Science Doesn’t Support Mold Claims

Supreme Court of New York County: Fraser v. 301-52 Townhouse Corp., 2006

February 1, 2007

A New York trial court has decided that scientific evidence and expert testimony presented in a case didn’t sufficiently support links between mold exposure and various health problems. The case centered around the Frasers, a couple who both work from home, and their infant daughter. After the family moved into an apartment, they began to suffer respiratory problems, rashes, and fatigue. When they moved out six years later, the symptoms allegedly improved.

The couple sued the apartment’s owner for injuries suffered because of mold in the unit. They submitted scientific evidence to support their claim, but in evaluating their case, the court found that the evidence presented wasn’t admissible. New York used the Frye standard, which requires that to be admissible, scientific theories must be shown to reflect generally accepted scientific beliefs. The only expert who testified that the mold and interior damp had caused the Frasers’ health problems was the one they’d hired. This lack of evidence demonstrated an insufficient connection between the mold and the health problems, said the court.

The evidence also failed to show what exactly the Frasers were exposed to in the apartment. Finally, the court found that there wasn’t even an established scientific measurement standard for what constituted a dangerous level of mold. Therefore, the mold claims were dismissed.