Thank You National Apartment Association. I will do my best to get this very important information out ASAP to numerous owners, investors, huge property management companies (e.g., Riverstone Residential), attorneys, and judges, AND, of course, to the MANY people who are currently living in MOLD-INFESTED APARTMENT COMPLEXES right now! katy
Lonnie Wong FOX40 News
FOLSOM, CA. – 24 people who purchased converted apartment condos have been awarded a $5 million settlement by an arbitrator who ruled that the condo developer concealed dangerous growths of mold in the units. Prometheus Real Estate based in Santa Rosa began converting about 400 units in the Waterford Place Apartments in 2005 at the height of the condo conversion craze. It sold 41 units from $150 to $250 thousand dollars.
But soon after those who bought the condos discovered that many of the units were infested with mold that were deliberately covered by paint, baseboards and new siding. Many owners reported respiratory illnesses. Violent Vernon’s teen aged children were among them. “Two of the three kids were diagnosed with asthma a few weeks after we moved in,” said Vernon.
The condos are now worth about $60 thousand dollars. Owners were stuck with condos they couldn’t sell or rent. Vernon did not get any medical compensation in the arbitrators ruling but is glad her four year old fight is over. “This was about a sale that never should have occurred,” she said.
Folsom attorney John C. Miller, Jr. represented the two dozen condo owners. He said the mold was caused by moisture from leaking windows and faulty plumbing. “Instead of repairing the problems they merely covered it up with $9 million in renovations,” said Miller.
Miller also said Folsom city inspectors noted moisture leaks and mold problems in reports that were supposed to be posted in the condo sales office and placed on file. But he said the company did neither. The arbitrator cited “fraud and concealment” on the part of Prometheus.
The ruling calls for the company to pay purchase expenses like property taxes, closing costs, and mortgage payments. But condo owners must return their condos and pay for rent to the company for the time that they stayed in the units. In many cases that totaled $20 to $30 thousand dollars. Condo owners say they did not come out ahead because there were no punitive payments assessed in the settlement.
Miller says mold is still a common complaint in apartments and condos. Most settlements are confidential, but the arbitration ruling is public. His law firm handles mold cases exclusively. “We get a minimum of 40 calls a week for new cases,” said Miller.
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 about Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana allowing tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of toxins from molds by intentionally concealing evidence
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