Nicholas Malfitano Oct. 7, 2015, 8:56am


PHILADELPHIA – A plaintiff's attorney seeks to prevent a building management company from repairing a mold-filled office that one his clients claim made her seriously ill.

On Aug. 20, Matthew L. Solomon filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against Philadelphia-based defendants Posel Woodland Association LP, Posel Management Company, Posel Partnership and Posel Corporation, and an accompanying motion seeking an additional inspection.

The lawsuit states an expert hired by the plaintiffs conducted an inspection of the office building at 4100 Chester Avenue on Aug. 19, during which numerous points of water infiltration were identified, including a large puddling of water on the roof with visible mold growths. That same day, the defendants brought their own hired expert on the premises without proper notice to the plaintiffs, and, according to the suit, slowed down the plaintiff expert’s inspection.

Solomon said the injunction is intended to prevent the defendants from doing repair work and destroying evidence of the water infiltration observed on Aug. 19, and added another inspection of the premises was necessary.

According to the motion requesting a second inspection, this time every ceiling, HVAC unit, return and all other areas will be checked without a simultaneous inspection and testing being conducted by the defense’s expert. 

A hearing in the matter was set for Wednesday at Philadelphia City Hall, in court chambers.

The suit, filed in May, alleges Philadelphia-based plaintiffs Karen Weeks, Darlene Coston, Rhoshanna Baghdadi and Mia Fields, plus Shelley Day of Wilmington, Del., were employees for the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans (NCHAV). In December 2013, Baghdadi became sick from the presence of mold, bacteria and hazardous growths in the office building, specifically located behind walls, ceilings, HVAC units and other areas. It is alleged the defendants were made aware of the condition and failed to inspect, maintain or repair it.

The remaining plaintiffs arrived for work at the office in November, and each became ill with a series of respiratory ailments – ranging from coughing, headaches and sneezing, all the way to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and airway hyperactivity. 

The plaintiffs are seeking sums jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000, plus a similar amount each in punitive damages from all defendants in this case. The punitive damages stem from the supposed “willful disregard and reckless conduct” displayed by the defendants in allegedly being aware of the water infiltration condition and not doing everything in their power to remedy it.

The plaintiffs are represented by Matthew L. Solomon of Dion Solomon & Shapiro in Philadelphia.

The defendants are represented by Kevin R. McNulty of Gerolamo McNulty Divis & Lewbart, also in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150500504

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com.

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