In Illinois, mold cases fall under the same statute of limitations as other personal injury claims or civil lawsuits, which is two years. However, there are no regulations requiring landlords to disclose high levels of mold to potential buyers or tenants. Additionally, although federal law has regulations in place for disclosing lead paint, there are no federal requirements regarding the disclosure of mold. There are some rules in Illinois regarding mold and other types of toxic exposure.
Liability for Mold in Illinois
There are currently no federal rules or regulations that cover landlords’ responsibilities regarding mold. In addition, Illinois doesn’t have laws regarding toxic mold basics for landlords, including requirements for remediation and prevention.
Despite this lack of laws and regulations, tenants who experience mold in their apartments may still be able to recover compensation for physical harm and other damages sustained. What you can collect for mold damage will depend on the extent of the damages and the level of negligence involved. If a judge or jury determines that a landlord or property owner either enabled a mold problem to develop or directly caused it, these individuals may need to pay monetary compensation to cover the damages.
What Tenants Can Do in the Event of Mold Exposure
Tenants of apartments or rental homes in Illinois can take a couple of different steps to combat outbreaks of mold. One of these is to engage in “rent withholding,” which entails cessation of rent as the tenant claims that their unit is uninhabitable because of mold growth. Landlords must adhere to the “implied warranty of habitability,” which is a legal doctrine requiring landlords to provide tenants with apartments or rental homes that are in a livable condition.
Another strategy that tenants can try in the event of environmental and toxic exposures is “repair and deduct.” This would involve tenants cleaning mold on their own and deducting these costs from their rent.
Filing a Claim for Mold Injuries
In some cases involving mold and other types of toxic exposure, victims may be able to file a claim or lawsuit through toxic tort litigation. These cases almost always entail filing class action lawsuits, seeing as mold and other exposures tend to affect multiple people in the same apartment building or another space. In fact, as many as hundreds or even thousands could experience the effects of the same hazard.
If individuals choose to file a claim against landlords or other liable parties for exposing them to mold or other harmful substances, there are multiple types of damages that victims may be able to recover. Damages could be both compensatory and punitive, depending on the nature of the case.
Compensatory damages in mold cases help reimburse victims for the costs and hardships they incur, including medical expenses or even the wrongful death of a family member. Meanwhile, punitive damages punish defendants for acting with gross negligence or malice. Punitive damages are often high in cases involving mold and other environmental exposure because these illnesses can come with devastating effects.
Toxic mold cases typically divide damages based on the severity of injuries or other losses the plaintiff suffered. Plaintiffs in class action suits often have varying degrees of injury and loss, which the judge helps convert into terms of compensation once the jury settles the case.
Building a Mold Case in Illinois
Filing a lawsuit for mold exposure or other types of toxic exposure requires plaintiffs to prove that the at-fault party acted negligently. Additionally, they will need to show that this negligence led to the damages experienced as a result of mold exposure.
It’s challenging to prove liability in these cases, as plaintiffs need sufficient evidence that proves negligence and that their damages resulted from mold instead of other health hazards. As such, it’s difficult to succeed with a mold case when going it alone. With the help of an attorney, victims of mold exposure may be able to successfully file a claim or join a class action lawsuit against negligent landlords and property owners. They can then recover compensation that covers medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, loss of relationships, and other types of damages that victims sustain.
Statute of Limitations for Mold Cases in Illinois
The statute of limitations for mold cases in Illinois is two years. However, in toxic exposure claims, such as mold cases, the discovery rule applies. The discovery rule means the statute of limitations does not begin until the illness or exposure is uncovered. It’s important to begin building a case as soon as possible following the discovery of mold and the onset of damages resulting from this harmful substance. The sooner individuals begin working on a claim with the help of a lawyer, the sooner they can begin recovering and seek compensation from negligent parties, which could help them and other affected tenants.