By WILL ASTOR
Rochester Business Journal
A Pittsford dentist and his wife who sued Spall Realty Corp. over a mold infestation in their $400,000 Spall-built home have won their case.
After hearing arguments in a trial before state Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Frazee last week, a jury on Monday awarded Neil and Patti Goldstein $183,393, finding Spall Realty and the Spall-aligned company that built the home, Brookwood Building Corp., were to blame for a basement mold infestation.
Spall Realty principal Theodore Spall Jr. could not immediately be reached for comment.
The jurors did not side with the couple in a complaint against Weyerhaeuser Co., the manufacturer of the floor joists where the infestation started.
“We are very happy with the jury’s verdict, although we also thought that Weyerhaeuser should have been found liable,” the couple’s lawyer, Stephen Schwarz, of Faraci Lange LLP, said in a statement.
In a 2007 court complaint, the Goldsteins blamed Spall’s workers for mishandling the pre-made joists and for improperly installing gutters and drainage in their home. The joists were taken out their sealed plastic wrappers and left on wet ground, allowing mold to grow, the couple claimed. And after their home in the Settlers Green development was finished, its overly damp basement created ideal conditions for mold spores to proliferate.
Frustrated with the builder’s unwillingness to fix the problems, the couple sued the Spall companies roughly a year after mold started to grow in their basement, Schwartz said in a previous interview.
“It has been a long hard road and Spall has fought us each step of the way, forcing us to remediate the property ourselves and then sue them to get our money back,” Patti Goldstein said in a statement this week. “It will be great to get on with our lives and put this horrible experience behind us.”
Damages the couple won include approximately $132,000 in compensation for money they laid out to fix the drainage and mold problems and replace moldy exercise equipment. The jury also gave the Goldsteins $12,500 apiece for pain and suffering. Statutory interest added some $29,000 to the award.
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