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cas
08-30-2012, 03:54
Interesting account in the NY Times about local problem and resultant legal action in the vicinity of the KY distilleries:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/kentuckians-fed-up-with-a-fungus-sue-whiskey-makers.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hpw
Craig

sutton
08-30-2012, 06:29
As a homeowner I can sympathize, however, before they knew what this stuff was and where it came from, it was accepted as part of their natural environment, correct? Wouldn't this black mold have been fairly ubiquitous and obvious on surrounding homes/buildings before they purchased?

I doubt ethanol capture is going to work unless it can be close to perfect. Getting it below 1ppm is not going to be cheap or easy. You'd need all new rickhouses that are practically hermetically sealed, and new building environmental controls since you could no longer open the windows. Comparing to the wine industry for ethanol capture is likely not a fair comparison. The concentration is much less and generally speaking, is produced in semi-arrid/arrid climates. Even so, you'll see this black mold on the walls of wine cellars/caves where wine is aging in barrel -

Tough problem to solve.

p_elliott
08-30-2012, 09:00
There is another thead on this if you look.

cowdery
08-31-2012, 11:19
This fungus has been known for a long time. It's a little like moving into my neighborhood and then complaining about the crowds and traffic caused by Wrigley Field. These recent cases appear to be nothing more than a bid by a lawyer to make a little money for himself and maybe even for the plaintiffs. The stuff is harmless and natural. It washes off with soap and water and a little elbow grease. The companies being sued have to be careful about what they say so this story is being reported mostly from the point-of-view of the plaintiffs which makes for a good story. I can't say nothing will come of it, because stupider things have happened, but I will say that nothing should come of it.

Only one thing has changed in recent years and that is production volume. Kentucky's distilleries are making and, therefore, aging more whiskey than they have in more than 40 years. That probably means there is more fungus where it was before and it's probably reaching further than it did before, so more people are affected. Any reasonable weighing of the economic good of a robust whiskey business against the ostensible harm of the fungus has to come out on the industry's side, but that word 'reasonable' is the caveat.

MauiSon
08-31-2012, 19:09
That increase in production/storage looks like a rational basis for the lawsuit, if it has increased the qualitative or quantitative nature of the fungus (range or concentration of infestation). I think there may be some reasonable action toward amelioration and/or accommodation.

mark fleetwood
09-01-2012, 16:26
That increase in production/storage looks like a rational basis for the lawsuit, if it has increased the qualitative or quantitative nature of the fungus (range or concentration of infestation). I think there may be some reasonable action toward amelioration and/or accommodation.
So because it affects more people now makes suing more rational?

cowdery
09-01-2012, 17:40
The bottom line is that it is, at worst, a minor nuisance, so I don't see how it matters how many people are affected. It's nothing!

"Amelioration" and "accommodation" are nice words, but there is no known way to "ameliorate" the matter, and the only reasonable "accommodation" is one that has been practiced for years. The distillery sends a crew with soap, water, and brushes every few months to clean your house. The stuff is natural and harmless. "Harmless" means "no harm." No harm, no foul. No foul, no lawsuit.

The Huffington Post wrongly said it is 'everywhere' in Louisville. Absurd. At most, it affects a few dozen families, every single one of whom bought their homes knowing the distillery was a neighbor. I'm not saying their ignorance is faked. Ignorance is one thing we have in abundance. That still doesn't mean they've been harmed so as to create a legitimate cause of action.

silverfish
09-01-2012, 21:17
I'm not saying their ignorance is faked. Ignorance is one thing we have in abundance.

"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity."

Harlan Ellison

MauiSon
09-01-2012, 23:37
So because it affects more people now makes suing more rational?

You're assuming it does affect more people - I don't know if that is a fact and haven't commented on that issue.

Bmac
09-06-2012, 07:55
You cannot sue unless you can prove damage. You can also only sue for the amount of damages sustained. The job of the lawyer and plaintiff will be to prove that the fungus is harmful to humans and can say that they have been damaged at "X" monetary amount. Their best argument would be to prove that it causes damage to the house and that they can sue for the amount it takes to repair those damages.

All this is academic. Lawyers only see dollars to be made, they don't care who they hurt to make it.

I think what Chuck said is likely what will happen. They will settle out of court for a small amount and promise to clean houses. This is because cases such as this have already been tried. All the defense has to do is bring those actions to light.