A San Diego, Calif., jury awarded more than $2 million to a Marine Corps family for ongoing sickness associated with mold contamination and other issues in their privatized military housing, 10news.com in San Diego reported late last week.
Lawsuit plaintiffs Staff Sgt. Matthew Charvat, his wife and two children alleged that San Diego Family Housing and Lincoln Military Property Management neglected numerous problems in their residence in Gateway Village.
The reported negligence included “visible microbial growth and contamination,” water damage, elevated interior moisture levels, deteriorated and crumbling drywall, and defective appliances.
All family members suffered symptoms such as congestion, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, itchy skin, tightness in chest, dizziness, excessive headaches, wheezing, and other problems, according to the report.
Military family advocates say broader implications are likely, Military Times reported.
“I think we’re going to be seeing more of this,” said Darlena Brown, founder and president of the Military Housing Advocacy Network and an Army spouse. “Based on the families who are reaching out to me, I have a sense there will be a number of class action lawsuits.”
The award is the largest known related to alleged mold issues in military housing. A jury awarded a Marine Corps family $350,000 in 2016 over a mold-related lawsuit against a Lincoln Military Housing subsidiary.
Hunt Southern Group faces another lawsuit alleging mold-related contamination in housing at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
Lincoln Military Housing will appeal the award, Military Times reported.
“There were never any reports of mold in this property from previous tenants, and both Lincoln Military Housing and these residents certified there was no mold when they moved in. These residents also reported no mold for nine of the 11 months they lived in the home,” officials stated.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Justin Schoenberger