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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 118789
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I have been a renter in a Platinum Leed building in Portland

Customer Question

I have been a renter in a Platinum Leed building in Portland Oregon for 1.5 years. During this time I have developed severe allergies and and rashes that seem to only improve when I am traveling for extended periods. My unit has laminate flooring and I am concerned that formaldehyde exposure may be the cause of my prolonged suffering. I have spent a significant amount of time and money trying to solve my condition. Accurate testing is very expensive but I need to know if the floors are causing the problem. If the formaldehyde is making me sick and/or the levels are above EPA guidelines can I sue the property owners?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Have you thought about the air quality or mold in the building or possibly Chinese Drywall causing your problems? Have you gone to your doctor and tried to get a diagnosis regarding the cause of the problems you are having?
Why are you focused only on the floors, since laminate flooring is not generally known for this unless it is the Chinese manufactured flooring?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The building is only 3 years old, modern and has good ventilation, no dust, mold or Chinese drywall. The laminate floors in my unit were replaced after a flood 6 months ago and that is roughly when my rashes and allergies started. I have read that laminate flooring from China can have toxic levels of formaldehyde especially when newly installed. I have also noticed that when I clean the floors or leave the windows closed my allergies flare up and have spoken to a neighbor who has similar symptoms.The buildings Platinum LEED status and eco-friendly construction practices led me to believe this was a safe & healthy environment for myself and my son. I am trying to find out where the flooring is sourced from and want to test the air. The question I have is if I test the air quality & flooring and find that it has too high levels of formaldehyde causing my symptoms are the owners responsible?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, there is Chinese flooring like Chinese Drywall that is subject to suit.
At this point, you need to test the flooring, then have a doctor who can testify your symptoms are from the flooring. Yes, the building owner is liable as is the party who sold them the faulty material and these claims can turn into large class action suits so you will end up needing a class action attorney who has handled mold and Chinese Drywall cases, as this would essentially be the same thing, to represent you and even the other tenant.