Student #11 UNCOVERING MOLD: AN INSURANCE DILEMNA

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1 Student #11 UNCOVERING MOLD: AN INSURANCE DILEMNA

2 UNCOVERING MOLD: AN INSURANCE DILEMMA Introduction What do cheese, mushrooms and that black stuff growing in your bathroom all have in common? It sounds like a bad joke but all of the above belong to the family of fungi. Fungi is everywhere; the Center for Disease Control ( CDC ) estimates that there are anywhere from 50,000 to 250,000 different types of fungi. 1 One fungus in particular has been featured in several news articles and has been tagged as the new asbestos in the legal realm of toxic torts 2 mold. Mold is an equal opportunity destroyer 3 by surfacing in the homes of ambassador s 4 to Erin Brokovich s. 5 It is probably lurking in the courtroom, classroom or home in which you sit. Mold has been around since Biblical times with references in the Book of Leviticus. 6 It enables cheese and beer to have their distinct taste and provides medicinal qualities found in penicillin. Mold such as stachybotrys, a black greenish type of slimy mold, has potential harmful 1 Redd, Stephen, MD, State of the Science on Molds and Human Health. Statement for the Record Before the Subcommittees on Oversight and Investigations and Housing and Community Opportunity Committee on Financial Services United States House of Representatives. July 18, Sealey, Geraldine, The Fungus Among Us, Scientists, Government Officials Search for Answers to Moldy Questions (May 13, 2002), available at News/toxicmold html (on file with author). 3 Wanjek, Christopher, Tales About Rampant Toxic Mold Get Plenty of Attention, but Science Tells a Less Dramatic Story, The Washington Post 17 September 2002, F01. 4 Boustany, Nora, Envoy s Dream Residence Turns Into Nightmare, The Washington Post 16 October 2002, A17. Spanish ambassador s home becomes infested with mold. 5 Wanjek, see supra note at 3. Erin Brokovich alleged that mold caused $600,000 worth of damage to her home. 6 Book of Leviticus 14:33, King James Translation. 2

3 effects to those that have mold allergies and doctors have linked exposure to mold with bleeding in the lungs of children. 7 Over the last decade, the insurance community, as well as the legal sector, has witnessed an increase in claims under Homeowner s and Commercial General Liability policies involving mold. Under Homeowner s Policies, homeowners seek coverage for property damage caused by mold generally resulting from a burst pipe, leaky roof, or negligent construction. If negligent construction resulted in mold property damage, the homeowner s insurance carrier will subrogate 8 the claim to the construction company s general liability insurance carrier. Under Commercial General Liability policies, insurance adjusters not only assess claims from construction companies but also from landlords who negligently maintained the property which resulted in property damage of their tenants. In addition to their mold property damage claims, tenants have also presented claims for bodily injury such as cognitive impairment and severe exacerbation of asthma allegedly linked to their exposure to mold. 9 According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are currently 10,000 mold lawsuits pending nationwide, which is a 300% increase from Mold lawsuits such as those brought by Ed McMahon 11 or the Ballard lawsuit that received a $32 million verdict, 12 not 7 Dorr, Dearborn, PhD, MD. Clinical Profile of 30 Infants with Acute Pulmonary Hemorrhage in Cleveland. American Academy of Pediatrics. (September, 2002): vol 110, The principle under which an insurer that has paid a loss under an insurance policy is entitled to all the rights and remedies belonging to the insured against a third party with respect to any loss covered by the policy. Garner, Bryan A. Black s Law Dictionary, 1440 (7 th ed. St. Paul: West Group, 1999). 9 Stroot v. New Haverford Partnership, 509 U.S. 597 (1993). 10 Wanjek, see supra note at Wanjek, see supra note at 3. Ed McMahon filed a $20 million lawsuit against his homeowner s insurance company and a contractor who improperly repaired a broken pipe which resulted in mold growth in his home. Exposure to the mold allegedly caused the death of his dog and injured him and his wife. 12 Ballard v. Fire Ins. Exchange, 2001 WL (2001). 3

4 only entail allegations of mold exposure but also significant property damage that have painted the canvas of the legal world. In an effort to manage this new toxic tort, both Texas and California are trying to enact statutes regulating indoor mold levels and institute measures for insurance companies in the handling of mold claims. 13 In 2002, California enacted a new chapter in their Health and Safety Code entitled Toxic Mold. 14 This section of the California code, among other provisions establishes a state task force to study and report on the effects of mold, requires commercial or industrial landlords to disclose the presence of mold, and regulates mold remediation companies. 15 If mold has been around since Biblical times, then why is it emerging as a new toxic tort? Since the 1970 s, construction of new homes has skyrocketed. Instead of using just bricks and mortar, construction companies build with man-made materials such as dry wall, synthetic stucco, insulation and carpeting, which are food sources for mold. Furthermore, newly constructed commercial buildings do not provide natural ventilation 16 but depend upon heating, ventilation and air conditioning ( HVAC ) systems. Often this leads to stale, humid air and other conditions conducive for mold growth. An HVAC system acts as a conduit, transferring and spreading mold from damp basements to throughout areas in a home or commercial 13 Sealey, see supra note at Cal Health & Saf Code (2001). 15 Id. 16 Goodspeed, Lisa. Hysteria Over Mold Growth is Boom to Air-Quality Firms Boston Business Journal 19 August 2002 available at (on file with author) 4

5 building. 17 With these conditions and the fact that Americans spend 75% to 90% of their time indoors, 18 exposure of humans to mold is the norm rather than the exception. Because mold exposure injury is a new emerging toxic tort, it is essential that insurance companies understand the properties of mold and possible effects of mold on property as well as human health. This paper examines this emerging toxic tort and the issues that insurance companies confront in handling mold exposure claims, from the determination of coverage to retaining qualified mold remediation companies. Homeowner s Policies generally provide coverage for property damage; however, these policies contain a provision that excludes property damage for mold. 19 If the mold causes water damage, under the ensuing loss exception, 20 the Homeowner s Policy would provide coverage for the loss caused by the water. Therefore, in order to find coverage, the insurance adjuster must identify the source of the mold. If the mold resulted from a leaky pipe that was already covered by the Homeowner s Policy, the Homeowner s Policy would also cover for the removal of the mold despite the mold exclusion. Commercial General Liability ( CGL ) policies are agreements between the insurance company who agrees, subject to limitations and conditions, to defend and indemnify persons, 17 Etzel, Ruth, PhD, MD et al. Toxic Effects of Indoor Molds. American Academy of Pediatrics. (April 1998): vol 101, Id. 19 We do not cover loss caused by smog, rust, mold, wet or dry rot. The language is quoted from Homeowner s Policy Form 633. Insurance Service Office, an association of insurance companies, developed a universal coverage form used by insurers. The coverage form is virtually identical from company to company. 20 Ensuing loss exception states: If any of these cause water damage not otherwise excluded, from a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire sprinkler or household appliance, we cover loss caused by the water including the cost of tearing out and replacing any part of a building or grounds necessary to repair the system or appliance. Homeowner s Policy Form

6 firms, corporations, etc. for liabilities to third parties imposed by tort law. 21 These policies provide for third party claims against policyholders who are landlords, manufacturers and contractors. 22 Unlike Homeowner s Policies, CGL Policies do not contain a specific mold exclusion but contain a Pollution Exclusion that could potentially bar coverage for mold claims because mold could be considered a pollutant. 23 In many jurisdictions, few courts, that have addressed the issue of whether mold is a pollutant under the Pollution Exclusion clause of CGL Policies, are divided on the issue. Additionally, under both Homeowner s and CGL Policies, the insurance adjuster must ascertain when the mold damage takes place in order to determine which policy is on risk: is it the policy when the mold first formed (i.e. from the leaky pipe improperly repaired), when the mold is discovered, or the time period from when the mold formed until it was discovered? If the mold damage has occurred over multiple policy periods, the insurance adjuster also must ascertain methods of allocation. All these issues leave insurance companies in unfamiliar waters and their navigation has proved deficient. In the Ballard lawsuit, Ballard s homeowner s insurance company had to pay $32 million in compensatory and punitive damages, because the insurance company acted in bad faith by failing to remediate the mold in an adequate time period (which further exacerbated the mold infestation). 24 Rather than waiting on case law to develop or on the medical and scientific 21 Donaldson, James, Casualty Claim Practice. Homewood: Richard D. Irwin, Inc., Id. 23 Pollutant means any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals and water. Commercial General Liability form CG 00 01, edition Insurance Service Office developed a universal coverage form used by insurers. The coverage form is virtually similar from company to company. 24 Belkin, Lisa, Haunted by Mold, The New York Times Magazine. 12 August Sec. 6. 6

7 communities to reach a consensus regarding mold exposure, insurance companies need to be proactive and sophisticated in their handling of mold exposure claims. Otherwise, this new asbestos could financially damage insurance companies with numerous claims and punitive damages in bad faith actions. 25 Ubiquitous as Air: An Introduction to Mold Mold is a type of fungi, with 50,000 to 350,000 different types. 26 The types of mold range from the life saving penicillin to stachybotrys, a blackish green slimy mold which has been linked to hemorrhagic lung disease in infants. More than 1,000 different types of indoor molds have been found in U.S. homes. 27 Mold grows ideally in temperatures between 72 F and 98 F and where humidity exceeds 40%. 28 Therefore, areas in California, Texas and Louisiana are ideal for the growth of mold; however, mold growth is not limited to these areas, as residents of Colorado have also reported mold growth in their homes. 29 Optimal conditions for mold growth include surfaces such as carpeting and insulation that have high cellulose content and are low in nitrogen. 30 Water exponentially contributes to the growth of mold by providing a damp environment in which it 25 Bad faith on the part of an insurer is any frivolous or unfounded refusal to pay proceeds of a policy; it is not necessary that such refusal be fraudulent. For purposes of an action against an insurer for failure to pay a claim, such conduct imports dishonest purpose and means a breach of known duty through some motive of self-interest, illwill, mere negligence or bad judgment. Garner, Bryan A. Black s Law Dictionary, 134 (7 th ed. St. Paul: West Group, 1999). 26 Redd, see supra note at Etzel, see supra note at Stachybotrys Mold, available at (on file with author). 29 Krist Arellano. Breaking the Mold: Pesky Growth Becoming Problem in Colorado Homes, The Denver Post, 25 August 2002, K Stachybotrys Mold, see supra note at 28. 7

8 can grow and foster. 31 Mold spreads by reproducing and making spores, which are small and lightweight. 32 Because of these qualities, mold can travel through air and continue to reproduce elsewhere. Mold, therefore is ubiquitous as air, making exposure to it more frequent. 33 Attack of the Killer Mold: Stachybotrys Chartarum Stachybotrys chartarum ( stachybotrys ) mold grows in environments that have humidity levels in excess of 50%. 34 Like other types of mold, it thrives on materials high in cellulose and low in nitrogen contents such as carpet, wallpaper, insulation, and dry wall. 35 Stachybotrys grows within walls, in insulation and under floorboards; detection therefore is difficult. 36 In the 1930 s, the scientific and health communities first became aware of stachybotrys due to its effects on animals. 37 Animals that ate hay or grain infested with stachybotrys became severely ill or died. 38 Further, farmers that ate the same mold-contaminated grain would experience symptoms such as burning sensations in the mouth, nausea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain. 39 To date, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) 40 and 31 Id. 32 Id. 33 Id. 34 Id. 35 Id. 36 Id. 37 Nelson, Berlin D, Stachybotrys Chartarum: The Toxic Indoor Mold, available at (on file with author) 38 Redd, see supra note at Id. 40 Indoor Air Mold/Moisture at (on file with author). 8

9 the CDC have not established safe levels for stachybotrys or other molds. However, the CDC has linked exposure to stachybotrys to ten cases of lung disorders in infants, such as bleeding in the lungs. 41 Depending on the conditions in which it grows, stachybotrys can contain toxic chemicals called mycotoxins. 42 Mycotoxins exist in the spores of mold as well as in the fragments of mold that become airborne, 43 and can enter a human s body through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin. 44 In Soviet Union s war with Afghanistan, the Soviets reportedly used neurotoxins from stachybotrys as a biological weapon. 45 Although the scientific community has yet to ascertain a causal link between exposure to stachybotrys (or to other types of mold) and lung disorders, the CDC has concluded that significant exposure to stachybotrys increases the risk of developing a severe or fatal lung diseases. Types of Injuries Currently, there is no conclusive scientific data that links mold exposure to the causation of any injury in humans. Like exposure to other allergens, exposure to mold affects individuals differently; symptoms can range from watery eyes, dry hacking cough, and sore throat to chronic fatigue, headaches and immune suppression. 46 A Type I allergic reaction to exposure to mold, 41 Etzel, see supra note at Id. 43 Id. 44 Stachybotrys Mold, see supra note at Id. 46 Id. 9

10 involves an immediate reaction such as sneezing, dry cough, and watery eyes. 47 An estimated 8% of allergenic adult patients suffer from a mold allergy and 20% to 25% of children have the same allergy. Dermatitis, difficulty in breathing, and joint pains are symptoms of a Type III allergic reaction. 48 In 1993 and 2000, the Institute of Medicine ( IOM") conducted studies on the relationship between indoor mold and asthma. 49 The IOM ultimately concluded that exposure to indoor mold exacerbates asthma, but does not cause asthma. 50 Lung disorders such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis have been linked to exposure to mold. Farmers who work around moldy hay, straw or grain dust have experienced hypersensitivity pneumonitis, or farmer s lung, due to their exposure to thermoactinomycetes, a species of mold. 51 Outbreaks of hypersensitivity pneumonitis are not only found in the farm environment, but also have been reported by office workers who worked in buildings tainted with mold-contaminated humidifiers and ventilation systems. 52 Between 1993 and 2000, thirty infants in the Cleveland, Ohio area were hospitalized with pulmonary hemorrhage. Fourteen of these patients required ventilator support and blood transfusions, eleven patients underwent transitory hemoglobinura, and five patients died. 53 In September 2002, doctors with the American Academy of Pediatrics published a case study 47 Robertson, Alexander, Microbiological Contamination Litigation a/k/a The Mold Monster, Mealey s Litigation Report: Emerging Toxic Torts. 24 November Vol. 8, no Id. 49 Redd, see supra note at Id. 51 Id. 52 Id. 10

11 examining ten of the Cleveland infants. 54 In treating these patients, the doctors ascertained no specific remedial treatments; however, they advised removing the infants from their then current environments and warned against tobacco exposure. 55 In determining potential pathophysiology, the study discussed the possible link between exposure to stachybotrys. 56 Stachybotrys produces mycotoxins that inhibit protein synthesis and lower immune suppression. 57 As potential sources of acute cell injury and cell death due to the destruction of the alveolar capillary wall, mycotoxins cause alveolar hemorrhages. 58 However, in seven of the patients homes, stachybotrys was not found. In light of the inability to control variables within the case study, such as the home environment, the study concludes that stachybotrys may have a role in alveolar hemorrhaging but that more evidence to support of causation is needed. 59 Daubert Standard As the scientific community has not causally linked mold exposure and health effects, the insurance community is in a quandary in defending lawsuits alleging injuries from mold exposure. In Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceutical, Inc. 60, the Supreme Court provided factors, which a federal trial court can consider in deciding whether an expert s testimony on 53 Dorr, see supra note at Id. 55 Id. 56 Id. 57 Id. 58 Id. 59 Id. 11

12 causation theory can be admissible. These factors include whether the theory can be or has been tested in some objective manner, has been subject to peer review and publication, has been generally accepted in that particular field, and the theory s known or potential flaws. 61 The court in the Ballard lawsuit prohibited the Ballards from admitting into evidence reports by experts regarding any injuries allegedly caused by mold exposure, because the conclusions of these reports that exposure to mold caused her son s asthma and her husband s decreased cognitive ability had not been accepted in the scientific community. 62 Melinda Ballard, her husband, Ron Alison and their son resided in their twenty-two room, 11,000 square foot mansion infested with stachybotrys. Alison alleged that due to his exposure to stachybotrys, he became forgetful. 63 Co-workers would find him staring into space in his office at a banking institution. 64 Because there is currently no conclusive scientific data demonstrating that exposure to mold (including stachybotrys) causes asthma or other types of injuries, the court did not allow this testimony to be admitted before the jury. Unlike the Ballard case, the court in New Haverford Partnership v. Stroot 65 permitted expert testimony to be admitted regarding a possible link between exposure to mold and bodily injuries. In Stroot, the two tenant plaintiffs were successful in establishing that their exposure to mold caused injuries and were awarded $750,000 in compensatory damages. The tenant plaintiffs retained three experts who effectively testified that intensive mold growth contributed U.S. 597 (1993). 61 Id. 62 Belkin, see supra note at Id. 64 Id Del. LEXIS 201 (2001). 12

13 to Stroot s cognitive impairment. 66 Dr. Yang, a microbiologist and mycologist, inspected Haverford Place and took some samples from the building. According to Dr. Yang, long-term water leaks and mold contamination posed a health risk to the tenants. Based on similar samples, Dr. Johanning, a physician certified in environmental and occupational medicine, opined that high concentrations of mold significantly increased the severity of Ms. Stroot s asthma. Lastly, Dr. Gordon, a neuropsychologist, testified that due to her significant exposure to mold, she suffers from cognitive impairment. In comparing the admissibility of experts in the Ballard and Stroot cases, the courts are split as to whether current medical and scientific literature has established, in compliance with the Daubert standard, that exposure to mold causes any injuries. Therefore, defending these lawsuits is difficult. The insurance adjuster must understand the pathology and effects of mold in order to aggressively defend these lawsuits and defense counsel must file numerous motions in limine and participate in Daubert hearings addressing the admissibility of expert testimony. If an insurance adjuster does not understand the effects of mold and recognize that the medical and scientific communities have not established a consensus on mold exposure causing injuries, he or she cannot adequately manage his/her mold exposure claims. Property Damage Caused by Mold Problems caused by mold run the entire spectrum from harmless mildew on bathroom tile to complete infestation of drywall that requires the removal and replacement of all drywall. Identifying the type of mold is essential in determining the extent of the mold damage. 67 Mold, 66 Id. 67 Indoor Mold, see supra note at

14 such as mildew found in bathrooms, may be an innocuous type of mold and can be removed by an ordinary bleach and water solution. 68 Mold in bathrooms is common, and paints containing mildewcide can easily remedy the problem. However, if mold has invaded drywall and underlying structures, removal of the porous structures such as drywall, carpeting, and insulation will be needed. 69 Because mold optimally grows on such porous material, moldy porous material cannot be cleaned but has to be removed in its entirety. 70 An extreme example of the extensive damage caused by mold is from the Ballard home. 71 In April of 1999, the Ballards evacuated their home after tests showed excessive amounts of stachybotrys in their home. 72 Eventually, the twenty-two room, 11,000 square foot mansion was burned because of the extensive infestation of mold. 73 A Cornucopia of Claims The majority of mold exposure claims under Homeowners Policies are from homeowners whose pipes burst, leaky roofs or water damage from rainstorms. However, insurance companies also handle claims submitted under CGL policies by companies who manufacture products such as stucco that allegedly allowed water to infiltrate homes, and claims 68 Id. 69 Id. 70 Id. 71 Belkin, supra note at Id. 73 Id. 14

15 from landlord-policyholders who allegedly defectively maintained their premises, resulting in mold exposure claims. Claims submitted by homeowners A plumbing leak was the ultimate source of the Ballard s mold nightmare. 74 Like many other mold claims, most mold insurance claims originate from a plumbing problem, a roof leaking or water damage after storms. For example, in Sather v. State Farm Co., 75 the Sathers contacted their homeowner s carrier, State Farm, to remedy water damage caused by recent rainstorms. The home contained excessive amounts of moisture and the Sathers asked the remediators retained by their insurance company to dry their home and remove the mold. 76 Claims Submitted Under CGL Policies by Businesses: Builders/Contractors In April of 1992, the Mondellis moved into their new home constructed by Kendel Homes Corp. ( Kendel ). 77 Between May 1992 and July 1993, the Mondellis noticed water in their basement. 78 In its investigation of the water in the basement, a Kendel employee cut a portion of the sheetrock in the dining room and upstairs bedroom. 79 After removing the sheetrock, the Kendel employee discovered a piece of insulation dripping wet and foul with odor. 80 The Mondellis sued Kendel for negligent construction, specifically alleging that Kendel 74 Id WL (Minn. App. 2002). 76 Id. 77 Mondelli v. Kendel Homes Corp., 262 Neb. 263 (2001). 78 Id. 79 Id. 80 Id. 15

16 failed to weatherproof the exterior walls and to install weatherproofing installation, and incorrectly applied mortar work that would have prevented outside moisture from infiltrating the structure of the home. 81 Manufacturers, Product cases (EIFS, stucco) Manufacturers of synthetic stucco and exterior insulation finish systems ( EIFS ) have become recent parties in mold litigation. Dryvit was the leading manufacturer of EIFS and advertised its durable qualities against rain and moisture throughout the east coast, especially in areas near the ocean. 82 Beginning in 1995, homeowners experienced buckling on the exterior of their homes, with the EIFS actually trapping water. 83 that contractors did not adequately install the EIFS. 84 Manufacturers of synthetic stucco contend In January 2001, a Virginia court found Dryvit liable because it knew that its EIFS was defective and awarded a plaintiff $2.1 million in compensatory damages. 85 Currently, a class action is forming in Tennessee against Dryvit with the class composed of parties who own family residential dwellings or townhouses on which Dryvit EIFS was applied Id. 82 Skog, Jason. Synthetic Stucco Maker to Pay $2.5 million to Local Homeowners. The Virginian Pilot 30 January 2002 available at (on file with author) 83 Klamke, Stephen, Why Does the Insurance Industry Still Fear Residential EIFS? available at (on file with author) 84 Cohen, Zolton, Moisture Intrusion in EIFS Homes Tied to Contractor Error, Lack of Window Maintenance at (on file with author) 85 Skog, see supra note at Dryvit EIFS Stucco Class Action Settlement, Posey v. Dryvit Systems, Inc. #17,715-IV (Cir. Ct., Jefferson County, TN) available at (on file with author) 16

17 Landlords/Tenants In Stroot, two tenants sued their landlord, seeking damages for health problems allegedly caused by mold in their apartment. 87 When the landlord allegedly failed to remedy problems with leaks and mold in their apartments, plaintiffs sued their landlord for alleged negligence. 88 Breaking the Mold: When Does an Insurer s Obligation Arise? Before a claims adjuster analyzes the conditions and exclusions of a Homeowners Policy, he/she must first determine whether the policy is applicable to the loss. Homeowner s Policies generally cover property damage that occurs during the policy period. 89 For the purposes of discussion throughout this section, assume the following scenario: A homeowner has found mold growth in his/her kitchen cabinets. It has been determined that the mold growth originated two years ago from a bursting of a pipe that was improperly repaired and resulting n water continuously dropping from the pipe. The cost to replace the pipe was covered by the homeowner s policy two years ago. Since that time, the homeowner switched from ABC Insurance Co. to XYZ Insurance Co. Trigger of Coverage Mold growth in a home can be caused by various factors, such as a leaky roof, improperly installed stucco on the outside of the home, or a burst pipe that was not repaired properly. Not only is it pertinent that the cause of mold growth is determined, but it also must be determined when the causal event occurred in order to determine which policy would be 87 Stroot, see supra note at Id. 89 See supra note at 19. Conditions of Homeowner s Policies: This policy applies only to loss... which occurs during the policy period. 17

18 impacted by this mold claim. Is the applicable policy the one in effect for the risk when a leaky pipe was repaired, or is the applicable policy the one in effect when the homeowner or claimant discovered the mold? The term trigger of coverage refers to when the policy becomes applicable. When does the property damage occur? Does it occur when the mold becomes apparent to the homeowner; or when the pipe was repaired; or when the property is exposed to the injury-causing agent; or does it encompass all of the above time periods? Many courts have not specifically analyzed the trigger of coverage for mold claims but trigger of coverage has been analyzed for other toxic tort claims such as asbestos cases. Exposure Trigger Under the exposure trigger, the effective policy on risk is the policy in effect on the date that the claimant or property is exposed to the injury-causing agent. 90 When analyzing trigger for bodily injuries, case law, specifically in the asbestos arena, considers when the individual was exposed to the injury-causing agent. 91 Therefore, under this theory, determining when the mold growth occurred is essential. In the hypothetical, the exposure to the injury-causing agent commences on the date when the mold was formed. However, determination of this exact date is difficult because the mold spores may have been forming long before the mold became obvious to the naked eye under the exposure theory for both property damage and bodily injury cases. At this time, the courts have not analyzed a trigger of coverage for mold. However, under the analysis of the exposure theory, the policies issued when the burst pipe was improperly repaired resulting in continuously dripping of water and starting mold growth would be applicable. 90 Commercial Union Ins. Co. v. Sepco Corp., 765 F.2d 1543 (11th Cir. 1985). 91 Keene Corp. v. Ins. Co. of North America, 215 U.S. App. DC 156 (D.C. 1981). 18

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