Judge sides with mom over deadly mold eviction

She was forced from her home because of deadly black mold, then her landlord tried to take her to court. On Tuesday, the law was on her side.

A mom to two kids was forced out of their home because of a deadly mold infestation. But after moving out, her landlord tried to take her to court to get her to still pay the rent, despite not living in the home. However, the judge wasn't having it and didn't buy his story.

The judge dismissed the case against 41-year-old Christina Lake. The mom of two was at Southgate's 28th district Court Monday but her landlord was not.

The landlord, Harry Elmazzee, tried suing Lake for $1,600 of unpaid rent. That was money she had already spent on the home on Helen street to get it tested for black mold. The black mold was making her and her two children sick for months and she says he knew all about it.

"I'm going to have the housing inspector go over and put a red tag on the house," the judge said Monday.

Lake's attorney, Jerome Goldman, said the landlord knew about the issues but rented it anyway.

"I think the landlord has a lot of hurdles to get over that he just kind of sidestepped," Goldman said.

Nearly three weeks ago, Lake called FOX 2 for help after discovering it was the mold that sent her son, who has autism, to the emergency room. It also gave her daughter rashes and put her in the hospital for a week.

"He thought he had a way to take advantage of my kids and that's exactly What he's done," Lake said.

Since then, neighbors and FOX 2 viewers stepping up to help: Advance Restoration came out to relocate Lake and her kids to Garden City and restore some of her belongings. Despite that, she says the problems persist.

"This morning, my son lost his therapy dog because we couldn't afford vet bills," Lake said.

As Lake tries to get back on her feet and enroll her children into school in Garden City, she says she's still struggling with transportation and her health.

"At this point they're saying I'm looking at six months to year to detox my body,"

She says she isn't giving up. Her attorney said they will pursue other legal options like getting her rent & security deposit back.


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