… OR FICTION?
The ongoing quest for truth and answers for the homeowners of the Autumnwood Tract was covered with specificity by Press Enterprise reporter, David Danielsky, in his thorough and well-written article on November 02, 2012.
If you are concerned/interested, Wildomar Magazine recommends that you read the article, including taking the six minutes of time to review the video embedded, for your own personal context, as follows:
The article provides several important facts that should be considered:
1) This is a matter of litigation being pursued by some, but not all, of the homeowners in the Autumnwood tract.
“Government officials have reviewed tests commissioned by the attorney representing the four families and said they see nothing that would cause serious illness.”
“Four families, including one on a neighboring street in the same development, have joined in a personal injury lawsuit against the tract’s Pismo Beach-based developer and several subcontractors, alleging the ground beneath the homes is contaminated with industrial chemicals brought in with fill dirt. More than dozen had won settlements from the builder because of mold in the homes.
…The Beverly Hills attorney representing the residents, said the toxic substances department is failing to take into account the synergistic and cumulative effects of chemicals detected on the properties.” (Editors note; That is the “legal theory” that the plaintiff’s attorney must prove in court!)
“About a dozen Autumnwood homeowners, including some on Amaryllis Court, received settlements for varying amounts – one family received $15,000 and another $60,000, for example – after filing a separate construction defects lawsuit“
2) Systematic examination needed
“Dr. Russell V. Luepker is a Harvard-educated epidemiologist and a professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. He said epidemiologists have methods to determine whether an environmental problem is responsible for an illness cluster in a community.
“You need to weed out the hysteria …“ he said. “What you need is a systematic examination that gets you as many facts as you can lay your hands on.”
After reading the aforementioned Press Enterprise article, and having attended one of the recent meetings between homeowners and the various county agencies, facilitated by the City of Wildomar, it appears, in my opinion, the palpable frustration of the homeowners is being exploited in an attempt to force government agencies to “make their case,” spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars in the process.
Claims for personal injury arising from negligent construction practices are “expert-driven” and, as result, quite expensive. Few law firms have the financial wherewithal and resources to pursue such litigation, regardless of the merit of the allegations of their clients.
The other side of this coin, is the adverse economic damage to property values of neighboring homeowner’s properties, through stigma, who are not experiencing or claiming similar problems.
Unfortunately, they are unfairly affected by the negative publicity surrounding the unresolved portions of this litigation.
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I fully support these young families and their attempt to seek redress from those “responsible” for their circumstances are the Courts. However, it is a long and costly process, as the “burden of proof,” under our legal system, properly and fairly falls on them, as plaintiffs, and their legal representatives. Government agencies are not “hardwired” to facilitate civil litigation, which is why plaintiff law firms must retain, and pay for, their own experts.