UncategorizedJustice Served in Richmond: A Tenant’s Recent Jury Verdict in Richmond Toxic Mold Litigation

May 21, 2024



In a significant legal victory for the client and the firm, a jury in Richmond awarded a tenant $588,000 after a prolonged battle over toxic mold exposure in a 300-unit garden apartment complex. This case sheds light on the severe health risks associated with mold exposure and demonstrates what a plaintiff needs to prove to prevail in mold litigation. 


Many renters today, regardless of geographical location, face significant challenges with property management companies and landlords who fail to maintain their properties adequately. Despite persistent complaints, necessary repairs to water penetration issues and other humidity issues often go unaddressed, leaving tenants to contend with mold issues ranging from minor inconveniences to severe health hazards and consequences. This neglect interferes with the tenant’s quality of life and violates tenant rights, creating frustration and helplessness among renters. The indifference exhibited by some landlords, who prioritize profit over the safe shelter and well-being of their tenants, is the problem.  This requires forcing the landlords to abide by tenant protection laws and comply with their obligations by filing suit in court.  


Tenants impacted by problematic rental units and management companies have the power to seek justice and compensation.  This can usually be accomplished with a competent mold lawyer.


Case Background


The plaintiff, a 50-year-old male who had lived in the apartment complex for over three years, experienced continuous water damage issues during his tenancy, which were inadequately addressed by the apartment’s maintenance team. Despite detecting mold a year before the plaintiff fell ill, the management company failed to even inform him, removing moldy floor tiles without remedying the underlying cause.


Health Complications


The plaintiff’s health deteriorated, leading to respiratory problems, allergy hypersensitivity, and neurological symptoms, including brain fog. After numerous ER visits without a clear diagnosis, a specialist in Lyme disease and mold exposure identified the presence of black mold, as the root cause based on the plaintiff’s medical history, blood tests, and the apartment’s water issues.


Legal Proceedings


Presided over by Judge Bradley B. Cavedo, the trial revolved around the plaintiff’s Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act (VRTLA) claims and common law maintenance claims. Notably, the plaintiff’s legal team, Jonathan E. Halperin and David S. Bailey of Glen Allen, strategically did not present medical bills as evidence, focusing instead on the breach of landlord duties and the direct and significant impact on the plaintiff’s health.


Evidence presented included testimony from the Defendants’ apartment management employees, maintenance technicians, a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), who is an expert in mold issues, lab employees, and the medical doctors who treated the plaintiff.


Trial and Verdict


After a five day jury trial, followed by five hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict awarding $495,000 for common law claims and an additional $93,000 for statutory claims, totaling $588,000. This decision came despite the defendant’s earlier offer of just $70,000 against the plaintiff’s demand of $550,000.


Implications for Landlords and Tenants


This case serves as a crucial reminder to landlords about the importance of properly maintaining their properties and addressing health hazards promptly and transparently. For tenants, it underscores the significance of understanding one’s rights under Virginia Landlord Tenant Laws and the recourse available through the legal system when those rights are violated.




The verdict in this case is not just a win for the plaintiff but a landmark decision that underscores landlords’ responsibilities and the serious consequences of neglecting them.  If you are going to pursue a mold liability claim, you need counsel who understands the particular issues and challenges raised in mold litigation.  The Halperin Law Center remains committed to advocating for tenants’ rights when they are injured by mold and helping ensure safe living environments for all. If you or someone you know is facing similar issues, it is crucial to seek expert legal advice to address the matter effectively. If you would like to discuss your potential case, reach out today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced mold attorneys! 



Whether you’ve been involved in an auto accident, a civil rights violation, or a personal injury, you can rest assured knowing a top-rate Richmond lawyer at Halperin Law Center will give you personalized attention, guidance, and support you deserve. We work tirelessly to help win the compensation and justice you deserve in your case.


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