Couple sues landlord over mold in Bound Brook rental home
by Ryan Hutchins, The Star-Ledger
August 09, 2009
BOUND BROOK, NEW JERSEY -- A husband and his pregnant wife are suing their
former landlords, accusing the Jersey City couple of failing to remediate
"toxic mold" from the Bound Brook home they rented until May.
complaint filed last week with Superior Court in Somerville alleges that
the mold may have caused the health problems Floyd and Tabatha McColley
suffered from while living in the Cedar Crest Road house, and also
suggests that it had an impact on the woman's unborn child.
"There's a definite problem with the baby that will require... immediate
action after birth," Floyd McColley said Thursday, but stopped short of
saying mold is responsible for the unspecified medical issue that was
diagnosed by an obstetrician.
The girl, expected in about two months, will be born at Columbia
University Medical Center in New York "so she's right there with the best
doctors when she's born," said Floyd McColley, who now lives with his wife
in Brick Township, Ocean County.
The couple's complaint, filed on July 27 by attorney John Charles Allen of
New Brunswick, claims Sameen and Yameen Khan, the Jersey City husband and
wife who rented the house to them, failed to respond to complaints that
there was "severe leaking" and "substantial growth of toxic mold" in the
home they moved into in August 2008.
Both McColley's had become sick after living in the home, Floyd McColley
"It was a gradual worsening of symptoms," he said...
They had issues with being over-tired and had trouble breathing, said the
husband, who's sickness were more pronounced.
"As a result of the defects to the property and more importantly, the
hazardous conditions with the property, plaintiffs were forced to move
out," the complaint says.
Both McColleys are healthier since leaving, said the husband.
After moving, the landlords hired contractors who the court filing calls
unqualified and not properly equipped to remove the mold. The complaint
says workers destroyed property left behind by the McColleys, and Floyd
McColley, who hired his own mold expert, said Thursday that the mold was
made worse by the contractors.
The Khans never paid for the cost of alternate housing or relocation, the
Reached Thursday, Sameen Khan referred questions to the couple's attorney,
Michael Wroblewski of New York.
"My clients vigorously deny the allegations and have acted responsibly
through this matter," he said later that day, but didn't want to
The McColleys' suit, which is requesting a jury trial, asks that the
couple be awarded compensation for various damages, as well as legal fees.
Floyd McColley, a military contractor, said he and his wife moved to Bound
Brook from Illinois after his employer called him back from Iraq to work
in New Jersey.
The home appeared nice when they moved in, but the flooding
started with the first rain storm, he said.
"We had high hopes of staying in this place only to find out we'd moved
into a nightmare...”