Skip to comments.Ed McMahon sues over toxic mold in L.A. home
Posted on 04/10/2002 2:55:40 PM PDT by aculeus
LOS ANGELES, April 10 (Reuters) - As Johnny Carson's sidekick, entertainer Ed McMahon was famed for his infectious laugh. But as a homeowner, he says he is involved in a drama that has left him seething.
McMahon, 79, is suing his home insurance company for $20 million, claiming it botched a simple repair on a broken pipe and, as a result, allowed a toxic mold to spread through his house, making his family sick and killing his dog.
In a lawsuit filed on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, McMahon, who for years served as Carson's sidekick on NBC's "Tonight Show," said he, his wife Pamela, and household staff members have been battling illnesses as a result of exposure to a mold known as stachybotrus chartarum. He also said the family dog, Muffin, died as a result of a mold-induced infection.
The suit is the latest in a recent spate of litigation over toxic mold infestation, a recently recognized phenomenon, which is believed to cause serious illness particularly in the respiratory tract, and even death.
It names Scottsdale, Arizona-based American Equity Insurance Co., a unit of Citigroup Inc. (C) as a plaintiff as well as several Southern California contractors who had been hired to clean up the mold. A spokeswoman for American Equity declined to comment on Wednesday.
According to the suit, a pipe burst last July in McMahon's estate in the posh Coldwater Canyon section of Los Angeles, causing his den to be flooded. McMahon made a claim under his policy with American Equity, which arranged to clean up the damage caused by the flooding.
"What started out as a simple plumbing leak ended up a horrific nightmare only Steven King could write about," McMahon's lawyer Allan Browne told Reuters. He added the mold spread through the house with a high concentration in the main bedroom.
The lawsuit charges that the contractors painted over visible mold and failed to provide the McMahons with environmental reports related to the levels of mold infestation despite repeated requests for documentation.
In addition, another contractor hired by the insurer to store the McMahons' furniture, artwork and television memorabilia has not to date returned the items despite repeated requests to do so, and the McMahons do not know where their belongings are being stored, Browne said.
"They took away 50 years of memorabilia, all of their fine art, all of the couches, chairs, every stick of furniture, we don't even know where any of that is located. The clothes were taken out and they were supposedly cleaned and it took months to get them back and once they got them back we found out cleaning had been done improperly. ... It's just been a nightmare," Browne added.
But I didn't say anything.
Karnac stares at audience. Then he holds envelope against head, closes eyes, and stays in that position for a long time. . . .
Karnac: Sorry. Karnac was deep in thought there. . . . The answer is, "Toxic mold."
Ed: "Toxic mold"!
Karnac: That's what I just said.
Ed: I just wanted to make sure everyone heard the answer. "Toxic mold."
Karnac takes a look at Ed, then rips open end of envelope, blows into it, and pulls out question. . . .
Okay, gang, here's where you get to play along at home! What should be the question to the answer, "Toxic mold"? Make one up and post it!
What do Ed McMahon's post Tonight Show television shows add up to?
What would you find in Hillary's pantsuit?
Sorry to hear about your nightmare. If it's any help, California recently passed a Toxic Mold Protection Act. When the bill is signed into law, it will order the State Department of Health Services to establish licensing standards for professionals in the business of measuring and cleaning out toxic molds. The bill also urges the Health Department to establish permissible exposure limits.
I'm not sure whether Texas regulations will be of any help to you, but CDC and NIH have plenty of info on the topic. Good luck!
Is your vacation house in Houston area? My sister's moving there next week.
"Question: What is the prime ingredient in Ed's favorite beer?......[audience groans]....May the fleas of a thousand camels nest in your Dockers."
HI OH!....Thanks for the flashback. Classic description of a classic Carson bit.
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