GULFPORT, Miss. -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a military family who says they were sickened by toxic mold at an air force base in Mississippi.
U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr.'s ruling dismissed one of 14 lawsuits filed against Hunt Southern Group and Hunt MH Property Management, the owner and property manager of housing at the Keesler Air Force in Biloxi, The Sun Herald reports.
The family failed to established through expert medical witnesses that their illnesses were specifically caused by the housing's mold, he noted, adding that experts only said that mold could generally cause the family's illnesses. The family has complained of chest pain, rhinitis, fatigue, headaches, rashes, dermatitis, vomiting and more. Court-ordered medical examinations concluded mold exposure wasn't behind the family's sickness.
State Republican Sen. Roger Wicker recently said that moisture and mold were reported in 91% of Keesler housing built after Hurricane Katrina, according to the newspaper. He said at a recent Armed Services Committee hearing the mold was caused by improperly installed air conditioning systems and ductwork. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett said then that she'll work with the Senate committee to fix the issues.
The law firm Rushing & Guice of Ocean Springs represents the 14 families and has appealed Guirola's ruling. The other 13 cases have been stayed pending the appeal's outcome, Attorney Billy Guice said.