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Moldy Courthouses an Issue in Fla.

Posted Feb 25, 2008 1:08 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Mold reportedly may be a problem at a number of Florida courthouses.

Among them: the David W. Dyer Federal Courthouse in downtown Miami. As a new courthouse sits across the street unused because of construction delays and cost overruns, workers complain that a documented mold problem may be making at least some of them sick, according to a local CBS News affiliate and the Daily Business Review.

The family of a federal magistrate judge who died after experiencing respiratory problems has retained a lawyer to investigate the situation, as discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post and another Daily Business Review story.

These aren't the only Florida courthouses with mold issues, however:

A federal courthouse in Palm Beach County was closed over concerns that mold was making workers sick, reports the Associated Press.

And officials in Broward County are exploring alternative courthouse options in response to a mold problem there, according to the Miami Herald. (Rats reportedly have also been an issue.)

The courthouse closed early one day this month, to deal with a plumbing leak that flooded three floors. ''This is not a rare occurrence,'' says Howard Forman, Broward's Clerk of Courts, pointing to photographs of falling ceiling tiles and flooded floors.

Additional resources:

ABA Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law: "Mold, Mildew and Other Microbial Matters: What the Real Estate Practitioner Should Know" (PDF)

PR News Now (press release): "Federal Courthouse has a Happy Ending to a Moldy Situation"

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