Fla. family blames RV for illness

By Annie Cosby | Dec 17, 2014

A Florida couple is suing over claims the entire family became ill after spending considerable time in a defective RV, which allegedly leaked and produced a mold infestation.

John and Sandra DiSalvatore, individually and as next friends of JD and RD, minors, filed a lawsuit Oct. 24 in the Lufkin Division of the Eastern District of Texas against Foretravel Inc., doing business as Foretravel Motorcoach, citing negligence.

According to the complaint, on March 7, John DiSalvatore discovered the 2013 RV 6574 unit he'd purchased a few months prior was leaking through the windows, walls, ceiling and floors, allowing water to seep into the RV undetected for months. The complaint states DiSalvatore, worried about a potential mold infestation, paid $5,200 to have mold tests performed on the RV, the first of which was done May 29 and returned “inconclusive" findings.

The DiSalvatores say the second, more detailed report from June 3 revealed “extremely high levels” of mold throughout the RV, and the mold expert recommended no one enter the RV without proper protection until it was professionally remediated.

DiSalvatore says around the same time, members of his family were feeling ill and suffering from frequent headaches and coughing and sneezing, symptoms typical of mold inhalation, and because these family members had spent considerable time in the RV prior to the discovery of the mold, they had tests run on the entire family.

The lawsuit states the results showed DiSalvatore's wife, Sandra Disalvatore, had developed an "abundant" “enterobacter species” infection, and she and their youngest son, RD, tested positive for “trichothecene,” a potentially lethal toxin. DiSalvatore says RD also tested positive for E. coli. According to the lawsuit, the DiSalvatores' oldest son, JD, tested positive for an “abundant” supply of ''pseudomonas aeruginosa,” another severe condition that can lead to severe illness or even death, and “ochratoxin-A,” a toxin produced by mold that has been classified as a possible human carcinogen. John DiSalvatore says lab results also revealed he is at risk from a moderate growth of enterococcus.

Foretravel Motorcoach is accused of negligence in selling the family a defective RV, gross negligence, violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, assault for selling a defective RV that would produce mold, resulting in offensive physical contact with the plaintiffs, breach of contract and conversion.

The DiSalvatores seek more than $75,000 in person injury, personal property, treble, actual, and exemplary damages, interest, loss of use, attorney fees and court costs. They are represented by attorneys Francis I. Spagnoletti and Marcus R. Spagnoletti of Spagnoletti & Co. in Houston.

Lufkin Division of the Eastern District of Texas case number: 9:14-CV-00150-KFG

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