Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Supreme Court to hear toxic mold case

After a judge took away a $760,000 jury verdict from a family allegedly injured by toxic mold, plaintiffs’ attorney David S. Bailey remained optimistic.

“It just means I’ve got to wait another year” for the Supreme Court of Virginia to overrule the judge and reinstate the verdict, he said in February after the decision by Richmond Circuit Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. Bailey is a little behind schedule but at least the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal in an order entered Dec. 18.

Defense attorney Raymond J. Sinnott III won the case by first getting the testimony of Bailey’s expert on toxic mold excluded because his theories on mold exposure and treatment were not accepted by the medical community. Sinnott then argued, and Hughes agreed, that Bailey needed expert medical testimony to prove the connection between mold and the plaintiffs’ injuries.

Bailey contended in his petition for appeal that his expert should have been allowed to testify and that the testimony of the plaintiffs and a toxicologist supported the verdict even in the absence of such testimony.

He contended that his clients suffered coughing, headache, runny nose and fatigue from the effects of the mold for almost three years after they were exposed to it in a Norfolk apartment.

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