Heyyyy-yo! Ed’s dog is dead–and he’s suing mad. Former Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon and his wife, Pamela, have filed a $20 million-plus lawsuit accusing his insurance company and contractors of making a toxic-mold ‘wasteland’ of his Beverly Hills home and leaving him and his wife ‘seriously ill’. Not to mention claiming the life of the beloved family pooch, Muffin.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Los Angeles. It names American Equity Insurance Co., two insurance adjusters and a host of contractors. A call today for comment to American Equity’s parent company went un-returned.
In a nutshell, the complaint charges that American Equity, helped out by those various adjusters and contractors, turned a simple broken pipe in the den into a moldy morass that spread from room to room (and from vent to vent). McMahon, well versed in flubs via his long association with those TV blooper specials, termed this series of alleged bloopers a ‘colossal disaster’. (As in, per the Los Angeles Times, ‘When your family loses its health and your home is a wasteland, that’s a colossal disaster.’)
According to the lawsuit, McMahon’s troubles began in July 2001 when that aforementioned pipe went bust in the den. That led to flooding, which led to mold, which led to fixer-uppers being called out to fix everything up. A month after the initial mishap, the lawsuit says, contractors removed ceiling tile in the den, spreading the pesky mold to the Jacuzzi in the master bedroom. This was no small matter because, as the lawsuit asserts, and you must now acknowledge, the 79-year-old Ed and his bride of 10 years spend most of their time in the master bedroom.
Anyway, instead of getting better, the McMahons argue, the mold problem kept on getting worse, aided by the spurious spores getting into the home’s heating and air conditioning ducts. Faster than you can say ‘Erin Brockovich’ (who once filed her own toxic-mold lawsuit), the insurance company allegedly dropped the ball–failing to test for mold levels, failing to properly investigate the McMahons’ complaints, failing to reimburse them for their costs, and even trying to remedy the problem by painting over the stuff.
All of this lack of fresh air caused McMahon and the Mrs. (and “their staff”) to get sick. The never-say-retire McMahon even had to cancel gigs on account of a mold-induced respiratory ailment, his camp charges. But at least McMahon, the Mrs. and their staff are all still with us. The same can’t be said for Muffin McMahon. ‘Indeed’ the lawsuit says, ‘Plaintiffs’ dog died from mold-related illness.”
According to the Times, the McMahons have since left their sick house and retreated to a $23,000-a-month rental. They want American Equity to cough up the dough for this expense, plus compensate them for their property loss and pain and suffering stemming from their abandoned ‘wasteland.’ Of course, nothing will bring back Muffin. “She was a sweetheart of a dog,” McMahon attorney Allan Browne told the Times, “incredibly smart, as frisky as you can imagine.”