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Birth Injuries in Virginia

Most births in American hospitals are free of complications in the 21st Century. However, birth defects occur in a small minority of cases. Often conditions like cerebral palsy are caused by mistakes made at hospitals. You may have grounds to sue a medical professional or a hospital when cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence.

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disorder in babies and children. It occurs in about 2 to 3 of every 1,000 births. The condition is not usually diagnosed until a child reaches 2 or 3-years-old, states the American Pregnancy Association.

According to United Cerebral Palsy, a non-profit advocacy group for sufferers, about 764,000 children and adults have some form of the disorder. Approximately 8,000 newborn babies and infants are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy each year.

In many cases, the cause of CP is directly related to medical mistakes and negligence. In the case of cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence, the responsible parties, such as a doctor, a surgeon, medical staff and a hospital may be liable for damages.

How Does Cerebral Palsy Affect a Child?

Cerebral palsy is a result of brain damage early in life. Sadly, it is irreversible. Cerebral palsy affects different individuals in different ways. Typically, it impacts:

  • The movement of the body
  • Muscle tone
  • Muscle coordination
  • Reflexes
  • Balance
  • Posture


As Virginia cerebral palsy injury lawyers, we are well aware of the strain this condition puts on people diagnosed with the condition and their families.

Cerebral palsy is a permanent life-long condition. People diagnosed with the condition have long-term health needs. However, some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy can improve or worsen over time.

People with cerebral palsy can suffer from a wide range of learning, vision, hearing, speech development, epilepsy and intellectual impairments.

The disability associated with cerebral palsy may be confined to one limb or either the right or left of the body. It can affect the whole body. Conditions like muscle shortening and muscle rigidity may worsen if the condition is not treated aggressively.

Neurological Problems Caused by Cerebral Palsy

People who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy may suffer a host of further neurological problems related to the condition. These include:

  • Brain abnormalities
  • Ongoing seizures
  • Problems with seeing and hearing
  • Intellectual disability
  • Abnormal touch or perceptions of pain
  • Psychiatric conditions
  • Diseases of the mouth
  • Urinary incontinence


Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy may be caused by a brain malfunction in the fetus. However, medical malpractice during birth is another significant cause.

Serious medical errors at birth include leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long, a failure to recognize or treat seizures, failure to detect a prolapsed cord, and improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction during a delivery.

It may not always be obvious that a medical professional has caused an error. A failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner or not promptly addressing complications in the delivery room elevates the risk of injuries and the likelihood of a child developing cerebral palsy. A Virginia injury lawyer with experience of cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence will conduct a detailed investigation to find out what went wrong in the delivery room.


Contact a Virginia Birth Injury Lawyer

If you believe a mistake during childbirth caused by a doctor or another medical professional led to your child’s cerebral palsy, you should contact an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Those held responsible may include a doctor, an obstetrician, a midwife and the hospital itself under the doctrine of respondeat superior (Latin for “let the master answer”).

It’s important to talk to act quickly. Under Virginia’s statute of limitations, the clock is ticking to bring a lawsuit. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated by the fact a disorder like cerebral palsy may not be apparent in the weeks and months immediately after a medical mistake. Depending on the circumstances, parties may have as little as a year and as long as 10 years to bring a medical malpractice case.

Stephen M. Smith is a worldwide recognized expert in brain injury litigation, with nearly four decades of experience in litigating these case. Mr. Smith and his team of attorneys at the Hampton-based Smith Law Center handle lawsuits across the U.S. and the world. Call the Smith Law Center at (757) 244-7000 for a consultation.



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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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