ICS Magazine

Mold blamed in three NYC deaths; lawsuits filedCompany unveils national toxic mold remediation program

August 22, 2001
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- PDG Environmental, Inc. (OTC:PDGE), an environmental and specialty contractor, said its standardized program for toxic mold remediation is now available in all 14 PDGE offices nationwide.

"The toxic mold remediation industry appears to be at the same level of development as asbestos abatement was 20 years ago," said John Regan, PDZG chairman and CEO. "The serious health and legal implications of exposure to toxic mold are becoming highly publicized with national media coverage such as NBC Nightly News, ABC News, CBS 48 Hours, The Wall Street Journal, and more recently, the CBS Early Show and The New York Times(August 12, 2001)."

The New York Postthis week reported that toxic mold found in several housing New York City complexes is being blamed as contributing factors in at least three deaths in the past two years, according to court papers.

The paper reports that the deaths of Emilia Rivera, 82, Troy Lang, 62, and Hiram Rosado, 23, resulted from "the negligence, carelessness and/or recklessness" of the owners of Henry Phipps Plaza South in Kips Bay. The court papers contend that the owners allowed the deadly molds to spread "and refused to take any steps to remedy the situation," their families charge in separate lawsuits.

Court papers claim the 25 year old, 396-unit complex had water leaks and faulty plumbing when it was built, resulting in mold contamination.

Two other families are also considering filing wrongful-death actions against the owners. An investigation last year found health problems in residents of buildings that reeked of mildew and in apartments lined with mold, said tenant lawyer Steven Goldman. Despite the findings, "Nothing has changed," he said.

Phipps' lawyer, Mark Landman, said his clients had nothing to do with the deaths.

The wrongful-death suits are just the latest in a series over the allegedly moldy conditions at Phipps, where 495 residents have filed a combined 158 suits against the complex, seeking $9 billion in damages.

According to Regan, "These reports have chronicled the problems and costs associated with common toxic mold found in homes, schools, hospitals and commercial facilities," which he pointed out are not confined to geographic area. "We have recently been awarded in excess of $500,000 in mold remediation projects in Houston and St. Louis, and we expect on-going projects in our Phoenix office to total in excess of $750,000 for the year."

PDG Environmental, Inc. is an environmental and specialty contractor providing asbestos and lead abatement, microbial (toxic mold) remediation, insulation and demolition services. Regional marketing and project operations are conducted through branch offices located in New York City; Hazelton and Export, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Fla.; Houston and Pasadena, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; St. Louis, Mo.; Rock Hill, S.C.; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, Wash.; and Los Angeles.

For additional information, see www.pdge.com.