Visitor Question

Sick from possible mold in roof…

Submitted By: April (Wilkesboro, NC)

I have been working for a company for 5 years. The building we are in has a bad roof which has been patched for at least 4 or more years.

The roof still leaks and we have contacted the owner of the building to fix it numerous times, but it never gets fixed.

In the meantime, I have never had allergies until working in this building. I don’t get sick often normally, but for the past few years I have bad allergies daily and it is worse when I go to work. I get upper respiratory sickness.

I feel I’m working in an unsafe environment and don’t know if I have a case or not. Our boss has contacted the owner of the building, but they won’t put on a new roof.

I feel it must have mold all in it, but don’t know what we can do and if we are in fact sick from it.

Do we have a legal case to get compensation? How do we pursue something like this? Thank you for any direction you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear April,

Under federal law, enforced by the United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employee is entitled to a safe workplace. Your employer must provide a workplace free of known health and safety hazards. You have a legal right to speak up about your health concerns without fear of retaliation.

In your case, your employer has made an effort to contact the property owner to have the roof repaired. These attempts have been futile. Whether or not you feel your employer did what he or she could to eliminate the problem, your employer is nonetheless still responsible for providing a safe workplace.

If your employer will not cause the roof to be repaired, you are entitled to file a complaint with OSHA. To file a complaint go to the OSHA complaint page.

In the alternative, the property owner is bound under the legal principle of Premises Liability. This basically means a property owner must take whatever action which is reasonable to make sure persons legally on the property are safe from unreasonable risks.

Because the roof continues to leak, and the property owner has been made aware of the problem yet refuses to address it, you may have the basis of a premises liability claim against him or her.

To succeed in a premises liability personal injury claim will require medical proof the leaky roof was the the direct and proximate cause of your medical problems. That may be difficult, as you will need a medical doctor to definitively link the mold to your health issues.

If you choose not to file a complaint with OSHA against your employer, consider seeking the advice and counsel of a personal injury attorney. You can pursue an OSHA complaint while simultaneously pursuing a premises liability personal injury claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: April 14, 2016

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