February 8, 2010
LAS VEGAS – A woman fears for the safety of her unborn child after discovering what could be dangerous mold in her apartment.
She said the building manager at Vista del Valle apartments has done little to fix the problem.
A woman found what appears to be mold in the nursery she was building for her baby, her bathroom and the master bedroom.
Renee Coughlin spoke exclusively with FOX5 and said she’s been sick for months, and now she’s worried for the health of her baby.
“The board was so rotted you could stick your finger right through into the drywall,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin said she has been sick since September, which is when she moved into Vista del Valle apartments.
“Nausea, vomiting, headaches, sinus infection, wheezing, coughing, sore throat,” Coughlin said.
She said she did not notice the mold until the smell became overwhelming, and when she found it, she immediately called a maintenance worker.
“He was like, ‘Oh, oh, this is bad, really bad,’ walking backwards, and he exited the apartment immediately. And I asked, ‘What is going to happen?’ and he said, ‘I’m going to have the office call you,’” Coughlin said.
Coughlin said it has been nearly a week since then, and the work still isn’t finished.
“They really had no concern about my health or my baby’s heath,” she said.
General partner of the Vista del Valle apartments Mark Hammerschmit responded in a written statement:
“When first contacted by Ms. Coughlin on Feb. 2, our maintenance crew responded within the hour to inspect her windows. That afternoon we had specialists in the apartment who provided bids to perform the work the following day. Work began in Ms. Coughlin’s apartment the morning of Feb. 4, consisting of the walls being opened, contained, sealed and tested as a prerequisite before physical repair work could commence.
“On the afternoon of Feb., 5, the microbiologist visited Ms. Coughlin’s unit for the final completion and cleared the unit according to Nevada standards. Our staff spoke to Ms Coughlin and notified her of the clearance and that the plastic would remain around her windows over the weekend due to the forecasted rain showers and Ms. Coughlin agreed. She was also told that work would start Monday (today) to replace the drywall and windows. We expect the final work to be completed by the end of the week.
“We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused Ms. Coughlin.”
The substance has not been tested, but doctors said any mold is not good, and considering the large amount of rain Las Vegas has had over the past month, everyone should be on alert.
“As soon as you see a fire, you put it out. Mold is the same. You see a little bit of mold, get rid of it. Stop the source. Don’t let children, elderly people, (those with) lung disease – don’t let those people get close to it,” said Dr. Mike Karagiozis, who has testified in several mold cases.
Coughlin said the apartment has not offered her a hotel room or a clean unit to live in while they finish the repairs, even though she said she could have her baby any day now.
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) – files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
A letter to the NAA regarding an email they deleted without reading – please retract your amicus in the Abad case in Arizona – it is fraud by a political action committee, the National Apartment Association, that is furthering another fraud by another political action committee, the US Chamber of Commerce
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information on Riverstone Residential knowingly exposing tenants to extreme amounts of mold toxins at Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana