Wean v. U.S. Home Corp. – Proximate Causation in Mold Exposure

Appellate Docket No.: A-5521-17T3

Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark.

In an unpublished opinion, the Appellate Division of New Jersey heard argument on the issue of an proximate causation in relation to mold exposure.

In Wean v. U.S. Home Corp., the Plaintiff bought a townhome. Prior to closing on the townhome, Plaintiff noticed a leak in the basement.  Plaintiff hired Defendant to fix the leak, and Plaintiff closed on the property.  Plaintiff noticed a second leak, in which Defendant attempted to repair, then Plaintiff notice a third, fourth, and eventually a fifth leak in the basement.  Mold developed and Plaintiff began having rapidly progressive pulmonary deterioration and was diagnosed with intersitial lung disease (ILD).

Plaintiff brought suit against the Defendant for faulty construction.  During discovery, it was discovered the Plaintiff had a dishwasher and HVAC unit leak during relevant times of moisture exposure.  Although Plaintiff’s construction expert’s report indicated that Defendant was at fault for the construction and causally related the construction to Plaintiff’s illness, the expert was stated in the deposition that he was unable to contribute solely the faulty construction to the moisture that caused the mold problem in the basement.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendant because of Plaintiff’s failure to proof proximate causation contributing her injuries to the Defendant’s faulty construction and dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint.  The Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s decision.

Proving proximate causation in cases involving mold exposure is extremely complicated.  If the Defense can show that it is possible for any other cause to a plaintiff’s injuries, then the Plaintiff is unlikely to succeed.  Using this case, the mold could have been caused by the faulty construction, the dishwasher, or the leaking HVAC system.  Without being able to pinpoint the faulty construction, the Plaintiff was unable to move forward with her claim.  Be sure to have a personal injury lawyer able to prove proximate causation.

At Hark & Hark, we represent clients in for personal injury claims from mold exposure like the present case. We work hard to ensure that our clients receive the maximum personal injury protection they are statutorily entitled to as a result of an accident.


For personal injury matters, you pay nothing upfront, and our fee is paid as a percentage of your recovery. If you are facing a similar situation with mold exposure as a result of an someone’s negligence, please call us to discuss the matter. At Hark & Hark, we represent clients for any case in any county in New Jersey including Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Mercer, Ocean, and Salem counties.

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Jeffrey Hark is a New Jersey Civil and Criminal Lawyer.

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