• mobile
Select Page

Lawsuits from Exposure to Asbestos

Industry relied on asbestos for thousands of years. Society became aware of its risks a century ago. However, people left critically ill by exposure to this deadly material are still filing lawsuits. Millions of claims have been made from exposure to asbestos.

People harmed by asbestos often suffer from a form of cancer called mesothelioma. It’s deadly and there is no cure. This cancer affects the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs. Mesothelioma is most likely to occur in the lungs.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in the ground. The use of asbestos dates back 4,500 years. It was once highly valued in industry due to its resilience and its resistance to heat, electrical and chemical damage. Asbestos was widely used in the shipbuilding industry in Hampton Roads and in other trades. It was also widely used on the railroads and in building construction.

In the early 20th Century, a link between asbestos and illness became apparent. In 1918, a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found an abnormally high risk of early death among asbestos workers, states Mesotheliomahelp.org.

Asbestos contains millions of microscopic fibers. They can break apart and become airborne. When inhaled, the fibers lodge in the lungs, causing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

Because asbestos fibers travel so easily through the air, other people near the material may be harmed.  Former workers contract asbestos-related diseases decades after exposure. The lawsuits for exposure to asbestos in Virginia and elsewhere are still being filed.

Despite the many warning signs, asbestos was widely used in U.S. industry until the 1980s. Many different industrial products, including pipes and furnace insulation materials, floor tiles, roofing shingles, millboard, textured paints and other coating materials contained asbestos.

The United States banned asbestos in many products in 1989. This ban did not stop the complete use of asbestos. Other countries continue to mine this product and it can still be found in building materials, heat-resistant fabrics and friction materials.

Bringing Lawsuits Over Exposure to Asbestos

The first lawsuits from exposure to asbestos were filed in the 1960s. Asbestos lawsuits are unusual in that a victim may take years or even decades to develop symptoms. That does not mean he or she will not win substantial monetary damages, either from a company that manufactured or installed the asbestos.

Although the original manufacturer may have closed down, a victim or the family of a victim can often make a claim from an insurance company or an asbestos victims’ trust fund that has taken over liability for the company.

How Long Do People With Mesothelioma Have to Sue?

Mesothelioma often develops 10 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos. State laws known as statutes of limitations usually give people one to five years from the diagnosis or discovery of the disease to bring an action.

The Statute of Limitations in Virginia gives people who have been injured two years to sue.

When a mesothelioma victim has already died, his or her spouse and other heirs typically have two years in Virginia from the date of death to bring a wrongful death action. Often these cases result in the recovery of substantial monetary damages.

Mesothelioma victims do not typically join in class actions lawsuits such as those against defective drug manufacturers because each person’s medical history and condition is different.  Mesothelioma cases must be filed individually.

Contact a Virginia Attorney for an Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The attorneys at the Smith Law Center are familiar with asbestos-related mesothelioma lawsuits. This is a terrible condition with no known cure. Often companies continued to use asbestos products for years despite being aware of the devastating effect they had on the health of workers.

The trial lawyers are the Smith Law Center are committed to helping the injured. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about a possible lawsuit from exposure to asbestos. Call (757) 244.7000.


Best Law firms
Best lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
Brain Injury Association
Best Law firms
Best lawyers
American Board of Trial Advocates
Brain Injury Association
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.