Our Panama City injury attorney understands that there are many health ailments that could have been avoided if companies and individuals took their duty to provide safe spaces more seriously. Mold illness in Panama City and the surrounding areas is a real, serious problem that often doesn't make it to the news headlines. Illness can be very personal, but we applaud those who speak up to share their stories, especially when the ailing person is someone recognized by the community who can use their status to bring attention to a problem that silently impacts many lives.
The News Herald is reporting on the death of Callaway Mayor Robert Thompson. When he first fell ill and was hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, doctors struggled to find a diagnosis. Mayor Thompson had been treated four times for sinus problems before dropping sixteen pounds in only four days and seeing an increase in white blood cells. The doctors explored other possible culprits with the help of Reeda Thompson, the mayor's wife, before asking about potential mold exposure. Mrs. Thompson realized that her husband's symptoms began after he investigated a complaint made by a Callaway Point resident looking to have a ditch by the Bay cleaned out. The resident told the mayor's office that people had been tossing cat and dog feces in the area.
After investigating the site personally, Mayor Thompson reported that there was mold and mildew in the marshes. He told the resident that it would be taken care of and reached out to City Hall where he was told they had known about the issue for three years but lacked the necessary equipment to clean the area because the equipment they have is too big for the space. After investigating the site, Mayor Thompson came home, showered, and told his wife he didn't feel well. Mrs. Thompson said that's when it started to go downhill and her husband went from healthy and active to increasingly ill. She reports that it was a horrible death. In his final days, sores appeared on his face, his ears turned black, and his mental facilities began to fail.
Doctors at Bay Medical told Mrs. Thompson that her husband suffered from the worst case they had seen of "black mold." Formally called Aspergillus, black mold is a category that includes several hundred species of mold. An autopsy and review of the mayor's medical records is planned. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday June 1, with the family receiving friends at Kent Forest Lawn Funeral Home Chapel between 5 and 6 P.M.
As is demonstrated by Mayor Thompson's story, mold can cause serious illness and even death. In this incidence, a single exposure event led to a severe infection. In other cases, exposure is long-term with an individual inhaling mold in a workplace or residential location and becoming ill over time. It is important to hold property owners and construction companies responsible when mold renders locations unsafe.
If you or someone you know has fallen ill due to exposure to mold in Panama City or in another Northern Florida community, please contact our team. Our Panama City injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for your illness. Remember that compensation is your right and it not only helps victim's with the financial expense stemming from illness, but it also sends an important public policy message about the importance of maintaining safe spaces.