Case of the Month

Webb Law Group Represents Clients Claiming CAMP PENDLETON & QUANTICO HOUSING, LLC, LPC PENDLETON QUANTICO PM LP, and LINCOLN MILITARY PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LP Failed to Handle Rental Property Mold Contamination Complaints Resulting in Personal Injury of Children
Type of Case:
Personal Injury
Class Action
Jurisdiction:
State: California
Court: San Diego County Superior Court/Central
Filing Date:
November 22, 2019
Attorneys:
Plaintiff: Lenden F. Webb & Brooke Nevels Webb Law Group, Fresno & San Diego.
Facts/Contentions:

“Plaintiffs expressed concerns to LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING agents concerns about the leaks and clogging causing some environmental hazard that was effecting the health and quality of life of the residents. Despite repeated complaints and inquiries to LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING, no investigation was performed by Defendants to find a cause or to address the expressed concerns.”

“Simultaneously with acute upper respiratory infection, a new leak emerged with the kitchen faucet causing water to leak along the back wall of the kitchen sink. LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING failed to adequately repair the leak, which recurred within a year.”

“In March 2017, Plaintiffs requested that LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING test the Leased Property for the presence of mold. LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING employed a faulty procedure to detect mold. Specifically, LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING merely tested to detect moisture on walls, not pathogens within the environment. LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING maintenance checked seemingly random areas of the home and found no moisture on walls, thereby prematurely ceasing investigation despite what later turned out to be the pervasive presence of harmful mold.”

“When LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING maintenance removed the dishwasher from its installed position to resolve the leak, substantial amounts of mold was discovered in the space where the dishwasher had resided, including along the floor and the wall. Yet, without testing or investigating the degree of toxicity of the mold, and without documenting its presence, LINCOLN MILITARY HOUSING maintenance crew sprayed with a presumed bleach solution.”

“Test results revealed the presence of harmful molds aspergillus, penicillium, stachybotrys, chaetomium globosum, and citrinin. Such molds are proven to be highly toxic, cause adverse neurological effects, and can cause suppression of the immune system.”

“Under the provisions of Civil Code Section 1941, 1941.1, et seq., Health and Safety Codes (including but not limited to California Health and Safety Code Section 17920.3), and applicable building, plumbing, electrical and housing Codes, Defendants and Does 1- 50 were required to put the rented Leased Property in a habitable condition fit for human occupation before renting and to keep and maintain the Leased Property in such condition and to repair all subsequent dilapidations that rendered the Leased Property untenantable.”

“At all times mentioned in this Complaint, Defendants had a duty to Plaintiffs to properly and safely own, lease, rent, operate, provide, supervise, maintain, manage, construct, inspect, and repair the Leased Property so as to make it habitable, safe, and hazard-free, enabling tenants, including Plaintiffs, to quietly enjoy the Leased Property. At all times mentioned in this Complaint, Defendants had a duty to Plaintiffs to use ordinary care for the preservation of the Leased Property and to maintain it in good repair, to repair all deteriorations or injuries to the Leased Property caused by their want of ordinary care and to avoid intentional or reckless damage, destruction, demolition, or deterioration to the Leased Property, its fixtures, components, systems and/or structures. At all times mentioned in this Complaint, Defendants owed Plaintiffs a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure that such space was safe to occupy, and that Plaintiffs’ occupancy of such space would not result in exposure to anything that would negatively affect Plaintiffs’ health, including but not limited to excess moisture, water damage, and/or microbial contamination. At all times mentioned in this complaint, Defendants had a duty to Plaintiffs to properly and safely repair, construct, demolish, remove, refurbish, remodel, restore, remediate, and ·clean the Leased Property and its building materials, so as to maintain the Leased Property in a habitable, safe, and hazard-free condition.”

“Defendants negligently owned, leased, rented, operated, managed, maintained, and repaired the Leased Property so as to cause it to be uninhabitable and unfit, unhealthy, and unsafe for human occupation in that the Leased Property suffered from design and construction defects and deficiencies, causing and allowing water and moisture intrusion into the living spaces of the Leased Property, causing and allowing the Leased Property to become contaminated with excess moisture and humidity and microbial growth, and otherwise failed to comply with those applicable housing, plumbing and building codes, Civil Codes, Health and Safety Codes, Federal and State Regulation concerning residential rental properties.”

“Plaintiffs have suffered damage to their respiratory systems, conscious pain, suffering and emotional distress.”

“Plaintiffs suffered property damage and economic loss including, but not limited to, loss of use of the Leased Property; loss of use of personal property items (furnishings, clothes, bedding, and other household items and life necessities); as well as moving expenses; lost rental payments; alternative housing costs, including but not limited to costs to locate a suitable alternative rental property and a security deposit for an alternative rental property; cleaning expenses and loss of income.”

“Defendants failed to properly investigate, repair, remediate and restore the Leased Property, to place the Leased Property into a habitable, safe building condition and Plaintiffs relied upon Defendants’ implied representations of habitability to their respective detriment, injury, and damage.”

“Plaintiffs have suffered damage to respiratory systems, mental anguish, conscious pain, suffering and emotional distress, emotional distress, discomfort, annoyance, anxiety, physical injuries, illness, property damage, lost income, and other forms of general and specific damage.”

“Instead of adequately testing for mold or fixing the problems causing the mold, Defendants merely attempted to cover up the problem, while representing to Plaintiffs that the issue was solved. For instance, Defendants covered up mold that was discovered behind the dishwasher using bleach, representing that it would fix the issue, despite not taking any legitimate steps to address the root cause of the mold growth.”

“On one occasion described in this Complaint, Defendants falsified reports to hide the fact that mold was found on the property during an inspection. On another occasion described in this Complaint, Defendants represented to Plaintiffs that they would conduct a test to determine whether toxic mold existed on the property. Instead of following through with this representation, Defendants merely tested a few walls within the property for moisture, and conducted no form of air sampling. Yet despite the extremely limited testing, on information and belief, Defendants represented to Plaintiffs that the property was safe for occupation.”

“In making the affirmative misrepresentations of material fact as described herein, even if Defendants believed them to be true at the time made, they made such statements and misrepresentations without any reasonable basis for believing them to be true and should have known them to be false. Defendants had no reasonable grounds for believing their representations to Plaintiffs were true at the time they made them.”

“As a direct and proximate result of such negligent misrepresentations by Defendants, and Plaintiffs’ reasonable reliance thereon, Plaintiffs remained residing and occupying the Subject Property, which contained extensive damage and contamination and posed a significant health risk to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs justifiably believed no health risk existed based on Defendants’’ affirmative representations, including but not limited to water leaks, moisture, and microbial contamination from identified and/or unidentified sources. These conditions and the above-described actions of Defendants has caused Plaintiffs significant economic and noneconomic damage.”

“Despite their knowledge that the Subject Property was deficient and substandard, Defendants’ nevertheless – in a willful, wanton, negligent, reckless, unlawful, and careless manner – and in violation of State and other applicable laws, failed to property investigate, inspect, test, maintain, repair, and remediate the Subject Property so as to avoid the foreseeable harm to Plaintiffs.”

“Unbeknownst to Plaintiffs, the Subject Property was uninhabitable and unfit for human occupation due to construction defects and deficiencies, failing building components and systems, and improper and negligent, careless, and reckless maintenance and repair, all contributing to water and moisture intrusion, causing microbial/mycological contamination and infestation of the subject property, rendering the property unsafe for habitation and causing Plaintiffs severe economic and non-economic damage.”

“Plaintiffs took possession of the premises and faithfully and promptly paid their rent and performed all other obligations imposed by the rental agreement.”

“The Subject Property leased by Plaintiffs was unsafe, unhealthy, substandard, untenantable, and uninhabitable. Defendants breached the warranty of habitability and warranty of quiet use and enjoyment to Plaintiffs.”

“Had the concealed information been disclosed to Plaintiffs by Defendants, Plaintiffs reasonably would have behaved differently: namely they would have moved away from the Subject Property to avoid exposure to the toxic mold.”

 

Disorder Information and Details

Neuropsychiatry are disorders that affect cognition and behavior that arise from overt disorder in cerebral function, or from indirect effects of the environment. Some of the most misdiagnosed Neuropsychiatry disorder PANS and PANDAS.

PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) might be analyzed when a child all of a sudden creates over the top impulsive issue and additionally tics, following a streptococcal, strep contamination, for example, strep throat or red fever.

PANS (Pediatric Acute-beginning Neuropsychiatric Syndrome) is a more up to date term identified with PANDAS, as per NIMH, however incorporates all instances of intense beginning OCD, not simply those related with strep contaminations.

Shockingly, most children with PANS/PANDAS are misdiagnosed as having mental sickness, conduct issues, or child rearing/relational peculiarity concerns. Many experience various mental drugs and treatments with insignificant improvement, and numerous dynamically deteriorate. A finding of PANS or PANDAS ought to be considered at whatever point side effects of OCD, tics, and eating limitations begin abruptly and are joined by other emotional changes.

Mold illness is related with hypersensitive responses that copy regular sensitivities. Respiratory side effects, for example, wheezing, hacking, watery eyes, and skin disturbance are the transcendent indications. Mold is likewise known to cause asthma and dangerous essential and auxiliary contaminations in resistant traded off patients that have been uncovered.

Harmful mold exposure has been connected to increasingly genuine, long haul impacts like memory loss, sleeping disorder, tension, dejection, inconvenience concentrating, and disarray.

In a recent report by the Environmental Health Center-Dallas, 100 members were analyzed with an end goal to reveal how dangerous mold exposure can influence the mind and lead to psychological and emotional illnesses. After the mold exposure, sensory system difficulties were seen in every one of the 100 patients. Brain imaging examines likewise distinguished anomalies in a critical segment of the patients considered.

What does that have to do with Pans/ Pandas? Some of the infections and toxins that we know are associated with Neuropsychiatric Disorders are molds. Lyme Disease is also well known for creating Neuropsychiatric complications. There is good evidence that infections not treated properly can lead to PANS/ PANDAS.

 

Symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • Obsessive Compulsions
  • Excessive anxiety, especially separation anxiety
  • Depression
  • Tics such as:
    • Hair pulling
    • Eyelash pulling
    • Motor tics
    • Repetitive or compulsive coughing or throat-clearing when not sick
  • Excessive temper tantrums
  • Mood swings
  • Behavioral regression
  • Developmental regression
  • Sensory processing difficulties
  • Sleep problems
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Bedwetting
  • Severe food restriction
  • Anorexia
  • Decline in handwriting skills
  • Decline in math skills
  • Hyperactivity
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Head banging
  • Aggression
  • Refusal to go to school
  • Increased desire to be left alone
  • Seizures
Webb Law Group Represents Client Ameriguard to Defeat a 4.2 million Dollar Class Action Lawsuit After a 3 week Trial in San Diego
47 Trials Digest 16th 8
Court denies class action waiting time penalties, 410K payments reclassification.
Type of Case:
Labor & Employment – Wage Disputes; Pension & Benefits
Class Action
Jurisdiction:
State: California
Court: San Diego County Superior Court/Central
Case Name:
Rettledge Vs. AmeriGuard Security Services Inc.
Docket/File Number:
37201000086129
Judge:
Joan M. Lewis
Result Type:
Bench Trial
Result Date:
October 25, 2013
Result Amount:
Defense
The court denied the claim for waiting time penalties finding that defendant had a “good faith dispute” regarding its responsibilities to pay for a pre-employment qualification at a Navy gun range. The court also found the 401K contributions were benefits not wages and defendant met its burden to demonstrate that ERISA preempts State law and found that ERISA was the exclusive source of remedies for the 401K participants.
Attorneys:
Plaintiff: S. Ward Heinrichs, Backstrom & Heinrichs, San Diego.
Defendant: Lenden F. Webb, Webb Law Group, Fresno & San Diego.
Facts/Contentions:
According to Defendant: Defendant AmeriGuard Security Services Inc. was a company that contracted with the U.S. Navy to provide security services a the 32nd Street U.S. Naval Base in San Diego, Calif. Plaintiff Monte Rutledge and other class members were individuals who applied to work for defendant as security guards on the contract. Plaintiffs claimed that before the security guards stood post for defendant starting Jan. 1, 2009, the class members were required to train and qualify with the Beretta M9 pistol and shotgun. The security guards were not paid for that time until approximately June 2011, almost 6 months after the Navy contract terminated. Plaintiffs also claimed defendant paid 401K “wages” approximately 90 days after they were earned and paid final 401K “Wages” that class members earned anywhere from 27 to 455 days after they were terminated.
Defendant contended the reason it did not pay for the pre-employment qualification was because it had a “good faith belief” under Cal. Code Regs. 13520 that the gun range qualification was a pre-employment requirement. FInally, defendant contended that employer contributions to 401K plans were not a wage, regardless of any errors in their funding, and that ERISA had exclusive jurisdiction of 401K issues.
Claimed injuries:
NA
Claimed Damages:
According to Defendant: $4,200,000 damages
Settlement Discussions:
According to Defendant: Defendant made a $50,001 (Cal. Civ. Proc. Code 998) offer Feb. 14, 2011, which was rejected by plaintiffs on March 4, 2011. In August 2011, plaintiff demanded $4,200,000. In May 2012, plaintiffs demanded $1,000,000. In November 2012 plaintiffs demanded $1,796,460 at the Mandatory Settlement Conference. Defendant offered $10,000 in attorney fees and $1,500 for the named plaintiff at the MSC.
Expert Witnesses:
Plaintiff: Not reported.
Defendant: Martin McCann, C.F.P., L.U.T.C.F., financial planner, McCann Asset Management, Fresno, (559) 226-4546.
Expert Witness Comments:
According to Defendant: Not Reported.
Comments:
According to Defendant: The complaint was field Feb 23, 2010.
Westlaw Citation:
2013WL 6053925
Trials Digest Citation:
47 Trials Digest 16th 8

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