The alleged contamination of a condo unit with toxic mold apparently caused by water infiltration into the unit has caused a lawsuit to be filed against Admiral’s Flagship Condominium and its manager Lundgren Management Group, Inc., and Construction Design, Ltd., by the owner of the unit.
By all appearances, this may turn into a landmark case for the court, which has allowed the suit to stand despite the fact that the suit was filed after the statute of limitations had run out.
This imbroglio began sometime in 2001 and has been ongoing since that time.
The unit owner vacated the Admiral’s Flagship unit long ago and is apparently suffering from health issues related to the alleged toxic contamination. At least those are the allegations in the suit that has been filed and which is now being posted for trial.
The owner’s plight has caused concern in the closely knit Admiral’s Hill community and has attracted as well the interest of District 8 Councillor Dan Cortell.
“You can’t read the facts of the case as written, be a condo owner like me and not be disturbed by a timetable where it appears the management company had more than four years and numerous chances to fix or at least mitigate a problem with unsuccessful efforts being characterized by the court as “either untimely or inappropriate,” Cortell told the Chelsea Record.
“When you live in a condominium and a problem stems from something taking place in a common area, you have no choice but to rely on the management company to address it. Condo owners simply have no other option. Condominium owners like me and a large number of the district’s constituents must be able to rely on the expertise of a management company and the quality of the work they do, contract for or oversee,” added Cortell, who is an attorney.
A call to Lundgren Management’s man on the Hill Kevin Kelleher was referred to Lundgren’s legal council.
Attorney Ed Allcock of the Braintree law firm Marcus, Errico, Emmer and Brooks, said he was unable to speak to the specifics of the legal challenge his firm is mounting against the allegations. However, he was clear on his law firm’s premise in defending against the law suit.
“We dispute there is any toxic mold in that unit and we dispute as well, as a result, that legal claims she was made sick by toxic mold in that unit cannot be substantiated and will not stand,” Allcock said.
The case involves issues including the question about a so-called discovery rule applying to the circumstances involving a water intrusion outside the statute of limitations – which the appeals court has allowed due to the alleged discovery later on of toxic mold in the unit. This is a novel legal position that has not yet been addressed in court in Massachusetts, according to a story that recently appeared in Lawyer’s Weekly.
In that article it is also written that if the condominium management had properly dealt with the roof leaks in the first place, perhaps the plaintiff would not have been exposed to toxic mold. Another Lawyer’s Weekly article on the case had as its title, Condo managers who dragged their feet fixing roof leaks can’t claim the Statute of Limitations has run out.
Councillor Cortell said he has spoken with the owner who vacated the condominium and who was greatly affected by the experience.
“I believe the owner,” he said. “The owner has had a truly horrific experience – and what about the neighbors living close to the unit? How happy can they be?”
Cortell said he didn’t understand Lundgren Management’s use of the same contactor charged in the lawsuit while the lawsuit is ongoing. That contractor, according to Cortell, has been doing exterior maintenance on the Admirals Flagship residence.
That maintenance is apparently connected to keeping water infiltration from affecting the many thresholds on the building, including those in the unit that today remains vacant and unsaleable and the subject of a lawsuit.