Mold exposure happens more often than a tenant thinks. Whether you just purchased or are renting a home, according to to the Mayo Clinic the sudden onset of the following symptoms could indicate your dwelling has mold:
Sneezing, Runny or stuffy nose, Cough and postnasal drip, Itchy eyes, nose and throatWatery eyes, Dry, scaly skin, Malaise, and/or Brain fog.
If you are experiencing the foregoing and have identified some mold in your dwelling you likely have a personal injury claim as well as a number of other claims under Indiana law. These are the steps you must immediately take to mitigate your exposure to mold and start the process to heal and prosecute your claim.
I. There are five (5) components or elements to a personal injury or “tort” claim for Mold:
1) DUTY of Landlord/Employer -- Defendant (“Tort Feasor”) to you,
2) BREACH OF DUTY by Defendant to you,
3) PROXIMATE CAUSE OF DAMAGES to you caused by Defendant’s Breach of Duty, and
4) Actually resulted in DAMAGES or Injuries to you, and
5) NOTICE and OPPORTUNITY to remedy the defective condition.
A landlord generally has a duty to its tenants to maintain common areas. The duty owed is to keep the common areas in a habitable and safe condition, ensure that there are no dangerous conditions, and to warn of dangerous conditions that are not immediately repairable. To be liable, a landlord must have notice of a defective condition, or the condition must have existed for a sufficient period of time such that a reasonable landlord should’ve, or would’ve, had notice and opportunity (time) to correct the condition or to warn of the temporary dangerous condition.
A landlord’s liability may end once a person enters a tenant’s unit. However, if the injury is the result of a defective condition that only the landlord is authorized to correct, then, when the source of the injury arises inside a tenant’s unit, a landlord, nonetheless, may still be liable to you if the landlord was given notice of, or should have known about, the condition that caused the injury, and did not provide a timely repair.
II. To prove your Damages and prove your Damages were Proximately Caused by Landlord, you must have evidence that shows:
Mold is physically present in your home or office,Mold toxins are physically present in your body, andLandlord had Notice of the Mold and didn’t care, failed to remedy it/timely remedy it, or negligently treated it.
III. In order to hold accountable your landlord/property manager or employer, prosecute your claim, and begin your journey to recovery and healing from Mold Toxicity, you must invest $1,000.00 to immediately have the following tests done:
Have an ERMI (Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI)) mold test completed by a trusted inspector of your home or work place/office (see https://www.emlab.com/services/ermi-testing/). (Estimated cost is $250.00 each test.)Get tested for Mold exposure --Mycotoxin Urine Testing (MUT) (see https://realtimelab.com/mycotoxin-testing/). (Estimated cost is $750.00.)
You likely have a good sense of whether you are exposed to Mold in your home or office/work place. If you are unsure then you should have both your home and office/work place tested.
IV. If both the ERMI of your home or office and your MUT test positive/exposed to Mold, immediately contact PODLASKI LLP. If your ERMI and MUT test positive/exposed to Mold, you may be eligible for reimbursement of these expenses.
V. Take and preserve pictures of the mold in your home or office.
VI. Take the following immediate action to mitigate your damages:
Send a certified letter to your Property Manager Landlord demanding that he/she moves you to an ERMI (see below) certified mold-free apartment within 7 days; and/or
Send a certified letter to your Employer demanding that the Employer transfer you to a different facility or job/position in an area of your work place that is ERMI certified mold-free.
While this article is not intended in anyway to provide medical advice, as you should consult your doctor, and while this article is not intended in anyway to provide any any specific legal advice, Attorney Kevin P. Podlaski or Nick A. Podlaski of Podlaski LLP 111 W. Berry Street, Suite 211 Fort Wayne, IN 46802 can provide you with legal assistance. You are urged to consult an attorney on any specific legal questions concerning your particular situation.