March 09, 2022

Jury Finds "Toxic Mold" Harmed Oregon Family, Builder's Arbitration Clause Not Binding

The case (Haynes vs. Adair Homes Inc.) is a first in the Northwest to award personal injury damages to a family exposed to toxic mold in a newly built home. "This verdict is significant because it holds construction companies responsible when they negligently build sick buildings,” said Kelly Vance, the family's attorney.

(PRWEB) March 9, 2022 -- A Clackamas County jury on Friday (March 4, 2022) held Adair Homes Inc. responsible for faulty construction practices that caused toxic mold to thrive inside Paul and Renee Haynes' new home in Sandy, Oregon. The jury also found Adair's negligence caused illness in Mrs. Haynes and the couple's two small children – Michael, 6, and Liam, 4. The family experienced severe respiratory, digestive and cognitive impairment. One half of a million dollars was awarded to the injured family.

The case is a first in the Northwest to award damages for personal injury to a family exposed to mold in a newly built home. "This verdict is significant because it holds construction companies responsible when they negligently build sick buildings,” said Kelly Vance, the family's attorney.

Adair Homes, Inc. which builds hundreds of residences each year in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, built the house on the Hayne's five acres in early 2002. Four months after moving in and becoming ill, the family discovered rampant mold growth inside the walls of their new home. Dry wall and insulation were installed while the frame was wet from recent heavy rains. Evidence presented during the trial proved there was standing water in the wall cavities and the crawl space long after the construction was completed. This led to the growth of the toxigenic fungi. “You couldn’t have made the framing in that house more wet if you had sprayed it with a firehose," stated Vance.

By the time the Haynes discovered the mold, it was too late. Mrs. Haynes and the children were exhibiting neurologic and immune system damage. Paul Haynes reported the problem to Adair Homes, but the company refused to take responsibility. The family was forced to flee their new house in an effort to save the health of the mother and young sons.

Two separate medical evaluations substantiated that both Renee Haynes and her son, Michael, had mold antibodies in their blood, indicative of dangerous exposure levels to mold. Numerous experts, including a fungal immunologist, an occupational therapist and a neuropsychologist testified concerning the Haynes children's developmental and sensory integration disorders that began shortly after moving into the Adair built home. The family's treating physicians and therapists agreed that Liam’s and Michael’s medical needs from the mold exposure will continue for several years to come. Michael’s teacher testified that he was placed in a special disabled room at school and may need to remain there until at least junior high school. She expects Liam to suffer the same fate.

Amazingly, the Haynes family almost did not even get to tell their story to a jury. Adair, like many other commercial entities, utilizes an arbitration clause in its contract. That clause designates a specific preferred arbitration service. Adair uses Construction Arbitration Services, Inc., a company based far away from Adair's market, in Dallas, Texas. After the case was filed, Adair moved to stay the case pending arbitration and submitted an affidavit from the owner of the arbitration service, Marshall Lippman. The judge allowed the case to go to trial when the family's attorney showed that Lippman had submitted a false affidavit concealing the fact that he had been disbarred by the State of New York and Washington D.C. The disbarments occurred because Lippman had been found to have stolen funds from his clients.

Dr.Bruce Kelman of GlobalTox,Inc, a Washington based environmental risk management company, testified as an expert witness for the defense, as he does in mold cases throughout the country. Upon viewing documents presented by the Hayne's attorney of Kelman's prior testimony from a case in Arizona, Dr. Kelman altered his under oath statements on the witness stand. He admitted the Manhattan Institute, a national political think-tank, paid GlobalTox $40,000 to write a position paper regarding the potential health risks of toxic mold exposure. Although much medical research finds otherwise, the controversial piece claims that it is not plausible the types of illnesses experienced by the Haynes family and reported by thousands from across the US, could be caused by "toxic mold" exposure in homes, schools or office buildings.

In 2003, with the involvement of the US Chamber of Commerce and ex-developer, US Congressman Gary Miller (R-CA), the GlobalTox paper was disseminated to the real estate, mortgage and building industries'associations. A version of the Manhattan Institute commissioned piece may also be found as a position statement on the website of a United States medical policy-writing body, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Contact:
Sharon Kramer
Mycotic Disease Awareness
760-822-8026

Posted by Industrial at 06:37 AM | Comments (0)

Jury Finds Toxic Mold Harmed Oregon Family, Holds Construction Company Responsible

In one of the first toxic mold jury verdicts in the Northwest, the jury found in favor of Paul and Renee Haynes and awarded the Sandy family $498,418 for breach of contract as well as personal injury to Renee Haynes and sons Michael, 6, and Liam, 4

(PRWEB) March 9, 2022 -- A Clackamas County jury on Friday (March 4, 2022) held Adair Homes Inc. of Beaverton responsible for improper construction that allowed toxic mold to thrive inside a Sandy, Oregon family's new home and that led to that family's severe respiratory, digestive and other health problems.

In one of the first toxic mold jury verdicts in the Northwest, the jury found in favor of Paul and Renee Haynes and awarded the Sandy family $498,418 for breach of contract as well as personal injury to Renee Haynes and sons Michael, 6, and Liam, 4.

The children and their mother suffered from diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and respiratory problems that the jury agreed was caused by the toxic molds in the new home, whose drywall and insulation were installed while the frame was still wet. Those wet conditions allowed the mold to grow, experts said.

"You couldn't have made the framing in that house more wet if you had sprayed it with a firehose. This verdict is significant because it holds construction companies responsible when they negligently build sick buildings," said Kelly Vance, the family's attorney.

Adair Homes, Inc.builds hundreds of residences each year in Oregon, Washington and Idaho for low and moderate income customers. The company built the house on the Haynes family' s five-acre lot in early 2002. The family discovered the mold in the walls four months after moving in. Their symptoms had already set in and with the discovery of the toxic mold, they called the company, which denied responsibility.

"We had been sick since moving in and when we found the mold, we called Adair. The company said that the mold was not a problem, and that we should not worry about it so we stayed six weeks longer until my symptoms got even worse. We moved out after my face fell numb," said Renee Haynes. The family is living in its old home, on the same lot as the contaminated building.

At trial the evidence showed that there was standing water inside the wall cavities and in the crawl space for many months after construction was completed. Experts testified that this trapped moisture led to the growth of toxic mold.

The medical expert for the Haynes family confirmed through blood tests performed by two different doctors that Renee Haynes and Michael had mold antibodies in their blood. The presence of such antibodies indicates a significant exposure.

Several experts, including a medical doctor, occupational therapists and a clinical and neuropsychologist testified concerning the Haynes children's developmental and sensory integration disorders after moving into the Adair house. The Haynes doctors and therapists all agreed that Liam's and Michael's treatment will continue for several years. Michael's teacher testified that he was placed in a special disabled room at school and may need to remain there until at least junior high school. She expects Liam to suffer the same fate.

The Haynes family almost did not even get to tell their story to a jury. Adair, like many other commercial entities, utilizes an arbitration clause in its contract. That clause designates a specific arbitration service - Construction Arbitration Services -- based in Dallas, Texas as Adair's preferred arbitration service. After the case was filed, Adair moved to stay the case pending arbitration and submitted an affidavit from the owner of the arbitration service, Marshall Lippman.

The judge allowed the case to go to trial when the family' attorney showed that Lippman had submitted a false affidavit concealing the fact that he had been disbarred by the State of New York and Washington D.C. The disbarments occurred because Lippman had been found to have stolen funds from his clients.

For further information contact:
Renee and Paul Haynes (injured family), 503-975-7859
Diane Dulken, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association 503-936-6323
Kelly Vance, attorney, 509 448 2588

Posted by Industrial at 02:35 AM | Comments (0)

February 14, 2022

How to Build a Mold-Safe Home or Commercial Building

Mold infestation in a new home or commercial building is common. The mold problem can cause severe health problems for occupants as well as substantially reduce the fair market value of the structure because moldy homes and buildings are now more difficult to sell or rent.

Vancouver, CA (PRWEB) February 14, 2022 -- Mold infestation in a new home or commercial building is common. The mold problem can cause severe health problems for occupants as well as substantially reduce the fair market value of the structure because moldy homes and buildings are now more difficult to sell or rent.

To build a mold-safe house or commercial building, follow these twenty mold prevention recommendations from Phillip Fry, Certified Mold Inspector, Certified Mold Remediator, and author of the mold advice book Do-It-Best-Yourself Mold Prevention, Inspection, Testing, and Remediation.

1. Prior to blueprint drafting, obtain the advice and suggestions of a mold prevention consultant to include the most effective water intrusion and mold prevention strategies in building design, selection of building materials, and construction techniques. “The key to mold control is moisture control,” advises the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

2. Make sure that the building lot and its landscaping grading are downward and away from the building to keep rain and surface water from entering the building foundations, basement walls, concrete floors, and crawl space areas.

3. Install a thick, high quality moisture barrier (with no holes from negligent installation) beneath any concrete floor slab or basement concrete floor to stop water from wicking up from the ground into the concrete, and thus into flooring materials and walls resting on the wet concrete.

Do not use regular plastic sheeting as a moisture barrier because such sheeting is easily damaged in installation, and it usually suffers physical degradation over time---thus allowing water penetration into the concrete.

4. Add adequate amounts of top-quality waterproofing compound into the concrete mix to transform the entire concrete floor or slab into an effective water barrier. Also, thoroughly waterproof the exterior of basement walls and of the building foundations.

5. Dry thoroughly (30 days) the concrete floors and concrete/masonry walls prior to adding wood building components. New concrete holds thousands of pounds of water. Most of this water usually dries to the inside of the house or building if the wood building components are installed prior to complete concrete drying, according to the Nova Scotia (Canada) Department of Energy.

6. Do not install plumbing supply lines into concrete slabs or floors, wherein the lines usually degrade and start leaking in twenty years or less. Hire the most capable plumber to install the best quality plumbing lines, fittings, and equipment.

Concentrate all plumbing lines and sewer drain lines in as few areas as possible, with large, easy access panels for the monitoring, maintenance, and repair of plumbing components.

7. Minimize the potential for water damage from frozen, broken pipes by insulating water supply lines (in the attic, crawlspaces, garage, and exterior walls), protecting exposed outdoor faucets, and sealing gaps in exterior walls.

8. Use a hidden moisture meter to scan the ceilings, walls, and floors of all plumbing areas for water leaks prior to building occupancy, and on a regular basis thereafter.

9. Use steel framing components instead of wood [delicious food for mold growth to build the walls, second floor, attic, and roof of the building. Although steel framing is a little more expensive than wood, it is very affordable long-term, especially in consideration of steel’s water damage and mold prevention qualities, as well as fire resistance.

10. Alternatively, build the walls out of poured concrete, concrete blocks, or insulated concrete building components. Use adequate amounts of waterproofing compound in both the concrete and in cement stucco interior and exterior finishes.

Build weep holes into the exterior masonry walls. Weep holes are openings at the foundation level of a brick or concrete block wall that allow moisture to escape from behind and inside the wall. Do not close or block these openings.

11. If the owner or builder uses any wood timbers, plywood, plywood substitutes, drywall, plasterboard, and ceiling tiles, pre-inspect such cellulose-based materials for mold growth and mold stains prior to their use. Remove the mold completely from the materials or return the materials to the supplier, and replace with mold-free materials. Use a moisture meter to scan all wood for moisture content, which should not significantly exceed 16 to 17 percent.

Cellulose is the main substance in the cell walls of plants (and thus of wood from trees), and it is used in the manufacture of the paper backing of insulation, artificial fibers (e.g., for carpeting and padding), and many building materials such as drywall, plasterboard, and plywood substitutes.

12. In addition, spray all cellulose-based building material surfaces with at least two wet sprayings of an EPA-registered fungicide, followed with at least one coating of an EPA-registered protective fungicidal coating. Allow the surfaces to dry after each spray application.

13. Install a high-quality rubber water barrier beneath the roof shingles or tiles to keep rain from entering the building should there be degradation of, or damage to, the shingles or tiles. Install gutters (with leaf-catching screens) that lead to in-ground pipes that take rainwater away from the house.

14. During construction, store all mold-vulnerable, on-site building materials off the ground and beneath waterproof tarps or plastic sheeting to protect the materials against rain, and thus against mold growth.

15. During rain and as a precaution at the end of each construction day, cover the entire building with waterproof tarps or plastic sheeting to keep rain off of the building until the roof has been shingled, and the siding and windows have been installed.

16. Prevent construction defects that allow water entry into the home or building by carefully monitoring the day-to-day construction of the structure. A construction-savvy owner, a trained employee of the building’s architect, or an independent physical engineer or home inspector should do this important construction quality control monitoring. Construction defects are an important cause of mold infestation.

17. Design the heating/ventilating/air conditioning (hvac) system to have in its return air duct a built-in mass media (6 inches or thicker), replaceable hepa filter, or a top-rated electronic air cleaner to remove continually airborne mold spores from the circulating air.

18. Install a programmable dehumidifier into the hvac to reduce indoor humidity to a mold-discouraging 30 to 40 percent. Do not install a moisture-increasing humidifier. Install a humidistat-controlled exhaust fan in the attic and any crawl space area to help keep the humidity level low in those areas. Install exhaust fans that vent directly outdoors in the bathrooms and kitchen.

19. Do not use wall-to-wall carpeting because carpeting and padding are great mold food and a great place for mold growth, viruses, bacteria, and dust mites to hide and to multiple. Instead, for concrete floors, use ceramic tile set in cement containing a waterproofing compound. Use colored cement with waterproofing as the tile grout. For wood floors, install vinyl tile or linoleum. Use washable area rugs for comfort and beauty.

20. During construction and also upon completion prior to sale, rental, and occupancy, the building should be inspected and mold tested all-around for mold problems by a Certified Mold Inspector, or with do it yourself mold test kits.

For more information about mold prevention, please visit---
http://www.moldinspector.com
http://www.certifiedmoldinspectors.com
http://www.mold.ph
http://www.moldmart.net
http://www.envirosurf.com

Posted by Industrial at 04:13 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2022

Toxic Black Mold - Home Owners are Dying - Is the Media Looking Sideways?

Stachybotrys and many other strains of toxic, health threatening molds are becoming everyday household words in America that very few understand

(PRWEB) January 27, 2022 -- Toxic Black Mold or Mold that is Black? Stachybotrys and many other strains of toxic, health threatening molds are becoming everyday household words in America that very few understand. Now you can find informative and educational content, free mold brochures, toxic mold inspectors and remediation/abatement companies, toxic mold/tort attorneys and much more at one great location on the Internet, www.StartRemodeling.com

Horror stories are pouring in by the thousands everyday. Insurance companies are running scared. Families are being forced out of their homes for months on end. Some are burning them down to rid themselves of the problem. Schools and businesses are being shut down. Mr. and Mrs. John T. America are becoming seriously ill, young children and the elderly are severely sick and/or dying from this mysterious and little understood airborne toxin.

WHY? Because this epidemic, although around for millions of years, is brand new to most and just becoming public knowledge. Very few professionals, including doctors, have taken the time to study up on and train themselves about the problem at hand, much less educate the general population about the dangers that exist in their everyday lives. The simplest thing in the world and something we should all be able to take for granted has been tainted. The air we breathe inside of our homes and workplace.

Since 1997, http://www.StartRemodeling.com has been a driving force on the Internet to educate and provide quality resources to homeowners wanting to improve their homes inside and out. In the last few years, they and their sister site at www.ToxicMoldUSA.com have made it their # 1 GOAL to inform, educate and provide life long solutions to their visitors on how to live safely inside of those homes that they care so much about.

http://www.StartRemodeling.com has done the research, compiled the information and is making it readily available to everyone. They provide everything from informative articles and news releases, to government and medical findings. They provide a free national search for pre-qualified and certified toxic black mold professionals to inspect for and eliminate toxic black mold, toxic tort attorneys to assist those that may be in need of their services and simple do it yourself mold kits for under $10.00. They also provide a free 35 + page brochure from the site that details everything from simple identification to insurance procedures, cleaning procedures and elimination. They've covered it all.

"This is something that I take very personally," states Jimmy McDonald, the man who initiated the change in direction for the site. "I am a fairly new Grandfather and my Granddaughter became violently ill when she was only a couple of months old."

"We found the problem to be an accumulation of Stachybotrys and Penicillium molds in the house she was visiting, which ended up in her lungs. The people in that house, friends of the family, were moved out of their home for the better part of a year, lost cherished valuables and life in general was turned completely upside down for them. That opened my eyes and made me want to come up with some solutions that all of us can apply to our everyday lives."

"Our site does that and more for people now and it feels great."

http://www.StartRemodeling.com provides education, protection and solutions for your peace of mind. This site is definitely one that you will not want to pass up.

For the Health of It.

Posted by Industrial at 01:55 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2022

Mold: Understanding the Science Behind Today’s Hottest Topic

January 26, 2022

Mold is a growing concern. Whether a part of construction, building management, real estate, the medical industry, legal trade, an environmental consultant, or basically involved in anything else, mold could be lurking around your business today. How is mold affecting you and your clients? Is it all bad? Georgia Tech Research Institute is offering upcoming courses on mold, which will take an objective approach to the true problems of these tiny spores.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) January 26, 2022 -- An Executive Overview of Mold will be offered April 13, 2022 from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm. This course will outline the current state of the science on harmful effects of mold exposure and a sample of the policies available in regards to mold. Course attendees will gain a better understanding of technical information in assessment and remediation techniques.

A second course titled Mold for the Construction Industry is being offered the following day, April 14, 2022 from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. This course is geared toward minimizing potential problems faced by design, engineering, and construction professionals. This course will look at mold issues and the legal ramifications from both the construction and building owner perspective. In an increasingly competitive construction market, mold exposure claims can wreak havoc on any business.

Don’t let mold have an affect on your business. Sign up today for either or both of these courses and educate yourself, your co-workers and clients on how to better detect and prevent mold and the hazards surrounding it. Call 404-385-3500 to register today or go to http://www.pe.gatech.edu and click on MOLD under “Browse by Subject”.

Attendants for either course will earn Continuing Education Units, AIA or Health, Safety and Welfare Learning Units. Both courses will be held at the Global Learning Conference Center on Georgia Tech’s campus in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) is the nonprofit applied research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. Our approximately 1,200 employees perform or support more than $100 million in research yearly for more than 200 clients in industry and government. To learn more about GTRI, visit http://www.gtri.gatech.edu.

Katie Pyner
GEORGIA TECH
www.pe.gatech.edu
404-385-3544

Posted by Industrial at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)