Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mold Complaint Dismissed

Water-damaged ceiling tiles is an indication of a moisture control problem
An article published December 23, 2010 in the Suffolk-News Herald (VA) said a lawsuit filed by a former teacher (claiming mold in her classroom made her sick) against the School Board was dismissed by a United States District Court judge last week.  The former teacher, Christina Hood, had claimed that she began suffering medical problems after beginning her job as a teacher at Booker T. Washington Elementary School in 2007. She said itchy and irritated eyes, a rash, sinusitis and bronchitis were caused by mold in the school.  She had requested damages of $1.5 million.  Hood’s complaint accused the School Board of deliberately exposing her to dangerous conditions at the school, claiming that the board knew of the mold and bacteria growths before she was hired.  She also alleged that the School Board was deliberately indifferent to her health and safety.
In a motion for dismissal, however, School Board attorney Wendell Waller noted that the school system had not been indifferent to Hood’s medical condition.  The response states that the school’s management had allowed Hood to put a dehumidifier in her classroom and frequently inquired as to her condition.  The School Board also retained a professional company to inspect Hood’s classroom for mold.  The assistant director for facilities and planning also inquired about Hood’s past medical condition and her symptoms, inspected the classroom for mold and took air samples.
The school division also had Hood’s classroom cleaned thoroughly several times and was willing to transfer her to a middle-school position teaching seventh-grade math, but Hood was licensed only up to sixth grade.
“The facts alleged … fail to meet the strict ‘shock the conscience’ standard because the defendants did not ignore Hood’s complaints but did in fact take steps to remedy conditions in Hood’s classroom,” the motion for dismissal stated.
This case shows it is important for facility directors to take the concerns of individuals complaining about indoor air quality seriously.   Facility directors should implement an indoor air quality management program to ensure you document all that was done to resolve the indoor air quality complaint.

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment:

Gabby Mendez said...

I was concerned about potential health problems related to mold. My family just had a mold testing completed on a home we were looking at purchasing. Good thing we did. The home was infested. My son already suffers from asthma...his doctor told me it would have gotten exponentially worse.