The putrid smell was overpowering. It hit Gertrudis Iglesias in the face every time she opened the door to her apartment or turned on the air conditioner.
But even worse was the mold that took root in the water leaking down from a broken toilet in the apartment above. The mold aggravated her young son’s asthma, sending him repeatedly to the doctor.
Iglesias, a single mother with a minimum-wage job at Walmart who speaks no English, didn’t know what to do. She complained to the maintenance man about the leakage, but he just laughed at her, telling her to move if she didn’t like it. She complained to the landlord, who swore he would fix the problem. But month after month, she and her son suffered.
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