Present and past owners of an apartment complex in San Antonio, TX, were sued after a 7-year-old child who lived there died following a five-day hospital stay.
The young Ivan A Gonzalez, who lived with acknowledged disabilities, passed away in Jan. 2020 after protracted or repeated exposure to mold in the apartment, according to a lawsuit filed in Jan. 2022.
Local attorney Paul Barkhurst is representing the family pro bono.
Barkhurst said internal bleeding while at the hospital was the “obvious direct cause of [Gonzalez’s] death.”
“But there’s underlying causes, which is what took him to the hospital in the first place,” he shared.
Ivan’s mom said she noticed visible mold and a mildewy smell in her leased apartment a week after moving in, in Feb. 2019.
And that she informed property management of the problem numerous times.
Her requests were ignored, according to a mold-related lawsuit filed.
Around August 2019, she withheld rent over the mold concerns.
Property management then visited, smelled the mold, and had the air ducts cleaned, but failed to handle problems causing the mold growth, according to the lawsuit.
At 2.8-Star Apts., 18 Tenant Reviews Mention ‘Mold’
The Texas family who experienced this tragedy was not the first (or last) of the apartment complex’s tenants to have shared mold concerns.
Eighteen of the current 416 Google reviews for the San Antonio, Texas apartment complex mention “mold,” and the property is rated an overall 2.8-stars out of 5, according to its Google My Business / Google Maps profile.
These reviews may or may not be a factor in the ongoing mold litigation.
But they’ll possibly help parents get a better idea of how bad mold can get for it to potentially be a factor in or allegedly lead to such a tragic outcome.
Black mold, or any widespread noticeable mold growth in a home or apartment, should always be a cause for urgent and immediate action by families with small children, as well for persons who are elderly or immunocompromised.
Where mold growth is pervasive, tenants are typically advised to temporarily move out of the property so mold remediation can be properly done.
Tenants who feel the mold growth in their apartment may warrant taking legal action against a landlord or property management should read these tips from mold lawyers.
Reference resource: San Antonio Express-News story, January 12, 2022