District 303

St. Charles, IL: (Sep-05-07) Several students, teachers, and cafeteria workers from the St. Charles East High School, brought a lawsuit against the school in 2001, alleging that their illnesses were caused by mold growth on the premises, and that the district failed to address environmental concerns at the school. Sources claim that the group shrunk when some were unable to prove mold at the school resulted in their illnesses. A district payout could have been a lot higher had the case gone to court for a jury trial or was awarded class action status. But attempts failed in May 2004 at opening the lawsuit to the approximately 3,000 students and 350 staff who were in the building with the mold growth. In 1997, parents and teachers unsuccessfully pushed for testing of the building, which was then St. Charles High School. Partial tests were done in 1998 and 1999. Members of the school's air quality task force formally requested a comprehensive room-by-room study for mold in January 1999 and again in May 2000.

In a recent settlement, the school reached a deal with six former students, with District 303 agreeing to pay less than $100,000 to resolve claims. Kane County Judge Michael Colwell dismissed the 2001 lawsuit after the six former students and District 303 reached a settlement. It took $28 million to fix the mold problem at St. Charles East High School and officials stated that the district now has policies for informing staff, parents and students if mold is found in a building. [DAILY HERALD: SCHOOL MOLD]

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