May 14, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Mold forced a local family out of its home, and on Thursday the family members said they want someone held accountable.
Ernshilda Wilson said she has complained to her landlord for months to no avail.
A WXII 12 crew went into Wilson’s home with masks over their mouths and noses. Wilson took them in to show what she and her family have been suffering through for months.
Wilson unveiled what she called a hideous mold problem that has taken over her rented home of 13 years. She said it’s everywhere, and the entire family is sick.
“I got sick the first week of March, and I’ve been sick ever since — coughing, sinusitis, ear infections,” Wilson said. “My daughter’s sick. My 13-year-old’s sick. My son is sick.”
She said it all started in October with a hole in the roof and got progressively worse this year after the rain and warmer weather moved in. Two weeks ago, she moved out on the advice of her doctor.
“Make these landlords fix their houses. It makes no sense,” Wilson said. “I kept his house up. I took care of his house. I did not destroy his house. I kept up my end of the bargain, and now me and my kids are out and I’ve still got to come in here and get my stuff out. I don’t even know if my furniture is even salvageable.”
Wilson has records of countless doctor visits and repeated complaints to her landlord, Baldwin Properties in Winston-Salem. She said the property manager came out, but workers only painted over the problem and the mold never went away.
“This is appalling,” Wilson said. “Animals live like this. People don’t live like this.”
WXII contacted Baldwin Properties and spoke with President Lew Baldwin. He said the issue had not reached his desk, but his company takes mold very seriously and he was glad Wilson moved out.
Baldwin promised to relocate Wilson’s family, pick up the hotel fees and said she shouldn’t worry about a thing.
“The house is killing me,” she said. “I love this house. It’s not the house that’s killing me, but the owner of the house that’s killing me.”
Wilson said while she’s waiting for Baldwin Properties to act, she’s running out of money staying in a motel with little clothing, because most of it was destroyed by water damage or mold.
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information on Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana continuing to allow tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of mold toxins
Irrefutable evidence indicates that Riverstone Residential, Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, & plaintiffs’ attorney, J Arthur Smith III, must have agreed to exclude evidence that would have shown the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments & Riverstone Residential had knowledge of the severe MOLD INFESTATION at the complex before we moved in