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Detroit Metro Tower Air Traffic Controllers File Lawsuit Alleging Improper Mold Removal and Health Effects - (9/14/2007)

CONTACT:     Vince Sugent, Detroit Tower NATCA Facility Representative, 734-476-3989, vinjamie@comcast.net 

DETROIT – Air traffic controllers from the Detroit Metro Air Traffic Control Tower have filed a lawsuit in Wayne County (Mich.) Circuit Court regarding a nearly three-year-old problem of toxic black mold that has sickened many controllers, including several who have missed significant amounts of work and continue to suffer breathing and other serious health problems. 

The suit contains allegations that contractors hired by the Federal Aviation Administration failed to properly remove mold, provide a work plan for effective removal of mold contamination, have a certified industrial hygienist present during remediation, conduct proper testing including clearance testing, and to advise the FAA of the deficiencies in their efforts to remediate the mold.  

The problem began in January 2005 with efforts to remove mold and correct a moisture problem in the tower. Controllers allege that the contractors’ actions in wiping down drywall with soap and water, not utilizing safety precautions to protect controllers during remediation and executing other work plans outside the scope of industry standards, protocols and guidelines have not corrected the problems, thereby harming controller health. The complaint alleges that toxic mold remains in the building. 

The parties named in the suit are MIS Corporation, Coach’s Catastrophic Cleaning & Restoration Services, Inc., Tillotson Environmental Occupational Consulting, Clayton Environmental Consultants, Bureau Veritas North American, Inc., Jacobs Facilities, Inc., Safe Technology, Inc., and Applied Environmental, Inc. 

The air traffic controllers are represented by the law firms of Dodd B. Fisher, PLC, of Grosse Pointe, Mich., and Mancini, Schreuder, Kline & Conrad, P.C., of Warren, Mich.  

“The air traffic controllers at the Detroit Metro Tower continue to be exposed to toxic microbial and are suffering significant health problems,” said Vince Sugent, Detroit Tower NATCA Facility Representative.  “The controllers are also concerned with reprisal for coming forward.” 

Specifically, controllers have the following concerns:

·               continual exposure to microbial toxins

·               declining health and long term health effects

·               effects on their ability to think clearly, since black mold affects the brain and central nervous system

·               loss of income and future earnings

·               reprisal for coming forward


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