I must have missed this, but last October an Oregon Health Sciences University study concluded that "toxic-mild syndrome" may --despite the fact that some Courts and juries have awarded substantial sums to plaintiffs-- not exist. In an October 15, 2005 news report, Dr. Will Boggs reports for Reuters:
Mold and dampness can cause coughing and wheezing, but there is little evidence to support the existence of the so-called toxic mold syndrome, according to a report by researchers at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.
Toxic mold syndrome -- illnesses caused specifically by exposure to mold -- continues to cause public concern despite a lack of evidence that supports its existence, researchers explain in the September issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Several critical reviews have failed to find scientific support for toxic effects from breathing in mold spores as a viable mechanism of human disease, they add.
Of course, the Oregon study actually settles nothing and rather just ensures that the defense bar will have one more arrow in their quiver, making defendants bolder and less likely to settle toxic-mold litigation. A critical mass of appellate law is going to be necessary before we know whether or not toxic-mold suits are a fad or a long-term feature of the legal landscape.