Five Air Force service members and their families have filed a federal lawsuit against privately run housing owners and managers at MacDill Air Force Base.
The moldy conditions in the military housing were so bad that mushrooms were actually growing out of the floors and carpets, says a federal lawsuit that was filed by five service members and their families. The suit was filed in US District Court in Tampa.
The Air Force members and their families are accusing the owners and managers of the privately run housing on MacDill Air Force Base of ignoring several complaints concerning mold issues. They also say that the remediation work the owners and managers ordered was inadequate and that they failed to share the results of mold tests with military families.
“In at least one instance, mold conditions went untreated for so long that mushrooms grew out of the floor and carpet,” the lawsuit stated. It also said, “Once a leak, flood, or dampness occurs, mold can begin to spread, and its natural progression is to spur highly toxic ‘mold mushrooms’ that are harmful to human and animals alike.”
The lawsuit names Michaels Organization, Michael Management Services, Interstate Realty Management Company, AMC East Communities, Clark Realty Capital, and Harbor Bay at MacDill as defendants. When contacted for questions, none of the defendants responded.
The suit alleges that the mold problems at Harbor Bay at MacDill, the privately owned and operated military housing at MacDill Air Force Base, were known to the defendants since 2016.
The service men and women and the families who filed the suit claim that they suffered from several serious health problems as a result of mold exposure in their housing. Respiratory infections, spleen and liver damage, headaches, loss of memory, skin rashes, lupus, and arthritis were among the ailments that the families who filed the lawsuit claim they experienced. They were forced to vacate their homes and to move into temporary housing for an extended period of time, the lawsuit states.
According to the lawsuit, Heather Wilson, US Air Force Secretary, visited the base to hear what residents had to say about mold growth and other issues that they were experiencing in their homes. The Air Force also sent a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to speak with the families.
After remediation, the families allege that the defendants in the case failed to share the results of mold and moisture tests.
“These men and women who serve our country and keep us safe, and their children safe, deserve to live in safe, clean, and uncontaminated housing,” the lawsuit stated.
A report issued by the Military Family Advisory Network said that 54 percent of 105 service members who were surveyed at MacDill experienced problems with mold growth.
Mold Inspection & Testing Tampa has vast experience performing mold assessments in the city. We urge the owners and managers of the Harbor By at MacDill to schedule routine mold inspections to ensure the safety of the military members and their families who live there. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 813.358.4768.