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Santa Barbara Mold & Toxic Exposure Attorney

Most people never think about being exposed to mold or other toxins until the exposure actually occurs and causes an illness. At the Law Offices of John B. Richards, our team is standing by to help if you need a Santa Barbara mold and toxic exposure attorney. We know that exposure can lead to significant long-term health consequences, and we want to help victims recover compensation from at-fault parties. We have the resources necessary to fully investigate these claims and help our clients recover the compensation they need.

Most common mold and toxic exposure causes in Santa Barbara

Some of the most common exposure lawsuits in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas come from:

  • Mold: Toxic mold is often referred to as Stachybotrys or “black mold,” and this can cause serious health problems. This type of mold is often found in areas such as a bathroom, cramped storage areas, flooded or damp areas, areas with plumbing leaks, and humid or poorly ventilated areas.
  • Lead-based paint: Lead-based paint is commonly found in homes built before 1978 and can cause damage to organs like the brain, kidneys, and nerves, especially in young children.
  • Asbestos: Asbestos has been used in industries like construction and shipbuilding for insulation and fireproofing structures, and can be found in ceiling and floor tiles; these fibers can cause lung problems after being inhaled.
  • Pharmaceuticals: Medications can become defective due to a flaw in their original chemical makeup, and they can also be altered during the manufacturing process. This can lead to exposure issues for any person who consumes the medication.
  • Pesticides: There have been many pesticides that have exposed individuals to unsafe levels of dangerous chemicals. This can include cancer-causing carcinogens. The use of dangerous pesticides over longer periods of time can lead to long-term health consequences and death.
  • Other chemicals: There are various other types of chemicals that can cause serious health consequences if a person is exposed to them in the workplace, at home, or anywhere in public.

Liability in these situations can fall onto many different parties, which is why these incidents require extensive investigation on the part of our attorneys. Some of the parties that could hold liability for mold or toxic exposure include the following:

  • Landlords
  • Developers
  • Property managers
  • Contractors
  • Insurance companies

Implied Warranty of Liability

One of the most common issues that the mold and toxic exposure attorneys at the Law Offices of John B. Richards handle for our clients is toxic mold exposure by people who rent their homes. Attorney Richards has become known as a leading mold case attorney throughout Central and Southern California for his representation and advice for tenants in situations where landlords do not properly address the issue of mold, which can lead to serious health issues. Landlords refusing to correct mold problems in the units that they oversee is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Landlords in the state of California have a duty to their tenants, even if it is not spelled out in a lease agreement, to keep the units under their care in conditions that a reasonable person would consider being safe for habitation. California law recognizes that toxic mold in a rental unit can be detrimental to the health of the unit’s occupants, and when this happens, the landlord has violated what is known as an implied warranty of habitability.

An implied warranty of habitability is the concept that the home/apartment you rent is habitable and that living in the unit will not cause you to become sick. Any rental unit must be fit to be inhabited and stay that way as long as your lease is in force. Moreover, your landlord must, under California law, provide a written disclosure if the landlord is aware of the presence of an excessive amount of mold in a rental unit that exceeds the limits for safe exposure, and you must sign the written disclosure prior to moving in.

What Should You Do If You Find Mold in Your Rental Unit?

In 2016, California passed a law requiring landlords to provide mold remediation for mold found in rental homes. And while tenants have a responsibility to prevent mold when possible by doing things like keeping sinks and tubs from overflowing reporting any leaks that might cause mold, the onus is generally on the landlord for mold prevention and remediation.

After discovering mold in your rental unit, you must notify the landlord of the issue immediately. California code allows a landlord 30 days to respond to the report and provide mold remediation. Action may be taken against any landlord who fails to address and correct the mold issue within that timeframe. Actions may include:

  • Vacating the unit.
  • Withholding the payment of rent until appropriate action is taken to remediate the mold.
  • Suing the landlord for the cost of safe housing or other accommodations until remediation occurs.
  • Reporting the mold to local health code authorities.
  • Taking the landlord to civil court to sue for damages.

Any claim against the landlord must show that damages were caused by the failure of the landlord to maintain the unit in habitable condition. This might be proven as property damage and/or the development of mold-related illnesses. These may include asthma and lung issues; irritation of the throat, skin, or eyes; and upper respiratory problem. Usually, damages for mold-related illness may include medical costs (including previous and future costs of care), lost income, and other financial losses that result.

Call a Santa Barbara mold & toxic exposure attorney today

If you or a loved one have been exposed to mold or another type of toxin in or around the Santa Barbara area, reach out to the team at the Law Offices of John B. Richards as soon as possible. We have extensive experience handling complex injury and illness cases, and we have the resources necessary to help you secure the compensation you need. This can include coverage of your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering damages, and more. When you need a Santa Barbara mold and toxic exposure attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 805-683-2736.

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