Mold has been running rampant at the privately operated military housing at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. The contamination has not only cause health problems, but it has also led to mushrooms in the floor and carpets, says a federal lawsuit that was filed by five service members and their families.
The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Tampa and accuses the owners and managers of the military housing units for ignoring repeated complaints concerning mold exposure, as well as inadequate remediation work, and not sharing the results of mold tests with the families.
The suit stated, “In at least one instance, moldy conditions went untreated… for so long that mushrooms grew out of the floor and carpet.”
The lawsuit also stated that, “Indeed, 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 humans and animals alike.”
Michaels Organization, Michael Management Services, Interstate Realty Management Company, AMD East Communities, Clark Realty Capital, and Harbor Bay at MacDill are all defendants listed in the case. None of them immediately responded for a request to comment.
The mold issues at the Harbor Bay at MacDill housing complex have been known since 2016. The service members and their families have all suffered from several health issues as a result of mold exposure. Their ailments included respiratory problems, spleen and liver damage, memory loss, headaches, rashes, lupus, and arthritis, said the suit.
Heather Wilson, the US Air Force Secretary, visited the base to hear what residents had to say about the mold growth and other problems they were experiencing. The Air Force also sent a representative of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to speak with the families who filed the lawsuit.
After remediation took place, the defendants of the lawsuit did not share results of the mold and moisture inspections with the families.
“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, a charitable organization, said that 54 percent of the 105 members that the surveyed at MacDill had problems with mold.
The Air Force cut money the defendants received via a performance incentive fee as a result of mold problems and complaints about remediation efforts.
Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy service chiefs appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee. They acknowledged that there was a large problem with the way military housing was handled and said that they would address a list of issues.
Other issues at the military housing facility include lead paint and rat infestations.
Mold Inspection & Testing Orlando has vast experience performing mold tests in Orlando and the surrounding areas. We strongly recommend that the military require the companies that own and operate housing facilities to perform routine mold inspections to ensure the safety of the service members and their families. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 321.236.0087.