What's my first step in toxic mold case?

by K
(Covina, California)

I have recently had to walk away from my home of 7 years, everything I own still there, due to toxic mold. My landlord has known of this problem for 4 yrs. He had a neighbor try and fix it last June by tearing up the back part of my house, while I lived in the front for three weeks.

There was exterior damage 4 yrs ago, when the Homeowners Association and the landlord assessed it, but did nothing. There was a class action suit against the builder and no one revealed any water problems to me, or on the lease.

My boyfriend and I are both very ill. He was rushed to the hospital last June and had 5 blood transfusions and was diagnosed with severe anemia. I have a fungal infection in my blood, but do not know where to get treatment. The landlord refuses to give me a copy of report, but says it is positive for mold.

I have chronologically documented everything and taken videos and pictures. Now he wants me to sue the Homeowner's Association with him. I was denied any payment by my renters insurance! This is just awful. What can I do? What's the first step in a toxic mold case like this? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "What's my first step in toxic mold case?":

K (Covina, California):

Your first step is to contact several personal injury attorneys in your area with experience in toxic mold cases. You can't handle a case like this on your own. Most reputable attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Bring along with you all your documentation. After visiting with the attorneys, you will have a good idea about the probability of success.

In pursuit of your case, your attorney will likely rely on California law governing toxic mold cases.

The State of California is one of the few states with a law governing toxic mold events. Under California's "Repair and Deduct" remedy, a tenant is permitted to deduct up to one month's rent to have his landlord affect repairs to the tenants's unit. Repairs can include necessary treatment or elimination of the mold. .

To be able to rely on California's Repair and Deduct law:

1. The defects must be serious and directly related to the tenant's health and safety.158
2. The repairs cannot cost more than one month's rent.
3. The tenant cannot use the repair and deduct remedy more than twice in any 12-month period.
4. The tenant or the tenant's family, guests, or pets must not have caused the defects that require repair.
5. The tenant must inform the landlord, either orally or in writing, of the repairs that are needed. (See "Giving the landlord notice".)
6. The tenant must give the landlord a reasonable period of time to make the needed repairs.

In an effort to succeed in your personal injury case, your attorney may rely on the following legal remedies:

1. Breach of contact
2. Breach of warranty
3. Negligence

If your attorney succeeds in your case, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Damages can include your medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

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

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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