Residents living in privately-run housing at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida have filed a lawsuit accusing the owners and property managers of the facility of failing to deal with a significant mold problem.
The families reported the issues as far back as 2016, but the building management was unable to keep up with the problem. When the workers did show up to remove the mold, they left the job unfinished and failed to provide the results of mold and moisture inspections.
"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 human and animals alike," the lawsuit says.
The families found the mold growing everywhere. It was on their walls, in their air ducts, and even in their bedrooms. In one instance, the mold got so bad that a family found mushrooms growing out of their carpet.
The lawsuit says that families developed severe health issues, including respiratory ailments, liver damage, memory loss, rashes, arthritis, and lupus, as a result of exposure to the mold. Some of the children who were exposed could have life-long health issues, as well.
In some cases, the families were forced to leave their homes and live in temporary housing, uprooting their lives and the lives of their children for extended periods of time.
The issues at MacDill are part of a larger problem with dilapidated military housing at bases across the country. Military officials from all four branches were grilled by lawmakers in March about the conditions, while military families testified about disgusting living conditions they endure at the privately-run facilities.