Chapter

Your Verdict, Please

Nicholas P. Money

in Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195172270
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790258 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172270.003.0006
 Your Verdict, Please

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This chapter focuses on litigation related to instances of mold contamination. In 2001, a Texas jury awarded $32 million to homeowner Melinda Ballard in settlement of her suit against Farmers Insurance Group. The jury held Farmers responsible for multiple failures in settling an insurance claim to rectify water damage that had led to mold proliferation. This case stimulated a great deal of media coverage of indoor molds and many high profile lawsuits followed. Subsequently, insurance policies were rewritten to exclude most mold claims, but a new industry of “mold identification and remediation” emerged to meet the demands of homeowners concerned about indoor molds. It is argued that until researchers reach a consensus upon the health impact of indoor molds, consumers should avoid exposure to high concentrations of spores in severely contaminated buildings, but remain skeptical about the risks posed by patches of mold growth that can be found in most homes.

Keywords: Texas; jury; Melinda Ballard; insurance; mold identification; mold remediation

Chapter.  7460 words. 

Subjects: Microbiology

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