A San Antonio law firm has filed a lawsuit against several private housing companies on the behalf of nine families who lived in Fort Hood homes.
The lawsuit accuses three companies of under-maintaining the housing they managed and then defrauding the families about the condition and repairs of the homes.
In the lawsuit, Fort Hood Family Housing, FHFH, Inc, and its parent company Lend Lease US Public Partnerships subjected service members and their families to deplorable conditions, including pervasive mold that sickened then and destroyed many of their possessions.
“Military families deserve better. They were awarded these contracts to ensure safer homes and better management and its failing miserably,” said Emilee Brown.
“If you were to walk into majority of these homes, you would turn around and walk right back out,” Coutney Hamilton told Fox 44.
The suit also claims the company used deceptive measures to hide the extent of the harmful living conditions.
The families say they suffered symptoms of toxic mold exposure, including respiratory illnesses, like pneumonia and asthma, nausea, mental illness, skin rashes, and much more.
One spouse tells us she and her family battled a strong odor for months until it became too much to bear.
She says that’s when she requested a mold assessment in the form of an air quality test, and the results were just as she suspected all along.
“We had, he told me, mold in every room of our home. October they started cutting everything out and so in October we ended having about 100 square feet in the living room, about 100 square feet in my sons room, mold in every window seal,” said Hamilton.
She and other spouses in the lawsuit say the medical complications stemming from those toxic homes were both costly and concerning.
“We had daily fevers. We had migraines headaches nausea,” Brown said.
“Headaches nose bleeds, rashes and I became pregnant while living in the home,” Sarah Kiernan told FOX 44.
Kiernan describes her third pregnancy as “nothing like the 2 before.” She attributes her complications to her living conditions on Fort Hood.
“I had a really difficult pregnancy with respiratory illness and I had rashes on my face to the point where my skin was cracking and bleeding and had to be treated with antibiotic ointment on the face,” Kiernan said.
“The army’s response has been abysmal. Now I frankly don’t have very high expectation of the army but the army is a contractual partner of the companies and they’re letting these companies get away with murder,” he said.
You can read the entire lawsuit filed in San Antonio below:
FOX44 News reached out to Fort Hood Family Housing for a response to the lawsuit. The company sent this statement Tuesday:
For almost 20 years, Fort Hood Family Housing has maintained the commitment to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of all our residents across over 5,600 homes as our first priority. Our teams are dedicated to providing quality housing to the military families we serve. This is a job that we take very seriously and one that we are honored to have.
Fort Hood Family Housing has policies in place that ensure we respond to all resident service orders within specified periods. We then work with families to diagnose and repair any issues in dedicated time frames.
We respect the rights of individuals to bring claims, however we believe we have acted appropriately and are prepared to take all necessary steps to defend these allegations.
As this is a pending legal matter, it is not appropriate to comment further.“
Jim Moriarty, one of the attorney’s on the case says he not only blames Fort Hood Family Housing and its parent company. But he blames the Army for their role as well.
Ft. Hood is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, but we have also reached out to the post for comment.