Introducing Surviving Mold: Medical and Legal Issues in CIRS.


Introducing Surviving Mold: Medical and Legal Issues in CIRS.

Dear friends and fellow Mold Warriors,It is my distinct honor to introduce to you a new series for Surviving Mold: Medical and Legal Issues in CIRS.

This state of the art series will (i) discuss the legal strategies used by defense attorneys; (ii) debunk the “scientific literature” that underpins their arguments; (iii) critique the negative arguments put forth by defense “expert” witnesses; (iv) quantify the staggering differences between the literature that supports human illness acquired from chronic exposure to the interior of water-damaged buildings and the occasional published article stating how mold-based illness is not plausible; (v) discuss who actually makes up the relevant scientific and medical community; (vi) analyze the legal requirements of writing an expert witness report;(vii) chronicle how to demonstrate causation; (viii) consider legal standards such as Daubert and Frye; (ix) summarize the absolutely stunning preponderance of medical science supporting our position; and (x) discuss what efforts can be made to encourage government agencies to include the state of the art science when issuing public health advisories and physician educational materials in the best interest of public health and safety.Dr. Shoemaker and I will alternate articles, bringing a fresh lesson fortnightly. By necessity, we will break CIRS down into its simplest terms to facilitate understanding by all.

This is must read medicine for all CIRS newbies, for anyone who is having difficulty receiving proper medical care from their primary physicians or with improper insurer claims handling practices and is interested in pursuing litigation for their own personal injuries. It is also important information or those trying their hands at expert witness legal work, attorneys and even CIRS-knowledgeable providers.

Our first article below comes from a very special guest, Sharon Kramer, who has been a staunch bulldog pursuing truth, at great personal cost to herself, for well over a decade. She is a wrecking ball for justice and a bulldozer for those who have been hurt by CIRS. She was the first person, after Dr. Shoemaker, to welcome me into the world of mold. She is a personal inspiration to me and an unsung hero. She knows things that should make your skin crawl… and she is not afraid to speak them to persons at the highest levels of government and policy-making. Sharon is a jewel and you will be amazed by what she has to say. We are interested to know what you think about or new feature. Let us know at info@survivingmold.com.

Scott McMahon, MD


Brian Lepore
Federal G.A.O.

Dear Mr. Lepore, 

Please confirm when you have received this email. Thank you for returning my call last Thursday and for taking the time to begin to understand why so many military families continue to be greatly harmed by the biocontaminants in their water damaged housing and why they can get no help. These contaminants are mold, bacteria, fungal fragments, fungal proteins, beta-glucans, mycotoxins, endotoxins, etc, (hereafter referred to as “MOLD”) that are found in their water damaged residences.

You asked me why I think you are getting so many calls about this military housing audit. I know why. The following is the true story of why you are getting so many reports from military families who are telling you that they are sick and are being severely discriminated against by their NGO partner/private sector landlords when they complain of being sickened by the exposures.

The short answer of why the problem persists is: because CDC NIOSH was instrumental in marketing naysaying junk science to physicians beginning in 2002. It was penned by toxicologists/expert defense witnesses, including a then newly retired NIOSH deputy director, Bryan Hardin.  CDC ATSDR continues to fund the mass marketing of the junk science in physician educational materials. The GAO & Senate HELP let them continue to get away with it in 2008 via gutting the heart of a prior GAO audit of the health effects of MOLD.

The long answer takes many twists and turns. It is too long for me to tell you without attaching a mountain of evidence that would cost me a fortune to mail; or have files so large that they can’t be attached via email. So I'm using links to share the documentation. 

 

THE 2007 WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE

The first thing I would like for you to take the time to read before continuing on, is a four-page Wall Street Journal article that was published in January of 2007. It is titled “Court of Opinion, Amid Suits Over Mold Experts Wear Two Hats, Authors of Science Papers Also Help the Defense in Mold Litigation”. The author, David Armstrong, spent six months researching before the article was published. He flew to my home in California from Boston in the spring of 2006 and downloaded my files. From there, he interviewed approximately fifty people before publication.

The reason I want you to read this article first is because it is well written, sums up the heart of the fraud nicely and is as relevant today as the day it was written. When reading, imagine that the year is 2019 and the name of the New York tenants in the story, the Frashiers, is Joe’s Military Family. The WSJ article tells the same story that has played out in the U.S. over and over again for the past seventeen years.

The CDC-promoted-junk-science is the heart of the multi-purpose insurer fraud scam based on junk science, that the WSJ article exposes. It’s a bogus risk assessment model that I call the Veritox Theory or the GlobalTox paper. It fraudulently professes to prove that mycotoxins in water damaged buildings can never plausibly reach a level to harm anyone. It’s used against tenants, home buyers, private sector & government workers, in schools and any place where people are being harmed by MOLD – yet are being deemed liars for saying they are so sick and can get no help from mainstream physicians or the building stakeholders.

As accurately stated in the WSJ article, Bruce Kelman and Bryan Hardin are two of the six owners of Veritox. They took an assumption based on an assumption and jumped to the conclusion there is nothing there. They are expert defense witnesses in MOLD litigation. I’m waiting on some recent court documents from around the county to show you how they and the defense attorneys who hire them, use the bogus Veritox Theory to defeat liability for causation of disabilities and deaths. To quote from the WSJ article:

Dr. Craner maintains, is that “a lot people with legitimate environmental health problems are losing their homes and their jobs because of legal decisions based on this so-called ‘evidence-based’ statement.”

The paper’s authors say their conclusions are validated by the Institute of Medicine’s paper. But the author of the Institute paper’s mold toxicity chapter, Harriett Ammann, disagrees, and criticizes the ACOEM paper’s methodology: “They took hypothetical exposure and hypothetical toxicity and jumped to the conclusion there is nothing there.”

 

THE 2008 GAO AUDIT OF THE MOLD ISSUE IN ORIGINAL SCOPE IN 2006

The second thing I would like for you to read is the original scope of the prior GAO audit as signed by Senator Kennedy in October of 2006. In February of 2007 (less than one month after the WSJ article came out) I got a call from Dr. David Noll of Senate HELP telling me that HELP and the GAO were deleting the last paragraph from the scope of the audit. What they deleted was this (see page 2 of above link):

What medical and scientific standards are used in determining the admissibility of evidence of both acute and persistent health consequences resulting from exposure to mold? Which individuals and organizations have promulgated these standards and what, if any, conflicts of interest exist regarding these standards?

By deleting the above, they gutted any chance of anyone being held accountable for the mass marketing of the scientific fraud (aka that it's allegedly proven mycotoxins in water damaged buildings (WDB) can't harm anyone). When the audit came out in 2008, it stated that it's plausible mycotoxins in WDB could harm.

It helped a little bit to combat the fraud, but not as much as it should have. Physicians were (still are) being misinformed and the fraud was (still is) used in mold litigations and claims handling practices.  I will send the documents showing this is current information in the next letter via the expert defense witnesses recent testimonies from around the country.

I can’t say for certain what caused this act of deleting the most important aspect of the audit -- that enabled many politicians down both sides of the isle to escape embarrassment for their roles in the fiasco – and some to escape liability for causation of disabilities in their own rental properties. I will tell you and show you more about this aspect in another letter.

 

THE TWO GAO RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WERE NEVER IMPLIMENTED

The third thing I would like for you to read is the 2008 GAO report on Indoor Mold. As you can see, there were only two main things that the GAO wanted achieved by federal inter-agencies:

Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should use the Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality [CIAQ] to help articulate and guide research priorities on indoor mold across relevant federal agencies, coordinate information sharing on ongoing and planned research activities among agencies, and provide information to the public on ongoing research activities to better ensure that federal research on the health effects of exposure to indoor mold is effectively addressing research needs and efficiently using scarce federal resources.

Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should use the Federal Interagency Committee on Indoor Air Quality [CIAQ] to help relevant agencies review their existing guidance to the public on indoor mold–considering the audience and purpose of the guidance documents–to better ensure that it sufficiently alerts the public, especially vulnerable populations, about the potential adverse health effects of exposure to indoor mold and educates them on how to minimize exposure in homes. The reviews should take into account the best available information and ensure that the guidance does not conflict among agencies.

Neither one of these goals were accomplished. Phillip Jalbert of the Committee on Indoor Air Quality (CIAQ) at the EPA was assigned the task of getting all the federal agencies on the same page and getting accurate information out to U.S. physicians and the public. He worked really hard at it beginning in 2009. But he was getting extreme resistance from those higher up, to shut it down.

 

RESISTANCE TO IMPLIMENTING GAO RECOMMENDATIONS AS FRAUD PLAYED ON

As I recall the resistance was coming to Phil from David Rowson, Director, Center for Asthma and Schools, Indoor Environments Division, US EPA and Dr. Laura Kolb. I don't know if Phil will tell you about it or not. People at the EPA get sometimes get retaliated against for speaking out about toxins, health and conflicts of interest in policies. (See what they are currently doing to Dr. Ruth Etzel. She knows MUCH about the sick history of this issue).

The timeline and reasons of this aspect are a long, twisted story in itself.  In large part, it has to do with the toxic tort defense attorneys of the USDOJ using the science fraud that the WSJ article exposed to defeat federal liability for harming military families in poorly built and poorly maintained housing.

In 2011, several citizens, physicians and IAQ professionals ask the CIAQ and others to finish the job as directed by the GAO. (See December 2011 letter). It didn't happen and the GAO deemed the implementation of the audit report completed. The matter was closed.

As a result of lack of better oversight, this is how the Navy was using the science fraud in 2012 in the Lincoln Military Housing cases at Hampton Road cases in Virginia. See the questions they were asked to answer by a reporter in January 2012 and their answers saying they relied on the ACOEM & AAAAI mold position statements to deny liability.  This is the same fraud that the gutted GAO audit did not shut down via deleting the key element from the scope of the audit. The plaintiffs' attorneys were able to discredit it in the litigation. (I THINK the defense even decided not to use the fraud).

 

THE USDOJ WILL NOT STOP THE CRIME OF THE MATTER

This is the epic COMPLAINT that I made to the USDOJ and other relevant parties in 2015. It explains a good bit of the ongoing problem. There are many relevant working links in the "COMPLAINT" link.  After going around and round with the USDOJ for over a year, they basically told me to buzz-off.

At the time, I was working the issue from the other side of the elephant in 2015 -- the ongoing corruption in the California courts that also causes the fraud to continue nationwide. The USDOJ refused to prosecute their own expert defense witnesses, California judges & justices, et.al. for case-fixing together and framing me for libel to defraud the public with the junk science that I exposed in 2005.

Quid pro quo, the USDOJ then turned around and hired Veritox as expert witnesses again in mid 2016. As I recall, the USDOJ always had a representative at Phillip's CIAQ quarterly meetings.  We knew that they had been using Veritox's fraud and junk science since at least 2004 to defeat the claims of military families.  They knew it, too.  Here is one of their Veritox expert witness reports for the USDOJfrom 2006.  I have more. 

 

THE GAO-IGNORED 2007 REPORT OF THE FRAUD BY JOELLEN PEREZ & ME

The next thing I would like for you to stop and read before you move on, is a report that the late JoEllen Perez and I gave to the GAO in 2007.  Titled "CDC The Outsourcing of Environmental Medicine", the report details the heart of the fraud (that was gutted from the audit). Ms. Perez worked for Northup Grumman. She was a private sector contractor to the CDC.

She got literally deathly ill from exposure to MOLD in her CDC leased office in Atlanta. True to form her work comp claim was denied, she couldn’t afford to get medical help from the expensive environmental specialists around the country, and the mainstream doctors did not know how to help her. She died in poverty at age 64, in 2016.

After we finished the above report, JoEllen created a website to put it on so it would be easier for the GAO to be able to read and click-around in. Very shortly after she put it on the internet, her internet provider told her they were deleting her account. I don't recall which provider it was. I just remember that they gave her some really bizarre reason that definitely sounded made up. (I'll come back to this report, further down in this letter).

 

U.S. SENATE STAFF BRIEFING 2006 & THE SURGEON GENERAL 2005

I also want you to know who the late Mary Mulvey Jacobson was and her role in causing the prior GAO audit. Mary was the chief of staff for Boston City Counselor Maura Hennigan. She opened the door for me to be heard by Dem Senate HELP when it was headed by the late Senator Kennedy. She was disabled by exposure to MOLD in Boston’s City Hall circa 2000. Like JoEllen, she died at an early age. After being sickly for many years, Mary died at age 63 in 2017.

Not only did Mary open the door for me to be able to cause the prior GAO audit, she also opened the door for me to be able to moderate a U.S. Senate staff briefing in January of 2006. I got to pick my panelists.

I brought in an ENT (Dr. David Sherris), an immunologist (the late Dr. Vincent Marinkovich), a microbiologist (Dr. Chin Yang) and a biotoxin treating physician (Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker). We wanted Dr. Ken Hudnell to also come present, but the EPA would not let him. Ken was a neurotoxicologist with the EPA for many years. He left in disgust and joined the private sector. The EPA was going to send Laura Kolb and Mary Jane Selgrade instead, but they backed out on both of them at the last minute.

This is the invitation to the Senate staff briefing in January of 2006, titled "The Health Effects of Molds and Mycotoxins". No one but the staffers were allowed to attend. All were invited, but only the Democrats showed up. Congressman John Conyers staffer, Joel Seagal, was also allowed to come.

Conyers had allowed me take Joel with me to the U.S. Surgeon General's workshop on mold in 2005. (I never really cared for Mr. Seagal. He was a lot of talk and no action.) But, it did help to lend credibility to have congressional legislative assistant there with me at the Surgeon General's workshop. 

See the link above about the 2005 workshop. It was written by Jonathan Lee Wright. It spells out that there was no intent to do anything more than to try to get the buildings cleaned up -- no questions asked about why people were unable to get help for their illnesses.  Mr.Wright is now in his sixties and continues to experience ill health.  He is extremely environmentally sensitive after his exposure to MOLD in the early 2000's. 

From what I saw over the years, Congressman Conyers was only interested in the issue when it presented a media opportunity or a public appearance. In October 2004 he sponsored a caucus in D.C. Dr. Simone Sommer organized the presentations. I rallied the troops. There were about fifty of us who went to D.C. Congressman Conyers was going to cancel it, if Bianca Jagger was not coming. Dr. Sommer had to work very hard to assure that she came.  (Politicians not following through on their pledges and directives have been a huge problem in this issue). 

WHO AM I

When you asked me, I told you that I am a “civil dissident” which apparently I am. Not to toot my own horn, but I seem to be pretty good at being a dissident. Some call me "Woman with Stones". I'm mentioned in a few books for my efforts to help solve this epic problem.

I haven't won the war yet. But I have won several key skirmishes along the way. (One example from 2015 with the help of a friend at OSHA. Another example in 2016 with the help of friends with friends at the CA Dept of Health)

I didn’t start out this way. In reality I’m just an old ex-sorority girl from Ole Miss class of 1977. I’m an old cheerleader who honestly believes to this day that you can “push em back, way back” by tenacity and a team effort. I’m an old Girl Scout cookie mom who did not have a clue about how discrimination works and how horrible it really is, until I became involved in this issue via a leak in an icemaker line in 2001.

We got a half a million dollar settlement in 2003 after our homeowner insurer sued us in 2002 for not accepting $30K. I could have walked away from this issue -- but not in good conscience of knowing how many people were (still are) being gravely harmed.

Fifteen years ago, I didn’t know the difference between a congressman and a senator. I was naïve enough to think that I and others could walk into DC in 2004, tell them about the frauds in policies and physician educational materials purposed to commit insurer fraud; and they would be horrified to know what is going on and would immediately fix it. Wrong!

I’m not an uneducated woman. I have a BBA in marketing and am corporately trained to understand how concepts are presented to influence outcomes by decision makers. So, lobbying politicians was kind of the same thing. Before I chose to go down this path of trying to save lives from an epic fraud by using my marketing training, I was a real estate agent in one of our nation’s most affluent communities – Ranch Santa Fe, CA.

I have a deserved reputation of sometimes having an Irish temper. But it typically only flairs when I'm having to look at new deaths -- not from MOLD, but from the fraud in policies that keep doctors in the dark. I’m just an old salesman and I’m not going away until I close this deal of removing the deadly junk science of Veritox from policies, physician educational materials and toxic torts.  

This is the newest advisory from NIOSH, just put out on January 3, 2019. Again they ignore the disabilities that go beyond the respiratory tract, are indicative of toxicity, and are literally condemning many to slow painful deaths. 

I AM A RETALIATED AGAINST WHISTLEBLOWER

I’m the original whistleblower (2005) of how the junk science of Veritox, Inc. (formerly GlobalTox, Inc.) was mass marketed into policies beginning in 2002. In a little internet writing, I wrote of how the fraud could be defeated in court by making the president of Veritox, Bruce Kelman, talk about the exchange of money among the players who were marketing the scam, in front of the eyes of jurors.

Another aspect of gross miscalculation on my part, I greatly under estimated how compromised the California courts are and thought they would protect me for telling the truth in America. Wrong! They've spent 14 years framing me for libel for the words "altered his under oath statements". No joke! That's it! I've never been sued for any words related to what I am telling you about today. But in reality, the entire purpose of the framing me, is to make me look like a liar about this epic scam. 

I’ve paid dearly for daring to expose this fraud and how to defeat it in court; and for refusing to shut up about it while working to make it stop. I’ve spent the last fourteen years of my life being framed for libel in the California courts to keep the scam going from coast to coast.  I'm pretty sure that is called racketeering. 

The California courts keep trying to gag me and pummel me into silence from telling of what the CA judges and justices, along with their clerks and Veritox’s attorneys have done that is literally criminal to keep the epic scam going. It's a living nightmare to know that what they criminally do to me under the color of law, is continuing to devastate the lives of thousands.

I think they are not even remotely concerned that they will be held accountable. It has been thirty years since any judges in California have been prosecuted for collusively case-fixing. It too happened in San Diego and some of those dancing very close to that flame are the primary case-fixers of this matter. Only now, they are leading justices in the California judicial branch.

The judges had to audacity to put me in jail for two days in March of 2012 for refusing to sign a false confession of being guilty of libel. When they let me out, they tried to coerce me into signing it again. Here is the court transcript/exchange between Judge Thomas Nugent and me on March 14, 2012.

Other than making it harder for me to get the truth out, their relentless retaliation is not working and they know it. So they just keep traveling further down the criminal rabbit hatch while dragging me along with them -- because they can’t stop framing me (with fraudulent court documents and falsified electronic records) without exposing that they have been framing me and they know they’ve harmed thousands by doing so.

“They”, including CA Chief Justice Cantil-Sakayue, don’t appear to have any intent of letting up soon. Neither do I. I am highly anticipating more retaliation for giving you all this information.  See my Oct 2018 video “The Toxic Judgment, Veritox v. Kramer”. It explains much of the unbridled and ongoing crime in the CA courts while case-fixing Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) that is purposed to cheat the public nationwide with the junk science that I am telling you about today. It also explains how they are harassing me with fraudulent court documents -- purposed to keep some big bad apples on the bench in CA and out of jail for the case-fixing. At about an hour and a half in, the videod-proof of the willful case-fixing begins. 

 

AUDIT BY THE CA BUREAU OF STATE AUDITOR

There is another audit underway that is tangentially related to your audit. The California Bureau of State Audits (BSA) is currently auditing the CA judges’ oversight agency, the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP). I worked with many court reform advocates beginning in 2016 to help cause this one. (I was just a worker bee on this one, not the leader). I am giving information this month to the BSA, too. I will tell them what I am telling you.  I am highly anticipating that I will receive more retaliation under the color of law in the CA courts.

 

WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO TO HELP THE MILITARY FAMILIES

I want the GAO to do what should have been done in 2008 with the help of U.S. Senate HELP. Cause the following three papers to be retracted from publication -- so that they can no longer be used in courts and claims handling practices by less-than-honorable, win-at-all-cost defense attorneys -- who are retained by insurers and/or employed at government agencies.

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEMAdverse Human Health Effects Associated With Mold In The Indoor Environment, by Bruce Kelman, Bryan Hardin of Veritox, Inc. and Andrew Saxon of UCLA

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI)  The Health Effects of Mold by Andrew Saxon et.al. 

American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Critique of the IOM Report on Indoor Spaces and Mold by Daniel Sudakin of Veritox and Kurt Brent. 

Please read the 2007 Report to the GAO for details of how these three papers are scientific frauds and are the mainstay of the defense in mold litigations. THE GAO-IGNORED 2007 REPORT OF THE FRAUD BY JOELLEN PEREZ & ME  All of these papers are based on the bogus Veritox Theory that falsely professes to prove mycotoxins in WDB cannot plausibly reach a level to harm. The GAO has already found in its prior report that it is plausible. The "experts" refute the GAO by saying you are not a scientific organization. I'll show you in the next letter I send in a couple of weeks. 

I want you to save lives of military families and others by causing the eradication of this junk science from government funded policies, “non-profit” journal publications, courts, claims handling practices, physician educational materials, industry white papers, and the face of the planet. 

 

WHY THE 3 “NON-PROFIT” MEDICAL ASSOCIATION PAPERS DIRELY NEED TO BE RETRACTED

They employ marketing techniques that were first fine-honed by Big Tobacco. Some of the same players are involved in the three papers’ creation, marketing and usages. They are used to confuse the science over the mold issue. “Doubt is their product”. They are used to deny liability for causation of illnesses and deaths; and to stymie physician education and public awareness with the purpose of winning court cases.

The reality is, if U.S. physicians were simply trained to ask their patients, who come in with a whole host of newly acquired and seemingly bizarre and unrelated symptoms, “Are you living or working in a water damaged building?”; then people would know that they may need to remove themselves from the MOLD or have the MOLD removed from the building. Respiratory illnesses are beginning to be acknowledged. But the multi-symptom/multi-system ones still are not. (See NIOSH’s newest advisory).

When people become better after getting away -- as most people do if their symptom are caught early and the exposure is stopped -- it would help to prove that the moldy building was the location of causation. At that point of the shift in physician education and advisories, it would become cheaper for the building stakeholders to clean up the MOLD – rather than hiring attorneys to pretend they don’t know and force the false concept that current accepted science holds that MOLD can’t cause the symptoms in courts.

Just teaching U.S. doctors to advise their patients of the potential cause of their symptoms would be a real game changer. These three bogus medical society papers remaining unretracted are the bottleneck that is standing in the way of that happening. Please make them go away!

MORE LATER

Thank you for listening, asking questions and working to solve this epic problem, Mr. Lepore. I will be in touch again after I get those court documents I am waiting on. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I will help you anyway that I can. 

Those who give their lives to protect all our families deserve better from our government to protect the lives of their families. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely appreciate your efforts over this matter.

Warm Regards,

Sharon Kramer

P.S. I know that I told you that I got your name from reading the Reuters articles. But I don’t think that I told you that I am in communication with Reuters journalists. Everything that I am telling you, I am also telling them. This is a good thing. Our nation’s premiere watchdog and a reputable worldwide news outlet can fact check what I am telling you. I have no doubt that you will see that I am telling you the God’s honest-truth of one of the largest, most deadly scams and cover-ups ever to occur in the history of environmental science and medicine – with many unclean hands and blind eyes enabling it along the way

 


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