Question
A couple of years ago my house developed a plumbing leak. I contacted my insurance company and they suggested a contractor, I thought my home was repaired. Since then my children and I have had repeated health problems running the gamut from simple colds to pneumonia. When I told a friend about all of this he put two and two together and checked under our carpets and behind the baseboards where the repairs were done. He has discovered mold all over the house.
I called the contractor who told me they repaired everything they were authorized to repair by the insurance company. I contacted my insurance company who told me it was between the contractor and my family if the repairs were not done properly. What can I do?
Answer
Mold can be a serious problem causing damage not only to your home but to your family’s health. Most complaints from mold infestations concern colds and upper respiratory infections but certain types of molds can cause other serious health problems including neurological damage.

Both your insurance company and the contractor had legal obligations to you when the initial repairs were made two years ago. If the insurance company refused to authorize repairs that were clearly called for by your policy, they may be responsible to you not only for the additional costs of repairing the damage today but also for the medical problems that you and your family have faced because of their failure to authorize proper repairs initially.

Your contractor may also be responsible to you if they failed to properly repair the home or failed to discover damage that a contractor would have discovered had they performed their duties in a competent fashion. The contractor could be responsible for both your additional costs to repair and the health consequences your family suffered from the failure to do the job right the first time.

It is not unusual for an insurance company and a contractor to point fingers at each other in situations such as this. Don’t let them get away with that. You have potential breach of contract claims against both parties. If they will not work with you to resolve the situation and take care of your damages, both property and personal, you should consider consulting an attorney to bring appropriate legal action.

If you would like to submit a question please contact us online or call us at 1-800-833-9151. While we will not be able to answer all questions sent in, we hope to answer those that impact the greatest number of readers.

In reading this article please remember we are providing general answers to broad questions. Your individual situation is unique and cannot be dealt with throughly in the space of a newspaper article. When you are facing a serious legal issue, you should always consult with an attorney about your individual circumstances and how they impact the general principles discussed in this article. You should not hesitate to call me directly at Waldman Smallwood, P.C. and I will be happy to visit with you.

Tom Oxford, Attorney
Waldman Smallwood Law Firm, P.C.

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