Paris, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) – A Paris Texas disabled man living in public housing has expressed concerns for his safety following complaints to the local housing authority about mold in his apartment. Bobby Yates, a double-amputee living in George Wright Homes, now asserts that the Paris Housing Authority may be retaliating against him due to his retaining assistance from Lone Star Legal Aid about his living conditions.
WiredPRNews.com previously reported on the widespread mold in Yates’ apartment, which he suggests contributed to his being hospitalized for pneumonia after moving in. Lone Star Legal Aid subsequently hired investigators, who determined the excessive mold was a health hazard, and sent a request to Housing Authority Director Denny Head to take action to resolve the issue. Yates’ fear of drug activity in the complex as well as his not having a bath tub in his apartment and having to use the sink to attempt to clean himself were also concerns raised in the letter sent to housing officials. The housing authority has given notification that he will be moved to another apartment; however, Yates’ concerns have extended beyond those about his health.
After the requests, Head made accusations in his response to Lone Star Legal Aid that Yates was involved in drug activity. Head stated in a letter dated March 2, 2010 that “…Mr. Yates was high on marijuana at 7:15 a.m. on June 26, 2009…” and also stated in a previous letter, “…on two different occasions there have been reports from different employees of the Housing Authority that Mr. Yates was observed smoking marijuana…If this continues and can be verified, action will be taken.”
Yates says that he does not do drugs, and feels the statements were made to intimidate him because of his complaints. He asserts that Head has taken the retaliation one step further and attempted to cause friction between he and a neighbor who recently confronted Yates, after reportedly being told by the housing authority director that he had accused them of selling drugs. Yates, who uses a wheelchair full-time stated of the exchange, “I’m really worried about Denny Head going around telling people that I said they sell drugs because there may be someone who will try to hurt me.”
Lone Star Legal Aid attorney Sharon Reynerson says they are keeping Yates’ case open until major issues are resolved. Reynerson states of the mold issue, due to purported problems in other apartments within the public housing complex, “We’re happy that he’s being moved from the apartment he was in, and that a bathroom is being installed, but we’re concerned that if it has the same single pane windows he may experience the same mold problem.” She notes that following an attempt by the housing authority to fix the mold issue in Yates’ current apartment after her initial correspondence, mold subsequently reappeared within a relatively short time frame.
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
“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, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana continuing to allow tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of mold toxins
Irrefutable evidence indicates that Riverstone Residential, Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, & plaintiffs’ attorney, J Arthur Smith III, must have agreed to exclude evidence that would have shown the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments & Riverstone Residential had knowledge of the severe MOLD INFESTATION at the complex before we moved in