Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Real estate agents seek to dismiss home buyers’ suit alleging concealed mold

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 15, 2017

Real estate agents accused of concealing mold seek to dismiss the suit, arguing that they reached an agreement with the home buyers to remove the mold.

Jennifer and Nina Gross filed the complaint on Nov. 29 against Jared Childress, Danny Childress, C & C Home Restorations LLC, John Kodros and Market Pro Realty Inc.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants acquired the property located at 1505 Glen Vista Drive in Godfrey. They renovated and made improvements to the property, including replacing the kitchen floor, drywall and painting.

However, the plaintiffs allege the defendants concealed mold that had infested the subfloor and joists beneath the kitchen and in the drywall that was replaced and painted over.

The plaintiffs purchased the home for $103,000 in March 2015. Shortly after they moved in, Jennifer Gross’ two-year-old son experienced frequent and persistent colds, respiratory issues and allergy-like symptoms, the suit states.

By September and October 2015, the plaintiffs allege they saw mold appearing on the walls of the laundry room, the living room, the child’s play closet and other rooms.

The plaintiffs were required to sign a release of liability before the defendants would remedy and abate the mold, the suit states.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants hired Midwest Basement Tech to install a vapor barrier beneath the house in the crawl space and Stutz Excavating to excavate dirt to slope water away from the yard. However, they claim these efforts did not remove the mold contamination that was already present.

A subsequent mold inspection revealed that no mold remediation had been performed and actual abatement would cost more than $10,000, the plaintiffs allege.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on Jan. 27 through attorney Clifford Emons of Emons Law Office in Alton.

They argue that on Nov. 13, 2015, the plaintiffs signed a valid release of all claims against the defendants for alleged mold contamination in return for the defendants’ remedial actions taken to remove the mold from the property.

The defendants claim they spent over $6,000 in remedial efforts and agreed to assist in the cost of further actions if necessary.

The plaintiffs filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss on Feb. 9 through attorney Sheldon Korlin of Clayton, Mo.

They argue that the release holds that the defendants agreed to pay for contractors to clean and eliminate the existing mold, which was not done.

“Waterproofing, installing a vapor barrier and grading water away from the residence do not constitute cleaning and remediation of mold,” the opposition states.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 16-L-1627

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