Toxic Mold, ‘The Asbestos of the 21st Century,’ To Be Focus of NELPI Seminar at TU March 27

Friday, March 07, 2003

Published on 3/7/03

“Toxic Mold, Human Health and the Law,” a seminar of special interest to lawyers, builders, school administrators and homeowners as well as real estate and insurance professionals, is scheduled for Thursday, March 27, at the Allen Chapman Activity Center at Fifth Place and Gary Avenue on The University of Tulsa campus.

The National Energy-Environment Law and Policy Institute (NELPI) at the TU College of Law has assembled a nationally prominent group of scientists, lawyers and experts to examine this phenomenon from the health and legal perspectives. Participants will examine the dangers posed by mold, how they can be avoided, and the liability and insurance implications.

“Headlines, public concern and large judgments have focused attention on mold as a health hazard,” said R. Dobie Langenkamp, conference chair, director of NELPI and professor of law at TU. Some have called mold “the next asbestos,” referring to how mold-infested homes, schools and public buildings threaten their occupants’ well-being. “In some cases, mold coverage has been withdrawn from insurance coverage,” he said.

Kent Frizzell, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior, will moderate a panel discussion, “Health Threat or Hype?” during the lunch hour. Other presenters include Estelle Levetin, professor of biology at TU and a national expert on toxic mold, and Kathie Stepp and Brad Bryant of the Oklahoma Insurance Commission. Litigation will be addressed by Houston attorney Frank Spagnoletti, representing the plaintiff’s interests, and Kansas City attorney E. Wayne Taff, discussing the defendant’s point of view. Industrial health expert Del Malzahn will talk about mold testing and analysis; and Joe Henry, an engineering and environmental consultant, will discuss remediation.

Registration is $125 per person; $75 for paralegals and faculty. Fees include all instruction, conference materials, parking permit, lunch and break refreshments. Seating is limited and early registration is recommended. The seminar offers 4.5 credits for Oklahoma Bar Association Continuing Legal Education. For more information, contact Sue Lorenz at (918) 631-5622 or