and Video Courtesy of FOX 23 News
By Bob D'Angelo
Published May 4, 2021
FORT LAUDERDALE — A South Florida woman was awarded
$48 million after a leaky roof led to mold contamination in her
apartment, leaving her with a permanent, debilitating illness, according
to court records.
Lynette Jividen, 56, of Plantation, was awarded the
money after a Broward County jury met virtually to deliver the verdict,
the Sun-Sentinel reported.
The damage award included $10 million for expected future medical costs,
more than $1.2 million for past and future lost earnings, and $35
million for loss of capacity to enjoy life, the newspaper reported.
Jividen’s attorneys filed the lawsuit on May 11, 2018, according to
Broward County online court records. According to the complaint, Jividen
developed “a host of symptoms” after moving into the Mar Lago Village
condominium building in early 2016. Jividen moved out of the building
several months after Hurricane Irma struck Florida as a Category 4 storm
in September 2017, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Jividen was diagnosed with chronic inflammatory response syndrome, an
ailment that affects the nervous system, digestive system, muscles,
joints and the immune system, her attorney, Robert McKee, told the
Her condition is permanent, progressive, and in her lawyers’ words,
“Before this, she was a vibrant, wonderfully happy person,” co-counsel
David Brill said.
Jividen, a divorced mother with two grandchildren, lived alone in the
condominium. She declined to comment through McKee, who told the
Sun-Sentinel that the case is not over.
To collect the jury’s award, McKee and Brill still must go after the
insurance companies that were supposed to represent Florida Contractors
Inc., the company that, according to the lawsuit, tried and failed to
repair the roof damage that caused the leak, the newspaper reported.
According to the lawsuit, Jividen renewed her lease at the condominium
in late 2016. She complained to management about leaks and “water
intrusion,” but it was not fixed, the suit alleged.
In June 2017, Jividen tested for mold on her own, according to court
records. She sent the results to the building owner and management
company, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Florida Contractors made more than one attempt to fix the roof, but the
leaking continued, according to the lawsuit. After the leaking got
worse, and after Irma hit the state, Jividen did not renew her lease and
moved out, the newspaper reported.
Jividen sued the building owner, ML CASA V, and its management company,
ZRS Management. Those companies settled for an undisclosed amount,
according to court records. Florida Contractors did not.
However, the company decided not to fight the lawsuit and defaulted, the
Sun-Sentinel reported. That left the decision up to the jury to decide
the amount of compensation, and up to the insurance providers to pay it,
the newspaper reported.
An attorney for Florida Contractors did not respond to a voicemail and
text messages requesting comment, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Messages left with the insurance companies were not returned.
McKee said he expects to file suit against the insurance companies
within weeks, the newspaper reported.