The Collier County School District reported that mold was discovered at two local elementary schools during the summer recess. The mold was removed before teachers and students returned to school in mid-August. According to school officials, surface mold was found in the carpeting and on whiteboards, cabinets, walls and student desks. The district believes that the mold was spread by the schools’ air-conditioning systems.
Mold is a living organism that grows in warm, humid conditions. It spreads easily by means of microscopic cells called spores that blow through the air or are carried in water. In a climate like Florida’s, mold is common problem, especially in areas such as basements and showers.
Mold is everywhere, including in your home, in the form of spores. But you should never let mold grow and multiply in your home. Mold can cause allergies, irritations, infections and toxic symptoms. It can be dangerous to babies and children, the elderly, those with allergies or other respiratory problems, and those who have other chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems.
Most legal claims for mold contamination are linked to contamination in the home, since that is where people spend the majority of their time. Some people have been sickened by mold at their place of work or school. The more time you spend in a particular location, the more important it is that it be free of mold.
Mold can be caused by an ongoing problem, such as a construction defect, or by a sudden event, such as a burst pipe or storm damage. Most homeowners’ or renters’ policies exclude claims for mold, although if the mold is caused by a covered event, such as a storm, then the insurance company should be responsible for removing it. These claims are often rejected by insurance companies, who will argue that the mold was caused, or made worse, by existing conditions in your home.
Depending on the circumstances, you will need an attorney who is familiar with homeowners’ insurance claims for toxic mold and workers’ compensation and/or personal injury claims. Wherever the exposure occurred, you will need a legal team that understands the science behind mold growth and the types of health conditions it can cause. The team must also know which types of remediation work and which do not. A competent lawyer familiar with this area of the law can help you get compensated for the damages to your health and to your home.
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