H.H. from Cobb County, Georgia writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My washing machine overflowed and caused water damage to both me and the downstairs neighbor. I have filed a liability claim to my own insurance and provided my neighbor the information 3 days later so she could have direct contact with the claim adjuster to figure out having someone over and start the drying process asap to minimize any damage. Two months later, my neighbor came to me and told me that my water damage caused mold in her condo, and my insurance company had informed her that mold treatment is excluded in my policy. However, based on my understanding, the purpose of the water damage service is to minimize the damage caused by the water leak, and if she had involved the water damage service soon enough, there should not be any mold caused by the water lead (the leak happened in February when temperature is around 30-40 degree). I highly suspect the mold was there way before the water damage, based on the neighbor’s lifestyle. Now the neighbor says that she would sue me for the mold treatment payment. I’m wondering, am I liable for the mold, assuming the water damage of my unit did not cause the mold? And what is the best way to resolve the issue? If the mold was really caused by the water damage, then I accept it. I simply don’t want to liable or responsible for something that is not caused by me.
Mister Condo replies:
H.H., unless you can prove there was pre-existing mold in your neighbor’s unit, I don’t see how you avoid the liability based on what you have told me. The water damage is documented. Mold remediation services were not provided. You can step u and pay for the service, which shouldn’t be terribly expensive or you can your neighbor can go to court which will add expense for both of you and likely end up taking months to resolve and, should you lose the case, costing the expense of the remediation as well as whatever legal charges you and your neighbor incur. My friendly advice is for you to simply pay for the mold remediation. Good luck!