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Eau Claire family claims it was evicted because of mold inside living quarters

Eau Claire (WQOW)- An Eau Claire family is dealing with a 6-year-old with respiratory issues and a doctor said it could’ve been from the mold in their apartment.

They reported the mold and they believe that’s why they’re now being evicted, by a landlord even the city had filed a lawsuit against.

The family of five moved into the apartment complex on El Dorado Boulevard in April 2018. Nicole Anderson and the woman she considers her mom, Stacey Simon, got the place together. They both say everything seemed okay with the apartment, until they discovered mold.

“We were cleaning out the boys’ room when because they had some toys in the corner when Christopher pointed out the mold, Anderson said. “We knew that we were scheduled to have a health department visit so when the health department came we notified them of the black mold.”

Anderson said their landlord, Karen Cigan, was there for the January inspection, and suggested painting over the mold.

Eau Claire City-County Health Department officials said they’re inspecting that entire apartment complex, but when they find a problem, they make sure the landlord knows it needs fixing.

“So, when we issue orders we then give a date that it has to be completed by. At that time then we do a re-inspection. During the re-inspection if it’s not done we do issue a fee,” Triston Christopher, an environmental health specialist said. “A re-inspection fee of $125, additionally we may issue citations.”

Christopher said she’s not able to release why the apartment is being inspected.

Stacy Simon said her six-year-old son Christopher has never had any kind of respiratory issue before, but he had to be hospitalized for three nights earlier this week, and she said doctors told her mold could have triggered his sickness.

“They had him on oxygen immediately, he had to have a shot of penicillin because his immune system isn’t as strong as it should be because of the mold issue,” Simon said. “He has to take a breathing treatment every four hours.”

Simon said Christopher can’t go back to school, because he needs constant treatment. It’s also keeping her from work, as she stays home to care for him.

A court-ordered mediation agreement with Cigan shows they owed $500 through February 1.

Simon said they had the payments, but Cigan doesn’t have an address to send checks to. They have to wait for her to come get it.

“She shows up whenever she feels like it,” Anderson said. “Sometimes really early in the morning 5 or 6 in the morning, sometimes really late at night 10:30 to 11 at night, and knocks on the door and expects us to hand her cash.”

Anderson said after January 17, Cigan stopped answering calls, and never came back for their rent money. Then, they found the eviction notice on their door Tuesday.

“After we pointed out the black mold she stopped showing up to collect rent,” Anderson said.

“I have until Friday to have a new place for them,” Simon said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Anderson said right now they’re trying to figure out where to live. Then they plan to file a lawsuit.

News 18 has reported on Cigan before. Back in 2016, the city sued her for $1.3 million for failing to maintain her properties, which was later settled for about $300,000.

She’s even been fined after that settlement for not doing the fixes she promised.

News 18 spoke with Cigan Wednesday and she hung up, we left her a message requesting a comment and she hasn’t gotten back to us.

If you’re interested in helping the family being evicted you can check out their Go Fund me Page by clicking here. 

Shannon Satterlee

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