He devoted his career to keeping other healthy and ended up losing his life due to a preventable environmental hazard. It's hard to believe where it all started.
Dan Pauluck worked at the Southern Nevada Health District, the place where doctors believe he was infected with toxic mold.
News 3 first broke the story in 2006 and now, as News 3's Katherine Whaley reports, his family claims they are suffering from the same illness and many others could be at risk.
In the months before his death, Dan Pauluck battled memory loss, skin sores, and organ failure. Dan spent the last years of his life fighting an agency dedicated to public health; one he believes exposed him to the fungus that would eventually kill him.
Dan died in 2007 despite repeated efforts he made to have toxic mold removed from the environmental wing at the Southern Nevada Health District where he worked. But Dan's health was only the beginning of an uphill battle for his family, who are now facing the same infection.
"A lot of my teeth came out in pieces and they were black as coal because of the mold," Dan's wife Wendy Pauluck told News 3. "...it's been hard - emotionally, financially, in every way possible. I basically had what he was dying from."
Wendy, daughter Chrissy, and even his caretaker Dean, say they are recovering from mold poisoning from cross-contamination. That's an infection caused by mold spores they believe were carried into their home days after day on Dan's clothing.
The Paulucks believe there could be many more victims out there; people exposed to the toxic mold who worked at the Southern Nevada Health District or even folks who simply came into the building.
That's one reason the family is filing a lawsuit. In addition, they are doing it to recover medical costs and lost wages and bring awareness to what they claim is negligence, carelessness, and recklessness on the part of the Health District.
"We believe that there is a strong possibility that there are many others out there that have been affected and they just don't know," attorney Tracey Eglet said.
And now, as the family struggles to regain its own health, they're hoping the courts will help them protect the health of many others.
"He (Dan) was a man who had great integrity and believed in doing his job thoroughly and that's why he took the stand he did," said Wendy.
We called the Southern Nevada Health District, but they are not making comments at this time. Two other plaintiffs are named in this lawsuit, including a former colleague of Dan Pauluck and her husband.
Lawyers have not ruled out the possibility of a class action lawsuit. A previous lawsuit to recover damages from Dan's death was filed in 2007. It is now pending in federal court. No trial date has been set.