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?Incredible Hulk' Gets Insurance Mold Suit Green

?Incredible Hulk' Gets Insurance Mold Suit Green

By Michael Ha

NU Online News Service, April 2, 3:44 p.m. EST?Lou Ferrigno, former Mr. Universe and the star of "The Incredible Hulk" television series, yesterday settled a mold damage lawsuit he had filed against Los Angeles-based Mercury Insurance.[@@]

The provisions of the settlement, reached just before the start of a jury trial, were not disclosed.

Mr. Ferrigno had filed his suit in January 2003, alleging that an inspector from Mercury failed to locate and repair a water leak in his house that led to the growth of toxic mold. Mr. Ferrigno was seeking more than $250,000 in the lawsuit.

But John Hager, attorney from Santa Barbara, Calif.-based law firm Hager & Dowling that represented Mercury, said Mr. Ferrigno didn't repair or report his home's water damage problem to Mercury for two weeks.

"Mr. Ferrigno had some kind of water problem in his home's upstairs toilet," Mr. Hager told National Underwriter. When Mr. Ferrigno did finally report it, he explained, Mercury quickly came out, but by that time, mold had already developed.

"So insurance coverage investigation was conducted to determine what damages were covered by his policy and what was not," Mr. Hager recounted. "That coverage investigation led Mercury to conclude that some damages were covered and Mercury paid for that, but some damages weren't covered. Mr. Ferrigno then sued Mercury several months later."

Commenting on the settlement, Mr. Hager said it was a confidential agreement and that both sides were satisfied with it. "Everybody wanted to settle the case," he said.

Mr. Ferrigno is one of several celebrity figures to bring a mold claim against home insurers and other companies. A couple of years ago, Ed McMahon, the onetime sidekick of "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson, filed a $20 million suit against his insurer and mold remediator.

Mr. McMahon claimed the mold sickened him, his wife and staff and killed his dog, Muffin. Last year, model Bianca Jagger, who was married to rocker Mick Jagger from 1971 to 1979, filed a $20 million suit against the owner of her New York apartment over mold growth.

Former basketball superstar Michael Jordan last month filed a lawsuit against several home-improvement companies, alleging synthetic stucco they used for his mansion caused some $2.6 million in mold damage.

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