By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Early this year, Kramer sat for a deposition in Kelman’s attorney’s Marina del Rey office. Her attorney, Bandlow, a snappy-dressing law professor at USC, was at her side. Kramer wore a bright-yellow sweater and her trademark red lipstick.
“Is it true that you like attention and being queen of the chat boards?” Sheuer, 50-ish with short gray hair, asked.
“No, that’s absolutely not true, I’ve not enjoyed having to go out front on this issue,” she shot back.
Her lobbying in 2006 helped guide Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy’s office in requesting a Government Accountability Office investigation of the mold issue — expected to be released later this year. Kennedy tells the Weeklyin a written statement: “Household mold has been increasingly implicated in several respiratory conditions, so I asked GAO to report to Congress on the possible links between mold and serious illnesses.”
Although this is a small triumph for the indefatigable Kramer, her youngest daughter, Meaghan, says that she doesn’t tell friends at college what her mom does. Erin, who missed most of high school because of her severe mold-induced lung infection, doesn’t like to relive it either. Mike Kramer just looks forward to the day it will all be over.
“If I never hear about mold again, I’d be happy,” he says. “When this lawsuit is over, she will get some closure. But I don’t think she will ever move on.”
His comment seems prescient. One afternoon not long after Mike Kramer mused about his wife’s tenacity, she was driving on the road to Lake Hodges, to visit the family’s old abandoned house. “I never thought it would take so long,” she says. “But once I get a congressional hearing, this will be all over.”
Later, at Kramer’s much more modest current home, the phone rings. Surrounded by dust and her piles of paperwork, she answers. It’s the City Attorney’s Office. Mike will have to pay the $500 parking fine but won’t have a misdemeanor on his record. For now, the mold queen has a victory.
*For the record, July 29, 2008: As originally published, this story erred in stating that activist Sharon Kramer lost all but her truest friends during her battles against mold. In fact, she told theWeekly she had merely lost touch with many friends. In addition, an editing error while trimming for length made a quote from Ted Frank at overlawyered.com appear as if he was commenting on Sharon Kramer's legal battle with scientist Bruce Kelman. Frank, however, was criticizing people and attorneys who seek monetary damages for mold in general, not the Kramer legal battle. Finally, two photo captions in the story's print layout were grouped together, making it appear that the photos might have occurred around the same time. In fact, the photo of the Kramer family on vacation was taken long after they moved out of their Lake Hodges house.
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