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Mold is a fungus commonly found in the household and other indoor areas. Molds grow in moist environments and water damage, leaks, flooding, and humid atmospheres often promote mold growth. Highly cellulose structures make for an amenable environment for mold to grow and spread. Although molds themselves may not be considered toxic, some types of mold produce what are known as mycotoxins.
Exposure to mycotoxins (also called "toxic mold") can be harmful. Daily exposure in the home can lead to respiratory and neurological problems. Sensitive populations, such as individuals with allergies, asthma, immune disorders, and lung illness, as well as children, may be more at risk for symptoms related to mold exposure. Symptoms can include upper respiratory problems like coughing, wheezing, nasal and throat irritation and eye and skin irritation. Other conditions that may result from toxic mold exposure are acute idiopathic hemorrhage in infants, memory loss, and lethargy.
Someone who has been exposed to toxic mold may commence what is called a toxic tort action or toxic tort litigation in state or federal courts, as appropriate. In a toxic tort litigation, it may be alleged that an individual has become harmed as a result of exposure to toxic mold. Lawsuits may be filed as a result of actual personal injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and punitive damages. Lawsuits may also be filed for fear of future injury, or property damage related to exposure to toxic mold. While litigation is often a last resort, it may be necessary in order to ensure that a toxic mold victim's medical bills are paid, that they are reimbursed for damages (including out of pocket costs), injuries to their person, and—where warranted—punitive damages.
In cases involving toxic mold that may cause serious illness or damage, and where complex scientific and environmental issues are involved, exposed persons must be able to rely on experienced legal counsel to protect their rights.