Lawsuit over mold in Portsmouth housing set for trial

PORTSMOUTH — A federal lawsuit, alleging faulty construction led to mold in apartments at the 100-unit Wamesit Place housing complex, is scheduled for a 2019 trial, while a defendant contractor now alleges “inadequate maintenance” caused the problem.

The lawsuit was filed by Portsmouth attorney John Bosen, on behalf of the Wamesit Place Family Housing Limited Partnership, and claims mold remediation will require a “massive” amount of work and the temporary relocation of some residents. The Portsmouth Housing Authority manages the Wamesit Place apartments on Greenleaf Avenue and its director, Craig Welch, previously told the Portsmouth Herald he can’t discuss the litigation, but said no residents’ health is at risk.

In a joint report to the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire, the parties summarize Wamesit’s lawsuit as pertaining to the 2015 discovery of “ventilation problems” linked to renovations in 2012. Wamesit claims “mold, specifically Alternaria and Cladosporium,” was found in Wamesit apartments and “is growing because humid exhaust air is accumulating and saturating insulation in ceilings and attics.” The mold was due to “missing and/or improper installation of the soffits and ventilation systems in the ceilings of the apartments,” the suit alleges.

Wamesit names Portland Builders as a defendant and that contractor now claims that during construction, Wamesit requested change orders which eliminated attic insulation, ventilation “and other work that was part of the original contract.”

“The conditions of which Wamesit complains, including the presence of mold, were pre-existing and/or due to inadequate building maintenance over the course of many years and not due to any act or omission of Portland Builders,” the joint court motion states. In addition, Portland Builders claims, Wamesit waived claims for “consequential damages” and warranties related to correction of nonconforming work was limited to one year.

Wamesit has also named Goduti-Thomas Architects as a defendant and that firm now contends any claims against it are barred by the statue of limitations.

In a joint motion to the U. S. District Court of New Hampshire, all parties noted they need to further explore issues of insurance coverage, the initial scope of the project, change orders, other contractors who worked on the project and the date when Wamesit discovered the mold. The court has scheduled a trial date of June 4, 2019.

When the $5.8 million renovation project was announced in May 2011, former PHA director Joe Couture said work entailed replacement of all roofs, siding, doors, windows, kitchens, bathrooms and flooring, in addition to new paint jobs and appliances.

The “massive” undertaking, according to the lawsuit, will include removing all insulation, cleaning all surfaces in ceilings and attics, replacing ceiling drywall, re-insulating to allow for proper ventilation, replacing bathroom fans and missing duct work to roof vents. Welch previously said “a couple dozen” housing units were affected over the past five years, but he could not comment about whether all 100 will have to be renovated.

Wamesit alleges breach of contract and negligence and seeks attorney’s fees for bringing the case to court.

Representing Portland Builders, attorney Douglas Steele denies all the allegations and claims Wamesit failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate its damages.

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Moms beware of mold in sippy cups

A sippy cup company is under fire.

Two moms from Montreal shared unnerving photos of Tommee Tippee sippy cups on Facebook, Buzzfeed reports.

These photos show moldy sippy cups. Worse, the women allege that people can’t get rid of the mold when they try washing the cups.

Unsurprisingly, the moms are not happy about this.

According to Marie-Pier S. L’Hostie’s post (translated from French), her friend was wondering why his son had gotten sick, so he called Tommee Tipee. He got an unfortunate response.

She wrote:

“My friend Simon O’kanada wondered why his son was always sick. He broke the anti-spill top of his ‘Tommee Tippee’ bottle and discovered mold inside the mouthpiece. It doesn’t wash and can’t be seen unless it is broken open. He called the company, and the lady on the phone laughed out out loud. Several moms on other groups have also discovered mold after my post in another Facebook group, so I’m sharing you. If you please, those who have these cups, pay attention! Being washed by hand or in the dishwasher, the mold will stay there!”

Her friend Penny Powell shared the story (and nasty photos) as well, and said that the unsettling mold could only be seen if it the anti-spill top was broken open. She wrote that other mothers in a Facebook group complained about the issue.

She encouraged parents to share the issue and to complain to the company.

The photos that the women shared tell the story — there’s tons of mold right below where the mouthpiece is.

tommee tippee molFacebook/Penny Powell

tommee tippee moldFacebook/Penny Powell

Tommee Tippee responded in a Facebook post to the angry parents, apologizing and claiming to be “actively working on the subject.”

The company pointed to an FAQ section on its site describing how to pope-rly use the cups, but also said that the company could not find “any trace of the conversation with [the original friend who discussed the issue], however we ask him to contact us by private message so that we can answer him directly.”

In a statement to Buzzfeed, the company advised consumers to use the cups with “recommended liquids” which include “cold, light fluids including water and non-pulp juice” and to clean the cups according to the instructions. ” Difficulties have arisen though when liquids that are not recommended for use in the cups have been used, like thick formula milk, pulpy juice and warm liquids. We also recommend that cups are not left for long periods before being cleaned,” the company added.

Tommee Tippee did say in the statement that “we understand that the well being of little ones is paramount and we can reassure all parents that we have extensively tested the valves,” and again, encouraged troubled. consumers to reach out ot them.

You can view the original Facebook complaints in full below.

Moldy Capri Sun Juice Pouches

moldcaprisun_1360777382623.jpgCapri Sun released a statement earlier this month after Capri Sun Pouches went viral on media sites, like Facebook.

The Capri Sun pouch was posted by a mother.  Reports indicate that her son was drinking the juice and commented on the funny taste.  The mother opened the pouch and found nothing inside but mold.



This incident is not the first time the juice makers have received complaints of the pouches containing MOLD.  Other incidents have occurred in 2010 and 2012.



Capri Sun is distributed in the United States by Kraft Foods, Inc.



The official statements said:


“We’ve noticed that there has been loads of discussion on Facebook around a photo of a Capri Sun pouch containing mold.  The safety of our products and well-being of our consumers are our top priorities, and we appreciate your openness and the concerns that have been expressed here on our page.  We feel it is important that you have the most accurate and up-to-date information from us.


While we have not had the opportunity to examine the affected product, the substance  appears to be mold. When we have had the chance to have an independent lab analyze a sample in the past, it was confirmed to be similar to common bread mold. Among the many, many millions of pouches we sell each year, it does happen from time to time because the product is preservative free. A statement is included on all cartons telling consumers to discard any leaking or damaged packages. If mold does occur, we completely agree that it can be unsightly and gross, but it is not harmful and is more of a quality issue rather than a safety issue.


We regularly check our quality control records, product samples and recent consumer contacts for issues or patterns and we don’t see anything that indicates this is a broader problem. In regard to the use of clear pouches, we have tried that but found that combining two different packaging materials (front and back) created manufacturing problems. We welcome open feedback, as many of us are parents too, and care deeply about what our kids and your kids drink. 


While we hope this as help answer some of your most pressing concerns, we invite you to visit our FAQ tab  for more information.”


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