Defendants in moldy apartment class action seek summary judgment

Steve Korris Jul. 26, 2007, 3:16am

Kesha Manning of the Bissell Apartments in Venice claims the negligence of her landlords turned everything in her apartment moldy, but the landlords claim she hasn't proved that mold damaged anything.

"Manning's claim has absolutely no legal or factual foundation," attorney Troy Bozarth wrote in a July 12 brief for property owner BA-2003 Limited Partnership and property manager Independent Management Services.

The landlords have asked Madison County Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian for summary judgment against Manning.

Bozarth wrote in a June 28 brief that Manning admitted in a sworn interrogatory response that she could not identify any personal property that had been damaged as a result of mold or fungus exposure.

"Rather, Manning admitted during her deposition testimony that the list merely identified every piece of personal property Manning purportedly owned," Bozarth wrote.

Manning sued the landlords in 2005. Her attorney, Lanny Darr of Godfrey, has amended the complaint four times.

"To this date, more than two years after her original complaint was filed, Manning has produced no evidence in support of her property damage claim," Bozarth wrote.

He asked Matoesian to strike an affidavit of industrial hygienist Patrick Harter, who swore he confirmed fungal growth and contamination from mold in the apartment.

Harter swore that, "...her personal property has been damaged by mold contamination."

Bozarth responded that the affidavit "contains nothing but assumptions, speculation and bare conclusions unsupported by any facts."

He wrote, "...nowhere in the affidavit does Harter state that he performed any tests on any of Manning's personal property.

"He does not say what items of personal property have been contaminated, nor does he pinpoint when this damage might have occurred."

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