tort litigation falls under the umbrella of personal injury law. Personal injury lawsuits may be warranted when people have been injured or harmed by the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions – – or inactions – – of another person or entity.   If they can establish they’ve suffered an injury or been harmed and that it was caused by the defendant’s actions or failure to act, the victims may be entitled to recover compensatory damages.

In toxic tort cases, there is a difficult burden on the victim to prove a causal relationship between the toxic exposure and their resulting injury-- not just that the toxin is associated with the victim’s condition, but that the toxin actually caused it. Toxic tort cases are highly complex and scientific in nature. In addition to exposure in a residence, toxic tort claims may also arise in cases of occupational exposure, exposure from pharmaceutical drugs, or consumer products.

It is noteworthy that "in December 2013, the New York City Housing Authority settled a class-action suit by promising to address allegations that its failure to eradicate mold was harming tenants who have asthma and other respiratory elements". The NYCHA has allegedly neglected to effectively address and remedy the persistent mold problems.

Now, a special master brought into the mix to "speed up the process" has come up with the "tougher anti-mold campaign" dubbed Mold Busters. The new plan promises to get to the bottom of the mold problem at its source – – which is usually water behind the wall. The campaign promises to:

  • find and repair leaky pipes
  • wrap repaired pipes with insulation
  • paint walls with mold-killing paint
  • fix bathroom ventilation issues.

Unfortunately, even if Mold Busters is successful in eradicating the mold, the new program only targets "38 of NYCHA's 328 developments"—approximately 1/10th of the projects. Meanwhile, the health of many tenants will presumably still suffer. To complicate matters further, a recent New York Court of Appeals case “significantly curtailed” a tenants’ ability to sue their landlord for injuries due to mold exposure.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of exposure to a toxic substance, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries. Call the toxic tort litigation attorneys at the Goldstein Law Firm in Bronx, New York at 718-239-0239 for a free consultation. We represent clients throughout New York State and those injured while visiting New York.

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