Librarian Files Disability Dicrimination Lawsuit against School District

A school librarian worked for 23 years, and then was fired from her job. The librarian, Ann Page, alleged her work environment was infested with mold and that her health had suffered as a result of mold exposure. She refused to go to work, and subsequently, was fired. Page has filed a disability discrimination lawsuit.

The $2M lawsuit was filed against the school district. Page reports her health suffered as a result of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), which stemmed from a leaky ceiling's mold infestation. (Some news reports show Page wearing a gas mask while at work.) Page passed out on one occasion after picking up a book covered with mold. Her mold illnesses worsened over time, manifesting in dizziness, weakness and influenza symptoms. Eventually, Page was unable to breathe or speak normally.

Due to her health issues, Page refused to work in the mold-infested environment in 2004 and filed for workers' comp. Page navigated a series of appeals. She won an appeal in 2007, and it was only then she was provided compensation for the 2005-2006 school year.

Page still wanted to work - just not at the school library where the alleged mold existed. She offered to work from home or another location as a media specialist. That plan included virtually tutoring by computer, grant-writing, video-conferencing, podcasting, lesson-plan writing, customized classroom web pages and online book talks. 

Local investigations show medical evidence suggests Page's problems are attributable to her job inside the library. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health gave the school a negative health assessment. Page’s doctors said being exposed to petrochemical byproducts and synthetic fragrances such as perfume, scented shampoos, and scented laundry products would worsen her condition.

"It's very common for schools to be damp, leaky or moldy," said Susan Brinchman, founder and director of the national, not-for-profit Center for School Mold Help. "No homeowner would set up buckets for decades to routinely collect water."

Until her lawsuit is settled, Page hopes to receive a weekly $400 workers compensation check. But so far, that’s been delayed by legal appeals. This case does not take place in North Carolina, but our lawyers wanted to use this librarian as an example for other cases. For workers' comp claimants in North Carolina experiencing multiple appeals, dangerous working conditions, or other workers' comp issues, contact our lawyers for a complimentary case evaluation. You can also request a copy of Brent Adams' book How to Maximize Your Workers' Compensation Claim, available at no cost to individuals filing for workers' comp in North Carolina.