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March 16, 2004 - Worker can pursue claims against company

A worker who blames workplace mold for his disability can pursue claims against the company and the man in charge of building maintenance, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in reversing parts of a lower court's decision.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Narley L. Cashwell dismissed the claims of Tommy Davis Nathan Cameron and his wife, Lisa, on Aug. 19, 2002, ruling that they had violated the statute of limitations for making such a claim. Cashwell also said that the Camerons had failed to show that Merisel Properties was responsible for the condition of the building.

The appellate court reversed those rulings and agreed that the couple could seek punitive damages from Brian Goldsworthy, who was in charge of maintenance at the call center in Cary where Cameron worked. He is also a defendant in the case.

In an unanimous ruling written by Judge Linda M. McGee, the court agreed with Cashwell that the couple couldn't seek punitive damages against Merisel on a separate claim.

Tommy Cameron began working at the call center in December 1998, according to court documents. He began to experience dizziness soon after that and the condition became chronic, leading to nausea, fainting and blackouts. By the end of 1999, he had been diagnosed with complete loss of the balance function of both inner ears.

Cameron said the defendants assured him several times that the call center was free of toxic molds and he continued to work there until April 2000, when he was declared disabled, according to court filings.

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