Lawsuit claims student sickened by mold at St. James Elementary School

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — An Horry County Schools parent filed a lawsuit Monday against the district and St. James Elementary School, claiming mold in the building made their student sick.

The lawsuit claims between 2017 and 2019, the unnamed student — for which they are a guardian — was a student at St. James Elementary School and suffered from headaches, sore throats, mouth sores, depression, mood dysregulation, and general malaise after exposure to mold.

The mold exposure was discovered after blood tests were done on the student, according to the lawsuit. During the students time at the school, it was discovered that mold was present in several Horry County schools, including St. James Elementary, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit claims the district knew about water damage, water leaks, and mold issues for years and failed to do anything to fix it.

The lawsuit alleges the district eventually hired a company to remove the mold, but not until after years of neglect. The lawsuit claims the district also had to hire a second mold removal company because the first one wasn’t qualified to remove the mold and the problem persisted.

The lawsuit says the family tried to transfer the student out of St. James Elementary School due to ongoing health issues from the mold exposure but the district wouldn’t approve the transfer unless the family paid a $4,854 transfer fee.

The lawsuit claims the district failed to provide students with a safe environment.

The lawsuit accuses the district of allowing teachers and personnel to transfer to other schools within the district due to the mold but wouldn’t disclose the conditions at the school. The lawsuit says the district was negligent and reckless and acted with complete disregard of the students’ health.

The family is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

Horry County Schools Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said the district can’t comment on pending litigation.

Horry County Schools said in April 2019 it would replace the roof of the building after flooding from Hurricane Florence caused mold to develop in the building.

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