Contamination from toxic mold has become a growing problem in homes and offices across the United States. When exposed to it, it can cause an array of health issues. In severe cases, exposure to the spores of toxic mold can be life-threatening or fatal. Because of this fact, laws and regulations have been put into effect in order to better protect the health and safety of all citizens. Depending on your relationship with the property owner or manager, your local laws and specific rights may vary. It will also determine your specific course of action if you feel you have been exposed to toxic mold on their property.
Landlord and Tenant:
In a landlord and tenant relationship, such as rental properties, the landlord has a responsibility to ensure safe living conditions for all tenants. This includes having the premises free from any type of mold contamination. If you own rental property and have discovered mold within the property, then it is your duty to have this mold removed. The financial responsibility is that of the landlord, and should not be placed upon the tenant. A tenant is able to hire an Arizona premises liability lawyer and file a lawsuit against the landlord in the event that there is mold contamination on the property and the landlord fails to have it removed in a timely manner.
While it is the responsibility of the landlord to have the mold removed when discovered, it is legally not their responsibility to provide or pay for mold contamination testing. Providing this proof is solely the tenant’s responsibility. The tenant may be able to recover these expenses if the testing shows that there indeed is mold contamination on the premises. In addition, the tenant is also able to receive monies for damages for any injuries they may have suffered as a result of being exposed to the toxic mold.
Home Buyer and Seller:
Another unique relationship regarding mold contamination is that between a home buyer and seller. As a home buyer, you have the right to know if your future home has had any exposure to mold. If mold contamination was present in the past while the seller resided on the property, and they had taken care of it at the time, then they are not required to disclose this fact to the buyer. If the mold contamination is still present on the property, however, and has not been removed, then the seller is required to disclose this information to any prospective home buyer.
Employer and Employee:
Lastly, there are regulations surrounding the workplace which dictates the responsibility of both employers and employees with regards to mold contamination. It is the duty of the employer to ensure that the workplace is safe for their employees, including proper indoor air quality. If the air quality at the place of employment has been compromised due to mold contamination, then the employees are entitled to recover damages for any illnesses that may have been caused by this exposure.
Individuals who have had exposure to toxic mold in the aforementioned situations have experienced the following injuries and damages:
Medical expenses incurred from illness
Pain, anguish, and suffering
Damages for lost wages
Loss of earning capacity
Damages due to loss of companionship and comfort, as well as a financial loss, in the event of a fatality due to illness caused by mold contamination
It is also possible to recover damages for destruction of property due to mold contamination. In extreme cases of neglect, punitive damages may also be awarded.
If you are in Arizona and need more information on toxic mold and mold contamination, contact a Phoenix personal injury attorney today to discuss your premises liability legal rights as a tenant.