Three years ago, when he was 2, a medical exam discovered brain lesions on Kellen Gorman. His family blames “toxic mold” for his autism (though his two siblings weren’t affected) in the house, and sued 17 defendants—including the lumberyard that supplied the wood for the house. Six weeks into trial, the case has settled for $22.6 million and, amazingly, it’s the lumberyard that’s paying the bulk of it: $13 million, or more than $200,000 for each of its sixty employees. As it was, the lumberyard had hired seventeen experts to try the case, but had ten of them (including a toxicologist and microbiolgist) excluded when they missed a court-ordered deadline for disclosure. (The Gormans’ attorney, Brian Witzer, accuses a defense attorney of trying to backdate a document, and says he has filed ethical charges.) The Gormans already have plans for their millions: “We’ll tear [the house] down and take it to a hazardous waste dump and build a really nice house,” [Dana] Gorman said. “It will cost a lot to tear down and rebuild.” (Josh Grossberg, “Manhattan Beach family wins $22.6 million suit”, Los Angeles Daily Breeze, Nov. 7; NBC-4, Nov. 4). And if housing seems a bit more expensive in California, it’s because even the raw materials suppliers must purchase insurance against the risk of multi-million-dollar junk science verdicts.