A Rhode Island man is suing one of New Hampshire’s biggest property developers for $60 million, alleging unchecked mold in his former Brady Sullivan apartment gave him an incurable lung disease.
The suit was filed earlier this month in a Rhode Island Superior Court. It says Jeffrey Mastrobuono lived for about a year in a refurbished mill apartment in Coventry, Rhode Island. (Scroll down to read the full complaint.)
Manchester-based Brady Sullivan has developed housing and other properties like it all over New England. They’ve also been cited for environmental violations before.
Mastrobuono’s complaint alleges the company knowingly let him stay in an unsafe unit from 2016 to 2017. It says they laid new flooring over water damage from a flood just before he moved in, and ignored his complaints as mold spread and worsened in the sub-floor for nearly a year.
“Disgusting is an understatement," says attorney Artin Coloian, who represents Mastrobuono. "[Brady Sullivan's] business practices and lack of remediation are repugnant.”
His complaint alleges Mastrobuono experienced chronic pneumonia and sinus infections during that time, and those gave way to an irreversible interstitial lung disease. According to the suit, Mastrobuono’s doctor told him it was caused by airborne spores, which were also found in his blood.
The suit says Mastrobuono's illness has made him unable to work. His attorneys couldn't confirm the current status of their client's health, citing privacy laws.
Their complaint also alleges Brady Sullivan essentially evicted Mastrobuono, before town inspections – prompted by Mastrobuono’s report – forced them to demolish and rebuild the unit, removing hazardous material in the process.
And the suit says Brady Sullivan engaged in another practice with Mastrobuono that they’ve been fined for in the past – allegedly lying about unsafe lead-based paint in the unit.
Mastrobuono is asking for $10 million in compensatory damages for negligence, inflicting emotional distress and violating Rhode Island and federal laws. The suit also seeks $50 million in punitive damages, to deter what it describes as a pattern of “egregious behavior.”
Coloian says this complaint may be the first of others like it.
“Other people have retained us for personal injuries they’ve incurred as a result of Brady Sullivan’s gross negligence," he says. He declined to name those clients or give specifics on their claims.
Lawyers for Brady Sullivan denied Mastrobuono's allegations and requested a jury trial in their own court filings.
An attorney for Brady Sullivan declined to comment on the suit.
Read the complaint filed against Brady Sullivan:
This story has been updated to include comments from Jeffrey Mastrobuono's attorney.