3 awarded $375,000 in lawsuit over mold

September 28, 2006

A Circuit Court jury awarded $375,000 yesterday to three city residents who had sued the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, alleging that mold in their apartment building on Homewood Avenue created an unsafe living environment, according to court documents and their attorney.

The lawsuit, filed in February 2005, said that the apartments in a converted schoolhouse in the East Baltimore-Midway neighborhood had water leaks, standing water and mold since the late 1990s. The suit sought $3.2 million for residents Louise Bills, Mary Roy and Johnnie Pratt.

The building in the 2200 block of Homewood Ave. was run by the housing authority for senior citizens and physically disabled tenants. Scott E. Nevin, an attorney who represents the plaintiffs, said problems with water leaks and mold were documented as early as 1998.

Nevin said that inspections by a private contracting company in 2003, 2004 and 2005 found "standing water and mold growth" that he said went untreated. Nevin said that in 2003, inspectors found the roof leaking in 14 places and 25 air-conditioning units not working.

Dave Tillman, spokesman for Baltimore's Department of Housing and Community Development, said he could not comment on specifics of the case, but "we will be filing an appeal."

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