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Hampton Roads has many dangerous and busy tunnels and river crossings. The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel between Hampton and Norfolk is one of the most hazardous and accident-prone stretches of interstate. Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel accidents made headlines in recent months.

When crashes occur in a confined space, the results can be serious. The complicated nature of Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel accidents was highlighted on May 2019 when an eight-vehicle crash closed the tube for hours.

The driver who was charged with causing the HRBT crash by following too closely was later hit with a $25,000 bill.

A Virginia State Police spokesman said the driver of an F350 box truck, swerved to avoid stationary traffic, rear-ended a vehicle ahead, and swerved into the path of a tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer struck the tunnel wall and caused the box truck to jackknife into the truck and another vehicle, causing a chain reaction wreck.

Police said the tractor-trailer involved in the crash was carrying hazardous materials.

Serious crashes, fires, or other incidents in the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel have led to its closure or evacuation in recent years.

In 2016, two vehicles caught fire in the eastbound tube of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel after one car hit the back of another.

The accident caused the tunnel to fill with smoke. As many as 80 drivers were forced to get out of their cars and evacuate the tunnel. Ambulance crews transported four people to local hospitals and about nine were treated for smoke inhalation. The blaze caused damage to the tunnel and completely destroyed one of the vehicles.

Recent accidents illustrate the potential hazards at crossings in Hampton Roads and elsewhere. When crashes occur in tunnels, there is nowhere for traffic to go. There is also no outlet for hazardous fumes.

As well as tunnel crashes, Hampton Roads saw a spate of accidents on bridges in recent years. Trucks crashed off bridge spans at the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

The I-64 Hampton Roads-Bridge Tunnel connects Hampton and Norfolk. It’s the oldest and most congested crossings taking traffic under Hampton Roads.

The bridge-tunnel is infamous for its long backups. Plans to replace it are underway.

The Virginian-Pilot reported more than 4.76 million vehicles crossed the HRBT and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel in 2013, an increase of more than 21,000 compared with the same time last year. The tunnel sees about 20 crashes a month and 90 breakdowns.

The HRBT tunnels opened in 1957 and 1976. Traffic on four lanes exceeds 100,000 vehicles per day during peak summer traffic, the expansion project notes.

The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion project is expected to ease the congestion by widening the four-lane segments of the I-64 corridor at the crossing.

Contracts were signed in 2019 for the $3.8 billion project.  The improvement will add capacity to the congested HRBT.

It entails:

  • The addition of two new two-lane tunnels
  • Widening of the four-lane sections of I-64 in the City of Hampton between Settlers Landing Road and the shore at Phoebus;
  • Widening of the four-lane section of I-64 in the City of Norfolk linking the Willoughby shoreline and the I-564 interchange.


The widening of the Midtown Tunnel between Norfolk and Portsmouth over the last few years alleviated traffic congestion and appears to have reduced accidents in the tunnels. During times of congestion drivers often become impatient and road rage accidents are more prevalent. Tailgating is a form of aggressive driving. It’s very dangerous because the driver traveling too closely often has little time to react to traffic slowing down suddenly ahead.

Contact an Experienced Hampton Car Accident Lawyer over HRBT Accidents

At the Smith Law Center, our experienced trial lawyers have helped many people injured in HRBT wrecks. We have assisted injured clients in the city of Hampton since the 1940s.

Read more about traffic accidents our website or call us at (757) 244-7000.

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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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