What can I do if I think that my apartment made me sick?

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What can I do if I think that my apartment made me sick?

About 4 months ago I moved with my wife to new apartment. Right under our window there is a laundry factory works (it runs 24/7). It has a lot of chemicals going out and the employees leave the back door open. Last week I had a severe headache and numbness on the right side of my face, so I went to the ER and they informed my that I have severe sinusitis and Bell’s palsy. I am not sure if there is relation between the chemicals and my condition but I never had this problem before and my wife and I are now afraid for our expected baby. We plan moving but I am wondering if I can sue them or the owner of the apartment? I wasn’t informed about the situation when I checked the apartment. Now I can’t even smile

Asked on January 19, 2015 under Personal Injury, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you can't sue the owner of the apartment unless he or she actively lied to you (committed fraud)--for example, you asked about whether there were any fumes, etc. from the factory and the owner, knowing that there were, said "no." But unless he or she committed fraud, he or she is not liable for what another property or business does.

You may be able to sue the factory for your medical costs and possibly for some additional amount for your "pain and suffering," or life impairment, but would need to be able to do the following:

1) prove a causal link, such as with medical expert opinion(s) between their emissions and your condition;

2) Obviously also, prove that there are emissions--this would involve some sort of air or environmental test; and

3) Show that they are emiting an illegal or inappropriate/dangerous amount of fumes or chemicals--they are not liable if they're operations are legal and reasonably safe, but you unfortunately happen to be especially sensitive.

A good first step may be to call you town's health department to complain. They may investigate and prove some of the issues you need to prove; they might also take steps to abate or remediate the problem.


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