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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Mold Legal News

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Court Finds Health Issues Were Caused By Work-Related Mold Exposure
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia court on May 7 reversed a decision that denied a claim for compensation filed by a technician against his employer, finding that the evidence supported his claims that his health conditions were caused by mold exposure at work (Tommy Jackson v. Fayette County Commission, No. 13-0460, W.Va. Sup.; 2015 W.Va. LEXIS 578).



Iowa Court Finds Teacher's Injury Was Caused By Mold Exposure At Work
DES MOINES, Iowa - After finding that a teacher's lung injury was caused by exposure to mold in the building where she worked, the Iowa Court of Appeals on April 8 affirmed a decision awarding her compensation for an occupational injury (United Heartland Inc., et al. v. Kathleen Brown, No. 14-1070, Iowa App.; 2015 Iowa App. LEXIS 321).



Federal Judge Finds Sellers Did Not Know About Mold Issues Before Sale
CHARLESTON, S.C. - After finding that the sellers of a house were unaware of mold and moisture problems at the property when they sold it, a South Carolina federal judge on May 6 granted summary judgment for the sellers of the home (Albert M. Calland III, et al. v. Lloyd H. Carr, No. 9:14-cv-0420, D. S.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59175).



Federal Judge Grants Hotel Owner Time To Remedy Mold Condition
MOBILE, Ala. - After finding that a hotel owner should be afforded the chance to remedy widespread water and mold damage in his hotel, an Alabama federal judge on April 13 denied a bank's request to appoint a receiver in the case (Fidelity Bank v. Key Hotels of Bewton LLC, et al., No. 15-0031, S.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48055).



Federal Judge Dismisses Mold-Related Claims For Untimely Service
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on May 4 granted a manufactured home retailer and a mortgage company's motion to dismiss claims asserted by property owners who alleged that an improperly installed water system in their home caused mold growth, finding that their service on the defendants was untimely (Jackie L. Jacks, et al. v. CMH Homes Inc. d/b/a Oakwood Homes Oklahoma City, et al., No. 15-34, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58601).



Federal Judge Finds Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Mold Claims
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - After finding that all mold-related claims asserted against a contractor and others in an underlying state court case were excluded under an insurance policy, an Alabama federal judge on April 21 found that an insurer has no duty to defend the parties in the case (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. The Retirement Systems of Alabama, et al., No. 14-248, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52055).



New Jersey Court Finds Landlord Was Entitled To Evict Tenants
TRENTON, N.J. - After finding that tenants failed to show that alleged mold growth in their apartment prevented their landlord from increasing their rent, a New Jersey appeals court on April 8 affirmed a decision allowing the landlord to evict them (Georgian Gardens v. Russell and Vanessa Shields, No. A-3598-13T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 761).



Judge Issues Ruling On Third-Party Claims Related To Mold At Monastery
LINCOLN, Neb. - A Nebraska federal judge on May 4 issued a ruling partially granting motions for summary judgment filed by a third-party contractor in relation to alleged construction defects in a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) that was installed at a monastery, which allegedly caused mold growth throughout the building (Missionary Benedictine Sisters Inc. v. Hoffman LLC, et al., No. 4:11CV3180, D. Neb.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58101).



Federal Judge Reverses Decision Dismissing Mold- Related Disability Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 found that an administrative law judge erred when he discounted the severity of a woman's mold-related and other ailments, remanding the case for further review (Luba Yesipovich v. Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of social security, No. 15-00112, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49799).



Ohio Court Finds Trees Are Not A Nuisance, Affirms Dismissal
CLEVELAND - An Ohio appeals court on April 16 affirmed a trial court's ruling to dismiss a property owner's claims, finding that trees on his neighbor's property that allegedly caused issues, including mold growth, did not constitute a nuisance (David Rababy v. Roy C. Metter, No. 101445, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 1410).



Federal Jury Enters Verdict In Favor Of Mattress Maker For Underlying Mold Suits
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal jury on April 10 entered a verdict in favor of a mattress maker for more than $400,000 after determining that coverage is owed for an underlying action filed against the insured in which consumers alleged that mattresses developed mold (Select Comfort Corp. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., et al., No. 13-2975, D. Minn.).



Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Insurer's Motion To Withdraw Its Admission
LINCOLN, Neb. - A Nebraska federal magistrate judge on April 15 denied an insurer's request to withdraw its admission that the insurance policy attached to the insured's complaint is the correct policy because an issue of fact exists as to which policy is the correct policy (Nelle Jamison, et al. v. Depositors Insurance Co., No. 14-3009, D. Neb.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52347).



Insureds Failed To State Claim For Relief In Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on April 17 dismissed a number of claims in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds have failed to state a claim for relief (Joan Groth, et al. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., et al., No. 14-7033, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51031).



New York Justice Finds No Evidence To Support Mold-Related Injuries
NEW YORK - After finding no evidence to support claims that a tenant's injuries were caused by mold exposure in her apartment, a New York justice on Feb. 27 granted a landlord's motion to dismiss the case (Ftema Raysor v. Ron McClaren, No. 015992-13, N.Y. Sup.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 956).



Ohio Court Finds Sellers Did Not Conceal Mold, Affirms Dismissal
WARREN, Ohio - After finding that a sale agreement barred claims asserted by the purchasers of a house, which allegedly contained water and mold damage, an Ohio appeals court on March 23 affirmed a trial court's ruling in favor of the seller (Teresa Benko, et al. v. Robert Smyk, No. 2013-L-133, Ohio App.; 11th Cir.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 1002).



Illinois Court Reverses Denial Of Mold Remediation Costs For Purchasers Of House
OTTAWA, Ill. - In a majority ruling, an Illinois appeals court on March 4 found that a trial court erred when it failed to award the purchasers of a property damages for mold remediation, finding that the evidence showed that mold growth was caused by flooding in the property's basement (Jaclyn S. Patten, et al. v. Deborah C. Skiles, et al., No. 3-13-0849, Ill. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 412).



New York Court Reverses Decision For Tenants, Dismisses Water Damage Claims
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - After finding that tenants failed to show that their building's cooperative refused to fix water and mold problems in their apartments because of their religion, a New York appeals court on March 18 reversed a decision that denied the cooperative's motions to dismiss (Lior Cohen, et al. v. Kings Point Tenant Corp., et al., No. 2013-01825, N.Y. Sup.; App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2159).



California Court Reverses Ruling Dismissing Tenant's Mold-Related Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on March 2 reversed a trial court's decision to dismiss a claim for retaliatory eviction asserted by a tenant who said that her landlords failed to remedy a mold problem in her apartment, finding that the anti-SLAPP statute did not apply to the case (Diane Holbrook, et al. v. Louis Ciapponi, et al., No. A138273, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1561).



New York Justice Grants Landlord Access To Cure Hazardous Conditions
NEW YORK - After finding that mold and other issues were the result of a tenant's failure to maintain an apartment, a New York court on March 4 ordered that the owner of the property be granted access to cure the condition (ROC Century Associates LLC v. Chittampalli Seshacchar Narayanan Srinivasaraghavan Vasumathi Narayanan a/k/a RAJAM I. SRINIVASAN 510 W 110TH STREET, APT. 11F NEW YORK, NY 10025, et al., No. 78931/2014, N.Y. Civil, Kings Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 617).



N.H. High Court Says Consumer Protection Claim Should Have Been Dismissed
CONCORD, N.H. - The New Hampshire Supreme Court on March 20 reversed a trial court's decision to deny a motion to dismiss a couple's New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claim against the builders of a home that allegedly contained latent defects that caused mold growth, finding that the construction of the home was an exempt transaction under the act (Richard Murray v. Keith McNamara, et al., No. 2013-630, N.H. Sup.; 2015 N.H. LEXIS 23).



Texas Court Finds Contractor Was Not Liable For Mold-Related Damages
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on March 31 affirmed a trial court's decision in favor of a contractor, finding that a homeowner who alleged that faulty work on her roof caused mold growth failed to show that she was entitled to damages (Alice M. Jones v. Antonio Murillo, et al., No. 14-13-00928, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 3111).



Federal Judge Refuses To Exclude Expert Testimony On Mold Exposure
INDIANAPOLIS - After finding that consumers who allege that a defective washing machine caused flooding and mold that made them ill did not disclose their experts in bad faith, an Indiana federal judge on March 26 denied a motion by the maker of the machine to exclude their experts' testimony (Matthew Slabaugh, et al. v. LG Electronics USA Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-01020, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38331).



Arizona Court Finds Restoration Firm Was Not Responsible For Contamination
TUCSON, Ariz. - An Arizona appeals court on March 27 affirmed a trial court's ruling to grant judgment for a restoration company, finding that property owners failed to show that it was negligent in allowing hazardous materials, including lead and mold, to contaminate their house (Albert Watson, et. al. v. Stratton Restoration, No. 2014-0063, Ariz. App.; 2015 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 393).



Judge Stays Family's Case Pending Arbitration Of Moldy Bed Allegations
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that lease agreements applied to the rental of bunk beds that allegedly contained bed bugs and black mold, a Florida federal judge on March 23 granted a rental corporation's motion to stay a case pending arbitration (Andre Teel, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., No. 3:14-cv-640-J-32, M.D. Fla.).



Judge Finds Property Firm Cannot Add New Mold Inspection Information
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on March 27 refused a property management company's request to add new allegations related to an alleged breach of a lease agreement, finding that its request was untimely (Bayou Liberty Property LLC v. Best Buy Stores, LP, et al., No. 14-1112, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39383).



Judge Refuses To Grant Judgment For City On Employee's FMLA Claim
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 20 refused to dismiss a former employee's claims for violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), finding that she provided sufficient evidence to show that her husband suffered a serious health issue allegedly caused by mold and that she was entitled to FMLA leave (Sarah R. Novo v. City of Sacramento, et al., No. 2:13-cv-00521, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35309).



New York Justice Finds Coverage Owed Under 1 Of Insurer's Policies
NEW YORK - An insurer has a duty to defend its insureds against claims arising from mold and water damages under one of its policies because the damages were not a continuation of damages that incepted prior to the issuance of the insurer's first policy, a New York justice said Feb. 23 (Greater New York Mutual Insurance Co. et al. v. Admiral Indemnity Co., No. 154143/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 519).



Utah Court Reverses Dismissal Of Fraud Claims Against Sellers
SALT LAKE CITY - After finding that questions of fact exist as to when the statute of limitations began to run on fraud claims asserted by the purchasers of a house that had foundation issues and mold, a Utah appeals court on Feb. 20 reversed a decision dismissing their claims as time-barred (Natalie Shiozawa, et al. v. Marci Duke, et al., No. 20130253, Utah App.; 2015 Utah App. LEXIS 39).



Connecticut Judge Awards Insured $68,007 For Ice And Mold Damage
WATERBURY, Conn. - A Connecticut judge on Jan. 30 found that a property owner was entitled to insurance coverage for ice damage that caused mold, awarding her $68,007.50 in damages (Linda Garre v. Peerless Insurance Co., No. CV126013760S, Conn. Super.; 2015 Conn. Super. LEXIS 199).



Judge Finds Insurer Did Not Err In Denying Benefits For Mold Exposure
POCATELLO, Idaho - An Idaho federal judge on Feb. 23 granted judgment in favor of an insurer, finding that it did not err in finding that a doctor was entitled to coverage for a disability caused by mental illness and that he did not suffer a physical ailment caused by mold exposure (Clay Scott Baker v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 4:14-cv-209, D. Idaho; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22350).



Federal Judge Dismisses Company's Hurricane- Related Coverage Claims
ALBANY, N.Y. - After finding that a company failed to file a timely proof of loss in relation to water and mold damage in its building, a New York federal judge on Feb. 13 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss a coverage claim as time-barred (Wing Building Holding Co. LLC v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., No. 1:13-CV-1007, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17761).



Delaware Judge Finds Employee Failed To Show Mold Caused Injuries
NEW CASTLE, Del. - A Delaware court judge on Jan. 30 granted summary judgment in favor of an attorney and law firm that represented a tire store worker in an occupational exposure case, finding no evidence that they erred in presenting his mold-related exposure claims to an industrial accidents board (George R. Burns v. Richard T. Wilson, et al., No. N13C-02-190, Del. Super.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 44).



New York Court Affirms Award Of Compensation For Teacher's Mold Exposure
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on Feb. 11 affirmed a board's decision to award a teacher compensation benefits, finding that she provided sufficient evidence to show that she suffered injuries caused by mold exposure at work (Michelle Cappelletti v. Marcellus Central School District, et al., No. 518495, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 3rd Dept.).



Ohio Court Affirms Award Of Unpaid Rent To Tenant For Property Issues
DAYTON, Ohio - After finding that a trial court reasonably compensated a tenant for problems with her rental property, including leaks and mold, an Ohio appeals court on Feb. 20 affirmed a decision to partially award her unpaid rent (Kristen Bynum v. Randy Cotterman, No. 26222, Ohio App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 600).



Federal Judge Allows Some Mold Injury Claims To Proceed Against Hardees
BIG STONE GAP, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Feb. 23 found that gross negligence claims and Virginia state law claims asserted by a customer who alleged that he was made ill by mold in his drink failed but allowed his claims for negligence and breach of implied warranty against a restaurant owner to proceed (James Hamilton v. Boddie Noelle Enterprises Inc., d/b/a Hardees, et al., No. 2:14CV00051, W.D. Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20976).



Claimants Appeal Costs Order In Mold-Related Washing Machine Class Action
CLEVELAND - A class of purchasers on Feb. 18 appealed to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a federal judge's decision to award a manufacturer of washing machines costs in relation to a recent verdict issued in its favor (In re: Whirlpool Corp. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, No. 1:08-WP-65000, N.D. Ohio).



Judge Finds Tenant's Mold-Related Claims Fail, Enters Ruling For Landlord
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Feb. 13 granted summary judgment to a landlord, finding that a tenant, who alleged that her apartment contained mold, failed to submit evidence to support her claims for violation of the Federal Housing Act (FHA) and other allegations (Barbara Armstrong v. Yopp Properties LLC, No. 7:13-CV-235, E.D. N.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17598).



Texas Court Affirms Judgment For Real Estate Firm In Condo Mold Action
DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on Feb. 27 affirmed a trial court's decision grating summary judgment in favor of a real estate firm in relation to a condominium owner's claims that her unit contained mold, finding that it did not err in refusing her additional time for discovery (Michelle Manatou v. Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc., No. 05-13-01035, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1942).