On April 17, 2011, Doris Hentz died of hypersensitivity pneumonitis which is a lung inflammation from inhaling substances such as mold. Hentz worked as an accounts receivable clerk for eight years at Overland City Hall. Hentz’s husband has filed a wrongful death suit seeking unspecified damages in St. Louis County Circuit Court in Clayton. The couple has three children: 24, 19 and 18.
According to the wrongful death lawsuit, sometime before October 2009, “extensive mold contamination” was found in the building where Hentz worked. Workers on Doris Hentz floor had complained about allergies and air quality. Officials arranged for removal of the mold but would not explain the presence of workers in hazardous-material suits. According to the attorney who filed the suit, “they never informed the employees what was going on, and they asked and they weren’t given any information”. The wrongful death suit alleges carelessness in not warning and removing employees and testing their health.
Alderman Lisa Ridolfi, who was the city’s finance director for about 25 years, worked in the building part time during the mold removal. She claimed she thought the mold was contained to a third floor bathroom. She stated that when Rivercrest (which did the mold remediation) was asked if it was safe for workers to stay, they said yes. Ridolfi said Hentz had a chronic cough, and would cough so hard sometimes that she would go into the bathroom and throw up.
The suit accuses the city; McGrath Environmental Associates (which performed mold testing); Rivercrest Restoration (which did the mold remediation); and Mayor Michael Schneider, City Administrator Jason McConachi and Finance Director Nancy Schoemaker.
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The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles serious injury and wrongful death cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your wrongful death or serious injury case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit our website at www.awsmithlaw.com. The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.