updated 11/4/2005 4:05:50 PM ET 2005-11-04T21:05:50

A family who claims toxic mold in their home caused brain damage in their baby has reached a $22.6 million settlement against a lumber company and 16 other defendants.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. Splash News
      More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says

The parents of Kellen Gorman claimed that he became sick because of mold on framing studs that had been improperly stored by Crenshaw Lumber Co. Inc. of Gardena, which agreed to pay $13 million of the settlement. The studs were used in the custom-built Manhattan Beach home the family lived in for about two years beginning in 1999.

Kellen, now 5, functions as a 1½-year-old and needs 24-hour care, the family’s lawyer, Brian D. Witzer, told the Daily Journal of Los Angeles.

Raymond P. Boucher, president of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, said the Oct. 19 settlement was the largest in the country for a mold case involving a single-family home.

Crenshaw settled the day after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Victoria G. Chaney barred the wood supplier from using 10 of its 17 experts, including a toxicologist and a microbiologist, Witzer said.

The company said in a statement that it believes jurors would have “completely vindicated” it had the judge not excluded the witnesses.

Witzer said the judge excluded the experts because a lawyer for the defense allegedly missed a deadline for designating witnesses and backdated a document to cover it up. Chaney referred the issue to the State Bar for investigation, Witzer said.

Neither Crenshaw nor any of the other defendants admitted liability.

James D. Fraser, an attorney who represented a sheet metal company in the suit, said Kellen’s doctors concluded he suffered from autism — a condition for which there is no known cause.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments