If you do have a mold problem, it is likely to
cause great concern and anxiety among your employees. If you
or the landlord has hired mold experts, consider having those
experts provide you with a written explanation of the mold
inspection and/or remediation steps they are taking, and how
the employees are being protected, and post or provide that
information to your employees. Work on the building may
necessitate relocation of employees; if you are leasing the
building, demand that the landlord provide clean space while
the work is ongoing and keep track of your relocation costs.
Investigation, repairs, the relocation of
employees, and the cleaning of furniture, fixtures, equipment
and other property, not only may cost thousands of dollars,
but will cause lost productivity. If you are leasing your
building, keep the landlord fully advised of the situation,
and ask the landlord to give you a timely and prompt action
plan. Demand that the landlord reimburse you for your losses.
Also give notice to your insurer.
If you own the
building, take prompt steps to address the problem, but also
notify your insurer and your tenants of your action plan. Be
aware, however, that your insurer may not cover your losses
and may not defend you from a costly mold lawsuit. Today, more
and more insurers are excluding mold and mold-related damages
from their commercial insurance coverage. Owners, managers and
builders have been surprised to learn that their insurance
policies exclude mold claims.
Although there is no guaranteed protection from
mold-related losses, taking these steps should limit your
potential legal liability.
Marilyn A. Peters is a member of the Construction Team and
Litigation Practice Group in the Bloomfield Hills office of
Dykema Gossett PLLC. She has many years' experience in
representing business owners, lessees, landlords and companies
in commercial legal matters, including those arising out of
real estate. E-mail:
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