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A year ago I put mine and my daughters belongings in storage after my mother passed away. I lived in a 4 bedroom 2 bath house and all the content was placed in this storage unit. I made this choice so that I could go and take care of my disabled father.

After visiting the storage unit I would have a major headache and high blood pressure. At first I related this to the fact that my stuff was in storage and this sparked emotions from the visual reminder. But I started to see the same pattern in my teen aged daughter. She was complaining about the same issues that I was experiencing myself.

After a few months the storage company had the facility painted and they had contracted with a nationally known painting contractor to perform the duties.

It wasn’t until I went to retrieve some of the items in the unit and placing them in the back of my SUV did I discover the problem. In the car we started to smell a really strong odor. Once we got to my dads house and went to unload the items I noticed the discoloration of the items.

So I made a complaint to the office of the storage company and was informed that I wasn’t the only one that has had this issue. They continued to give me a bogus number for the contractor. So I turned my attention back to the storage facility and got the run around. So I contacted the Department of Consumer Affairs about my complaint. I soon started to see results in compliance from the storage company and they gave me the right name and number to the contractor which I contacted.

I addressed the fact that we have experienced some health issues from the products used and the product has coated our entire worldly belongings. I raised the issue that suspected Xylene based paint being used to paint the doors of the unit. He then informed me that he had used AUTOMOTIVE paint which has low VOC’s and that it meets the federal and state requirements. I responded by saying to him, it may meet the federal and state requirements IF it was used in the intended application Environment such as a painting boot for automotive painting or in a industrial setting with proper safeguards being exercised. He did not know how to respond to that bit of information that I had.

See I am a single parent and I have been a professional commercial and industrial painting for the past 25 years. I know the liability laws and application requirements regulated by the EPA and states.

The painting company is will to reach a settlement on my claim due to the fact they do not want this to become a public issue. However they are only wanting to pay for the damaged property that photo’s show paint residue on( Meaning only white surfaced items). The darker items are contaminated just as well as the liter colored items are. So…..

I have contacted the EPA regional office to have a field agent assist me on return to the unit to take photo’s and have air quality samples taken and test to disclose exactly what toxins are present in the unit. I have also complained the EPA that the painting company sprayed airborne contaminates in wide open air without any filtration system being used. Placing the public at risk and contaminating the contents of my storage unit. They have complied in my request for testing.

The storage companies insurance agent called yesterday wanting to get a recorded statement from me about what has happened.

I need to know if this is a required over the phone recording? Could they not turn and use this against me later in litigation? Because you can not modify the recorded statement. Should I decline to entertain this request?

These are two very large Corporations that have conspired to violate federal regulations and has put the public in great danger by releasing airborne toxins into the air. This storage facility is in a highly populated community and has a water way less than 500 feet away and a community ballpark less than 1000 feet away.

Any help? Thanks!!
It is about the way the product was applied to the building and it is about the contamination of the toxins that has damaged not only my worldly possession but also the environment surrounding the facility as well.

The fact that the painting company is willing to reach a settlement on the damaged items and wanting photo’s to prove the damage is also a issue. Contamination is not always able to be documented on photo’s. The residue is just as bad on the items that it does not show up as easily on.

This recorded statement thing just seems to me like just another attempt to try and get out any liability settlement. The paint company has already admitted fault. But the storage company up until now have refused any responsibility for the damages. The insurance adjuster that wants the recorded statement if for the Storage company and not the painting company.

2 Thoughts on Self Storage painted and toxic overspray covering contents of household stored in unit.?
  1. Reply
    June 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    The issue seems to be about the harm that came from the way and product the building was painted. It appears that you are seeking economic compensation for you state, “The painting company is will to reach a settlement on my claim due to the fact they do not want this to become a public issue.” Some sort of formal statement by the claimant is normal, in this case they are doing so over the phone versus a written statement.

    Yes, it is possible they could use this in litigation against you. Perhaps this is something you would desire to speak with an attorney about.

  2. Reply
    June 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I see no problem with a recorded statement. If it gets the process moving go for it. I would not allow them to ask questions or interrogate you. Just write down exactly what the details are…don’t volunteer anything or give your impressions. Just give the facts, nothing more. It’s no different then you supplying them with a statement, or the same statement you will file in a lawsuit.

    Now….my question is why are you letting these idiots take charge in this? Get a lawyer. Contact every other tenant that you can and have them join in a class action to help with the up-front legal fees.

    It’s not only the painting company on the hook, but the storage company is also on the hook, and their own insurance company will handle it. Your contract most likely states that your property is not insured and that the storage company is not liable for any damage. Every storage contract should have a clauses saying something to the effect that “…Storage Facility shall not be responsible for any loss of goods stored in the storage space, nor be responsible for any damages done to any items stored in the storage space……unless said loss or damage is caused by the direct act of the Storage Facility or their agents, employees or representatives”. Even if it’s not in the contract, I can’t see any court ruling in their favor. In the contracts that I have seen, it does not specify “visual damage”….having a smelly, toxic fumes infested piece of furniture certainly applies.

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