A Broward County jury recently awarded Cheryl Jakab $5.5 million after she sued her South Florida condominium association for ignoring persistent mold and water damage in her apartment at the Ever April Apartments in Pompano Beach. Sadly, she believes this mold exposure contributed to her partner, Joao Rodrigues’, death in 2021.
The Lethal Consequences of Neglect
Water constantly leaked into Jakab’s apartment. In one extreme incident, a hole in the wall gushed water. Despite Jakab’s repeated alerts, an environmental testing firm detected high concentrations of dangerous mold spores in their unit. The couple had called this apartment home since 1996. Rodrigues’ brain cancer, believed to be exacerbated by mold exposure, took his life in 2021.
This case highlights the severe responsibilities homeowner associations have. They breached their contractual agreements, imposing health risks on residents. Cooperative associations like Ever April give residents a stake in the entire property, which can influence legal outcomes.
Legal Implications of Overlooking Mold
1. Breach of Habitability: U.S. states guarantee residential standards. Overlooking mold or water damage can breach these standards, allowing tenants to withhold or reduce rent or even end leases.
2. Personal Injury: If mold exposure due to negligence harms a tenant, they can file personal injury lawsuits.
3. Constructive Eviction: If neglect renders properties uninhabitable, tenants can claim constructive eviction, potentially freeing them from lease obligations.
4. Property Damage: Tenants can claim for personal items damaged due to neglect.
5. Health Codes: Overlooking mold might lead landlords to face fines or charges based on local regulations.
How to Take Action Against Negligent Parties:
Tenants and homeowners must be aware and promptly act when facing mold and water damage.
– Document all evidence.
– Notify the concerned parties in writing.
– If issues persist, seek legal advice.
– File a formal complaint against negligent landlords.
– If needed, file a lawsuit for damages.
According to the CDC, fungal infections hospitalized 75,055 Americans in one year, resulting in 7,199 deaths in 2021. This figure jumped from 450 in 1969, with factors like climate change and drug resistance playing a role.
Common misconceptions complicate mold treatment. Some think that merely killing mold is enough, but the EPA warns that even dead mold can cause allergies. Addressing the root cause of moisture is essential. Techniques like bleach might not clear airborne spores, and incorrect use of HEPA filters can reintroduce them. The EPA also states UV-cleaning often doesn’t effectively combat mold.
The Importance of a Proper Mold Inspection in South Florida
If you’re worried about mold exposure, consult a reputable Mold Assessment firm for a thorough assessment. Such firms should conduct visual inspections, moisture evaluations, and air tests for dangerous spores. Certified experts should then handle remediation.
The events at Ever April Apartments are a stark reminder of the dangers of ignoring mold. Homeowners and tenants alike must understand and act on their responsibilities.
Ensuring a Safe South Florida Home with Mold Assessment Services
Partnering with Mold Assessment Services offers invaluable advantages for property managers and home owners alike. Their team of experts conduct meticulous inspections, harnessing state-of-the-art equipment and methods to analyze air quality, gauge moisture levels, and spot mold infestations. Beyond just detection, Mold Assessment Services crafts customized remediation strategies to suit the unique requirements of your residence, preventing potential structural damage and warding off health hazards.
Get in touch with us immediately at 305-244-7379 to arrange your mold evaluation. Our adept and approachable team is on standby to address any queries and assist you in setting up your consultation. Alternatively, you can use our online form for direct communication.