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Plane crashes and aviation accidents in Virginia are rarer than car, truck, bus or motorcycle crashes. However, by their very nature, they often result in a considerable loss of life.

Fortunately, crashes involving commercial airliners occur very infrequently. When they do take place, they can result in a massive loss of life. Crashes of light planes and helicopters happen periodically in Virginia. Microlights and hot air balloon crashes have also resulted in fatalities.

We associate aviation accidents with crashes but other things can go wrong in the air. Passengers can be injured by turbulence and high profile lawsuits have been brought against flight attendants. Passengers may be hurt by falling luggage or slip and fall accidents at airports.

Aviation lawsuits involve complicated legal and factual challenges and numerous parties may be liable for an injury or death including a pilot, an airline, flight crew, air traffic controllers, airport management, a handling company or a private charter company. Your attorney must be able to establish the cause of the accident, pinpoint negligence and cause, and determine what laws are applicable after an air crash.

How Many People Are Killed in Aviation Accidents in the United States?

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, there were 1,290 aviation accidents in 2014, leading to 444 deaths in the United States. None of these deaths were linked to regulated air carriers. The vast amount of accidents and injuries occur in general aviation which includes private and recreational airplanes.

Notable Plane Crashes and Aviation Accidents in Virginia

  • April 2015 – three people were killed when a 1975 Mooney M20F crashed in foggy weather close to Norfolk Airport in Norfolk Botanical Garden.
  • August 2016 – six people were killed when a light plane caught fire as it was attempting to land at Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg.
  • August 2017 – a helicopter with two Virginia State Police troopers on board crashed as they policed the white nationalists’ rally in Charlottesville. Both of the troopers were killed.
  • April 2018 – A Cessna 525, N525P, was destroyed after it crashed into a mountain in Albemarle County, northwest of Crozet. The pilot died in the crash.
  •  July 2018 – a helicopter crashed into a townhouse in Williamsburg. The crash and subsequent fire killed an elderly woman living in the home and the pilot.

Incidents that led to a loss of life in 2018 outside Virginia included the deaths of nine members of the Puerto Rico National Guard when a Lockheed C-130 crashed on the island and the death of a female passenger on South Western Airlines. An engine failure caused engine parts to shatter a window. The woman was sucked out. Although fellow passengers pulled her back in, she suffered fatal brain damage in the incident.

Causes of Plane Crashes and Aviation Accidents in Virginia

The Federal Aviation Administration lists a number of causes of air accidents including.

  • Engine failure
  • Hazardous cargo
  • Pilot error
  • Running out of fuel
  • Bad weather
  • Bird strikes
  • Structural failure

 Lawsuits Against Airlines and Other Operators

 Lawsuits against airlines are often high profile in nature. In 2017, Kentucky physician Dr. David Dao suffered a broken nose and a concussion and lost two front teeth when he was dragged off a United Airlines flight. The incident went viral when it was recorded on video. Dao later received an undisclosed settlement from United.

 A year later, the former police officer who dragged Dao off the flight, sued United and the City of Chicago, claiming he was not adequately trained to deal with such an incident.

 Operators are often to blame for aviation accidents. In some cases, charter aircraft operators were found to be flying aging and defective planes. Some aircraft operators failed to adequately maintain light planes and helicopters, leading to mechanical issues and crashes. In rare cases, pilots took passengers up in the air after consuming alcohol or under the influence of drugs.

 In other cases, skydiving accidents resulted in terrible injuries or deaths and hot air balloons have crashes on power lines when the operator should not have taken flights in bad weather.

 Contact an Experienced Virginia Aviation Attorney

If you have suffered injuries in an aviation incident or lost a loved one in a plane crash it’s important to have an experienced Virginia trial lawyer on your side. Please contact The Smith Law Center today 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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