As the media widely have reported, an epidemic of claims arising
from indoor mold growth currently is occurring. Since the early to
mid-1990s, lawsuits seeking recovery for personal injuries and
property damages resulting from mold have been increasing, and some
have resulted in huge verdicts in favor of claimants. There is
little doubt that during the course of the next decade, toxic-mold
lawsuits will continue to be filed and spawn specialized attorneys,
consultants and remediation contractors, as well as insurance
exclusions, just as asbestos claims did. The pattern already is
well under way.
Liability for mold growth in buildings currently is the most
serious environmental concern facing the construction industry,
property managers and insurers. Although Texas and California were
the primary states where substantial numbers of mold claims were
initiated, claims now have been brought in all U.S. regions
concerning all building types. The North American insurance
industry estimates that within the past 10 years about 9,000
toxic-mold lawsuits were filed in the United States and Canada. The
number continues to increase dramatically with no end in sight.
Mold claims have been brought against building owners; property
managers; insurance companies; general contractors; developers;
manufacturers; architects; building inspectors; plumbing
contractors; heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC)
contractors; exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS)
contractors; framing contractors; window installers; and roofing
contractors. Claimants seek to recover damages related to personal
injuries and property damage,...
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