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While the majority of births in the US occur without trauma or complications, a portion of all live births will result in a birth injury. To be more precise, the most recent data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project shows that around 158,000 birth injuries occur each year that were potentially avoidable. That means roughly seven out of 1,000 children in the United States are born with birth injuries.

7 of the Most Common Birth Injuries

How do these injuries occur? Many involve head trauma, which can severely alter every other area of a child’s normal progression of growth and development. Others might impact nerve function and muscle mobility. Nearly all will require at least one type of therapy or treatment, often permanently.

The birth injury advocates at the Smith Law Center have been representing families since 1949. If you believe your child’s birth injury was preventable, we are available to answer your questions anytime at (757) 695-9288.

Below are seven of the most common birth injuries:

Brachial Plexus

Brachial plexus injuries entail nerve damage from the newborn’s upper spine to the shoulder, neck, arm, and hand. Although the damage may be temporary and restricted to a stretching of the nerve, the infant can be left with a permanent disability. The most severe cases of brachial plexus involve torn or ruptured nerves which fail to heal correctly. In extremely severe cases, complete paralysis is caused when the nerve roots are totally dislodged from the spine.

Cerebral Palsy

On average, two to three out of every 1,000 children born in the United States have cerebral palsy. The condition causes a lack of motor skills, muscle spasms, and weak muscles. Improper monitoring of the mother during labor, a failure to monitor fetal distress, and poor birthing techniques can all lead to brain damage causing cerebral palsy. 

Perinatal Asphyxia

Perinatal asphyxia is caused by oxygen deprivation in the blood during birth. When there is insufficient blood flow to the baby before birth, it can cause seizures, shock, or even a life-threatening coma.

Subgaleal Hemorrhages

The use of forceps or vacuum extraction can cause a subgaleal hemorrhage in a newborn. This is bleeding under the baby’s scalp above the periosteum that covers the skull bones. This can cause significant bleeding and shock. The baby may even require a blood transfusion.

Subdural hemorrhage 

Newborns can also suffer bleeding between the outer and the inner layers of their brain covering. Subdural hemorrhage puts added pressure on the surface of the brain. Newborns with a subdural hemorrhage can develop serious health problems, such as seizures.

Spinal Cord injuries

A baby’s spinal cord is more fragile than an adult’s. The heavy-handed use of forceps during delivery can cause nerve or spinal cord damage. This may lead to permanent paralysis and neurological problems.

Facial Paralysis

Too much pressure on the baby’s face can damage nerves. Facial paralysis is also associated with excessive forceps use or vacuum extraction. The baby may not be able to move one side of his or her face or even open an eye.

Causes Behind Common Birth Injuries 

Closeup of a pregnant woman's bare belly with her OBGYN in the rear, blurred out of focus. Doctor errors can lead to common birth injuries.

While there are instances when a child is born with a birth injury apart from human error, many are preventable. If a doctor or healthcare worker was directly responsible for a child’s birth injury, families may be able to seek compensation. This is known in the legal realm as medical malpractice.

Examples of doctor neglect leading to birth injury include:

  • Umbilical cord complications
  • Excessive use or misuse of forceps
  • Delayed C-Sections
  • Improperly treated infections
  • Asphyxiation
  • Untreated jaundice
  • Failure to detect fetal distress

Birth injury lawsuits are challenging and often require years of experience as well as sufficient financial backing from the law firm. If you think your child was injured at birth, our legal advocates can help provide complimentary, private legal advice.

Talk to a Virginia Birth Injury Lawyer

If you believe your child’s birth injury is due to a medical provider’s substandard care, the attorneys at the Smith Law Center are available to answer your questions.

Your child may qualify to receive financial compensation to help offset the cost of:

  • Treatment, including physical therapy, operations, and injections to increase your child’s comfort and quality of life
  • Time away from work due to caring for your child
  • In-home assistance
  • New equipment, including a wheelchair accessible vehicle

Our Virginia birth injury lawyers have unique training and certifications in brain injury and are intimately acquainted with the laws surrounding medical malpractice lawsuits. Since 1949, we have won over a billion dollars for injured Virginians. Please call us today to learn more about how we can help your family at (757) 695-9288.

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If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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Use the simple form below to send a message directly to our lawyers. We will respond within 1 hour or less during business hours.

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