Kyle Barnett Sep. 5, 2013, 4:25pm

GRETNA – A mother and son who fell ill and had to eventually undergo surgery after occupying an apartment that was later found to contain black mold are suing the apartment complex.

Erica M. Corte, individually and as an administrator for her minor son, filed suit against 1st Lake Properties and Palmetto Creek Apartments in the 24th Judicial District Court on July 11.

Corte claims that she entered into a eight-month rental agreement at $1,170 per month with Palmetto Creek Apartments on Dec. 17, 2011. The plaintiff alleges that she paid the deposit and a non-refundable administrative fee and she and her son moved into the apartment two weeks before the rental agreement was dated on Jan. 1, 2012. Corte asserts that shortly after moving in both she and her son began to experience illnesses including serve allergies, sinus trouble, eye trouble, malaise, fatigue, headaches and dizziness.

The plaintiff claims that she and her son often smelled a wet odor in the apartment and that in September 2012 she found a substance within an air conditioning vent and swabbed it and had it tested at a laboratory that confirmed it was black mold. Subsequently, Corte alleges that she and her son have had to receive medical treatment, including surgery, for their exposure to the toxic mold.

The defendant is accused of failing to keep the apartment free from toxic mold, failing to warn of the presence of toxic mold and failing to properly rid the apartment of toxic mold.

Damages in excess of $50,000 are sought for physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, permanent scarring, disfigurement, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, medical expenses, contamination of property and loss of enjoyment of life.

is represented by attorney Stephen C. Aertker Jr. of Covington.

The case has been assigned to Division L Judge Donald A. Rowan Jr.

Case no. 728-840.

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