What to do if my neighbor flooded my basement and nowI have mold?

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What to do if my neighbor flooded my basement and nowI have mold?

My neighbor flooded my basement almost 3 months ago. He admitted fault. But it took them so long to take care of it now mold has entered my home on the second level. They are giving me a hard time because of the price of the estimates that their company has provided. They also sent a specialist out who confirmed that I have a high level of mold on the second level. Now I am experiencing headache and my breathing is starting to bother me.

Asked on August 3, 2011 District of Columbia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your neighbor's negligence caused the flooding of your basement, you could sue him for negligence.  Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit) would include the cost of repairs to your property including the removal of the mold that the flooding caused whether it is in the basement, second level or anywhere else in your house.  Your damages should also include your medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, and documentation of wage loss for your headaches and breathing problem if those health problems were caused by the mold or flooding.  It would be advisable to obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.

If your neighbor's flooding of your basement was an intentional act and was not a negligent act, then your lawsuit would be for nuisance.  Nuisance is a serious and unreasonable interference with your use and enjoyment of the property.  Your damages for nuisance would include what was listed above under negligence; however, you might also be able to recover permanent diminution in the value of your property if applicable; for example if the mold problem is not completely eradicated or there is damage to the foundation from the basement flooding, etc.

If your lawsuit is not filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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