SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Attorneys representing staff at the Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse in Springfield held a news conference Monday to discuss a report on mold testing done at the courthouse in February.
According to a news release sent to 22News from Alkeman DiTusa, the original filers of the lawsuit, the report finds that “dangerous levels of several species of toxic and carcinogenic mold throughout the building, including Aspergillus versicolor, which notably was found in Judges Lobby 204a (which was the office used by Judges Robert Kumor and William Boyle, both deceased from ALS), among other places throughout the building.”
This inspection took place on February 7th and 8th and included air sampling, vacuum sampling, and swab testing.
“As we have said since September, just knowing that there is mold in the courthouse is not enough. We needed to learn the species of mold found to determine if it’s dangerous. It would be like someone telling you not to worry when you were just bit by a snake, without telling you if you were bit by a garden or rattlesnake,” said Laura Mangini, a lawyer at Alekman DiTusa.
A class-action lawsuit was filed in September 2021 “relating to poor environmental conditions at the courthouse.” The lawsuit is holding the Trial Court responsible for failing to properly address the health issues over the years at the Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse.
The trial court recently announced that there is no other suitable location for a courthouse in downtown Springfield and building a new one would take years to complete. Instead, they’re moving forward with a comprehensive rehabilitation and renovation plan that includes new windows, a new roof, and a new HVAC system.