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A new study has determined with “conclusive evidence” that repetitive head impacts cause the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). These new findings may redefine the way we think about youth sports, military service, and other connections with brain injuries.

Researchers from Harvard, UCLA, Michigan, and five other universities, as well as the Concussion Legacy Foundation (CLF), participated in the study. They found that athletes involved in contact sports like football and hockey were at least 68 times more likely to develop CTE than those who didn’t play such sports.

The research utilized the “Bradford Hill criteria” to analyze the data — a trusted set of nine benchmarks for determining causal relationships between environmental exposures and adverse health effects.

This high strength of association, supported by robust evidence in all benchmarks, is conclusive evidence of causation. Based on their findings, the authors of the study are calling on parents, sports leagues, and government officials to begin implementing CTE prevention efforts.

CTE and other brain injuries can be devastating for the patient and their families. If you or a loved one have been affected by any type of brain injury, contact Smith Law Center at (757) 244-7000 to schedule a free consultation. We have a long history of focusing specifically on traumatic brain injury cases.

Click here for a link to download the full study, “Applying the Bradford Hill Criteria for Causation to Repetitive Head Impacts and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.” Read on to learn more about the applications and implications of the study.

What Are Some Applications and Implications of the New Study?

An immediate application of the findings of the study is a renewed effort to increase awareness of CTE. Dr. Chris Nowinski, CEO and lead author in the study, said, “Sport governing bodies should acknowledge that head impacts cause CTE and they should not mislead the public on CTE causation while athletes die, and families are destroyed, by this terrible disease.”

A CLF press release states that the authors of the study were particularly concerned that young athletes and children were being exposed to preventable cases of CTE. Such unnecessary exposure to CTE may be due to global sports groups not relaying important information to coaches and parents.

Dr. Adam Finkel, another co-author of the study, said, “This analysis shows it is time to include repetitive head impacts and CTE among child protection efforts like exposure to lead, mercury, smoking, and sunburns.”

Liability Implications

Besides the awareness concerns, the study raises important questions about liability for various parties. Coaches, sports professionals, and other persons might now be held liable more frequently, especially if they knowingly subject young athletes to repetitive head impacts.

Liability can be linked to factors like excessive playing time on game days, overtraining in practice, and failure to follow concussion protocols. As more information and data is secured in the area of CTE, courts can make more detailed analyses of traumatic brain injury cases.

What is Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)?

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive and fatal disease that we now know is caused by repetitive head impacts. Examples of repetitive head impacts include:

  • Helmet contact in football
  • Checking in ice hockey
  • Heading the ball in soccer
  • Sustaining punches in boxing or mixed martial arts matches
  • Successive head blows in military combat action

CTE is not limited to professional athletes; it has also been found in athletes who did not continue playing sports after high school or college.

Currently, there are no tests to determine if a living individual has CTE — it can only be diagnosed through posthumous (after death) brain tissue analysis. As such, it may also be linked to wrongful death cases. CTE has been found in more than 300 former NFL players as well as numerous semi-pro and high school soccer players.

If you or a loved one are displaying any CTE symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, and consult with a brain injury lawyer. The new study on repetitive head impacts and CTE may change the way brain injury liability and damages are assessed in court.

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

While CTE cannot fully be diagnosed until after a person’s death, there may be certain signs and symptoms that might signal that a person could have the disease. These may include:

  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impulse control problems
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Parkinsonism
  • Progressive dementia

Symptoms may also include unexplained behaviors such as sudden personality changes or suicidality. CTE symptoms can often begin years or even decades after the end of active athletic participation.

If you or a loved one are displaying any CTE symptoms, seek medical attention immediately, and consult with a brain injury lawyer. The new study on repetitive head impacts and CTE may change the way brain injury liability and damages are assessed in court.

Damages in a brain injury lawsuit may cover:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Costs of ongoing treatment not normally covered by insurance
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of the ability to generate income
  • Loss of companionship of a loved one
  • Wrongful death costs, when applicable

The amount recovered in a lawsuit depends on various factors, including the skill and experience of the attorney representing you.

Contact an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer

The new evidence regarding repetitive head impacts and CTE will go a long way toward raising awareness. It will also help in implementing protective measures for vulnerable populations.

The human brain is an intensely complex organ, and as such, brain injuries can be extremely serious and life-altering. Any injury to the brain may involve complicated liability issues that can only be resolved through legal action. For these reasons, it is important to select the right brain injury lawyer for your case.

At Smith Law Center, we have changed the way brain injury cases are litigated. Managing partner Stephen Smith is an internationally recognized authority in traumatic brain injury litigation and has nearly 50 years of experience. He has consistently obtained numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts nationwide in catastrophic and traumatic brain injury cases.

If you or a loved one have been affected by CTE or have any concerns about the condition, contact us at (757) 244-7000. We have represented thousands of those impacted by brain injuries, and maintain conscious efforts to stay updated on new studies and data.

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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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