Teenager Killed By Toxic Mold in Apartment

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on October 27, 2017

Pulmonology Expert WitnessThis case takes place in Iowa and involves a teenage decedent whose death is attributed to exposure to mold, fungi, and other toxic substances present in the living space and common areas of her apartment building. Over the course of approximately 2 years, the property developed ongoing and recurring water problems resulting in building materials constantly being wet, attracting large swarms of termites and causing mold to form throughout the apartment. These conditions were brought to the attention of the defendants numerous times through complaints being made directly to the agents and employees of the defendants. Eventually, the plaintiff noticed water leaking from a defective air conditioning unit into the plaintiff’s bedroom closet. By November of the same year, the leak had caused extensive water damage throughout the apartment including the living room, hallway, both bathrooms, and the hallway closet. The plaintiff continually notified agents of the defendants of the water damage and mold, however, it was never properly repaired.

The patient later presented to the emergency room for severe respiratory distress. Her treating physicians ascertained that the patient had fungus in her body which cased her to suffer from Allergic Broncho-Pulmonary Aspergilliosis. She died as a result. Environmental testing was performed on the premises following her death which showed evidence of extensive areas of mold growth, including high spore counts of Aspergillus.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat patients similar to the one described in the case above?
  • 2. Do you believe the patient may have had a different outcome had the defendant responded differently to the complaints made about the living area in question?
  • 3. Have you ever treated patients who have developed these or similar symptoms based on exposure to mold?
  • 4. Have you ever served as an expert witness on a case similar to the one described above? If so, please explain.
  • 5. Please tell us why you're qualified to serve as an expert reviewer of this case.

Expert Witness Response E-009654

This is a very unfortunate case and I would be happy to review on the behalf of the plaintiff. As Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology at a Children’s hospital I routinely treat such patients. I certainly believe that the patient’s death might have been prevented had his exposure to the Aspergillus been ceased through proper repairs to his accommodation. I have served as an expert witness in similar cases in the past.

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