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

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2015

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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