• mobile
Select Page


A spate of wrong way crashes in Newport News has highlighted the dangers posed by drivers who travel in the wrong direction on the Peninsula. In Aug. 2019, a driver who was eluding police caused a wrong way wreck on I-64 in Newport News and injured five people.

Police said the accident in the early hours of the morning left two people in a critical condition. They tried to stop a driver who they suspected of driving drunk on Bland Boulevard in Newport News.

Police said that the vehicle failed to yield and entered westbound Interstate 64 in the eastbound lane where it crashed into another vehicle.

The suspect and two passengers who were traveling in the vehicle police tried to stop suffered injuries and were taken to a local hospital. The driver of the other vehicle and a passenger were hospitalized.

The wreck was investigated by Newport News police’s Crash Team and Virginia State Police. A 34-year-old man from Hampton was later charged with drug possession, reckless driving, failure to keep right and distribution of drug paraphernalia.

Wrong way crashes in Newport News and elsewhere in Virginia often cause terrible injuries and prove to be fatal. Tragically, in 2018 Leonardo Maldonado, 59, from Newport News was killed when  a woman’s car collided with his Honda Accord. Virginia State Police said the woman was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of the interstate, Channel 13 reported.

What Are the Causes of Wrong Way Accidents?

Wrong way accidents are not as common as wrecks such as rear-enders but they are often more serious. Any head-on crash combines the forces of two vehicles and can be devastating for drivers and passengers.

Wrong way crashes are often caused by driver confusion or impairment. Unsurprisingly, they usually occur at night and alcohol and tiredness are possible factors. Here are the main cause of wrong way crashes in Newport News and elsewhere.

Alcohol and drugs – up to two-thirds of all wrong way crashes are caused by drivers who are intoxicated either by alcohol drugs. Often they are unaware they are heading in the wrong direction.

Age – Older drivers may get more confused and end up driving in the wrong direction. Some data suggests drivers over 65 are more likely to drive in an incorrect direction. Age and medical conditions were considered in a 2012 report by the National Transportation Safety Board. The public forum, Safety, Mobility, and Aging Drivers concluded age is not a determinate of driving performance, but older drivers are associated with an increase in medical issues and the use of prescription medications to treat conditions that may impair their driving abilities.

Tiredness – Fatigue is a significant cause of wrong way driving. If you have been on the road for a long time without a break you are more likely to enter the wrong lane.

Distracted Driving – motorists who are looking at their smartphones, eating, texting or talking to another person are more likely to end up traveling in the wrong direction. They may not realize until it’s too late.

Poor road design and misleading signs – Bad highway design, and poor ramp signage can cause a driver to travel in an incorrect direction.

An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board into wrong way driving found these crashes only amount to 3% of accidents in America but cause a significantly higher number of deaths. As we saw in Newport News, wrong way collisions often cause multiple casualties. The fatality rate in wrong way crashes is 27 times greater than in other wrecks, the NTSB reported.

The study examined a multiple-vehicle wrong way crash in Virginia that involved a vehicle making a U-turn. It concluded the roadway lacked adequate signage indicating a driver should not make a U-turn at the intersection.

Talk to an Injury Lawyer About Wrong Way Crashes in Newport News

Wrong way crashes in Newport News, Hampton or elsewhere in Tidewater are often extremely serious. If you have been hurt or if you lost a family member, talk to our Hampton-based personal injury lawyers as soon as possible. We know the pain a car accident places on people in Hampton Roads, whether physical or mental and we will fight the insurance companies hard for justice, in a court of law if need be. Please call the Smith Law Center today at (757) 244-7000.

icon headset


Your legal questions answered, completely free of charge.

icon target


We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.

icon law


There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.


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

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

icon headset


Your legal questions answered, completely free of charge.

icon law


There are absolutely no out-of-pocket fees for filing a claim.

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

icon target


We are one of Virginia’s largest and most successful law firms.



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

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.