Nicholas Malfitano Jul. 5, 2016, 2:39pm


PHILADELPHIA – Plaintiff counsel in the case of a woman who claims she became disabled after long-term exposure to mold in her workplace has opted to leave the litigation associated with those claims.

Neil I. Mittin of Gay Chacker & Mittin filed a motion to withdraw appearance on May 5, explaining plaintiffs Julie Hice Carter and Ernest Carter of Smyrna, Del. had not responded to numerous attempts at contact, in order to proceed with proper litigation of their claims. Due to this presumed lack of cooperation, Mittin felt he had no choice but to withdraw from the case.

On June 30, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas ordered Mittin’s withdrawal be permitted.

Hice Carter was hired by the Therapeutic Center at Fox Chase Villa at the Bridge in Ambler, formerly known as St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families, in December 2012. In July 2013, Hice Carter says she began to notice black spots on the carpet and walls of bedrooms and bathrooms of St. Francis and St. John buildings at her workplace. Hice Carter says she reported this condition to the administrator of the program and the buildings’ maintenance supervisor, to no avail.

In August 2013, Hice Carter says she began to suffer a cough, shortness of breath, headaches and sinus congestion, among other respiratory ailments. The following month, she was allegedly unable to breathe at work and was admitted to the emergency room at Riddle Memorial Hospital – adding her symptoms worsened anytime she was in the aforementioned workplace buildings.

On Sept. 24, 2014, Hice Carter stated she became disabled from her employment due to the respiratory difficulties she developed as a result of prolonged mold exposure.

Hice Carter alleged she suffered reactive airway disease, acute bronchitis, asthma, cough, rhinitis plus damage to her lungs, nerves, nervous system, and other ills and injuries, resulting in a permanent loss of bodily function. Hice Carter added she possessed none of these conditions prior to her employment.

Nearly two weeks later, on Oct. 7, 2014, a limited inspection was performed at the site, which revealed very high levels of mold. Per the accompanying report, the mold presence was caused by a leak from a faulty HVAC unit and secondary water damage.

The plaintiffs filed a suit with charges of negligence against all defendants in failing to remediate the mold condition, provide a safe work environment or to inspect, maintain or repair the dangerous condition on the premises.

The defendants included the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (USA) in Des Plaines, Ill., the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Philadelphia, plus St. Mary’s Villa for Children and Families and Holy Family Social Service of Eastern Pennsylvania, Inc., both based in Pittsburgh.

The plaintiffs are each seeking damages jointly and severally in excess of $50,000, plus costs and other relief in this case. This includes a claim from Ernest Carter for loss of consortium.

The defendants are represented by Scott F. Griffith of Rawle & Henderson, Alexis Ann Langella and Elizabeth A. Malloy of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, all in Philadelphia, plus Lisa A. Linsky of McDermott Will & Emery in New York, N.Y., acting as counsel pro hac vice.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150603560

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

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