Dolgetta Law

Toxic Mold: The Importance of Awareness

Toxic Mold has become a growing problem in today’s real estate industry. Many home buyers are not aware of the potential health risks and concerns associated with toxic mold. Real estate professionals, including Realtors®, attorneys and home inspectors, must be aware of the immense legal liability surrounding its existence. The growing awareness of health risks and liability issues has resulted in an increasing number of claims made by new home buyers and tenants for illnesses caused by mold. A bill has been introduced in New York State to create a statutory framework to deal with mold, mold remediation and disclosure.

Clement: A Recent Toxic Mold Lawsuit Filed

A recent lawsuit was filed in Rockland County Supreme Court, Clement v. Delaney Realty Corp., et al., Index Number SU-2006-001201, by Ira and Sarah Clement against the sellers, their real estate agent, the agent’s brokerage firm, a home inspection company, a home inspector and the attorney for the purchasers. In their complaint the purchasers allege several causes of action against the various defendants. The purchasers filed suit against the home inspector for gross negligence and fraud; against the sellers for active concealment and fraud; against the real estate salesperson and theagent’s firm, for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the broker’s statutory duty under Real Property Law Section 466, negligent misrepresentation and aiding and abetting the sellers in fraud. The purchasers also claim that their own attorney committed legal malpractice. They seek $10,000,000 in compensatory damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages against all of the defendants. Although the lawsuit is in its preliminary stages, the allegations are intimidating.

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