After filing suit against Midlands college, attorney releases photos and claims 'toxic mold'

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Charleston attorney hopes his class action lawsuit against a Midlands school will grow.

On Wednesday, John Harrell filed a lawsuit against Morris College, a private college in Sumter. He's representing about five former and current students who either lived or live in the school's dormitories, and there's a chance the number could increase soon as more students sign on.

The suit alleges that around 2013 the students informed Morris College's former president of "toxic mold" in some of the campus dorm rooms.

"Class Plaintiffs repeatedly notified the Defendants and its agents about the habitability violations but Defendants intentionally or negligently failed to correct the habitability conditions, on information and belief, often claiming they were unaware of the problems," the suit claims.

The suit also claims the mold issue caused the students both health and mental suffering, and it asks for at least $55 million in damages.

Meanwhile, four years later, an issue with mold seems to persist.

Seemingly spurred by more recent complaints, in late October 2017, the school addressed a mold issue on Facebook.

"We are currently in the process of undergoing a temporary, precautionary on-campus relocation of a select group of students due to elevated mold and mildew levels in a residence hall," the college wrote.

In the Facebook post, the college indicated the problem was isolated and solved.

However, the Charleston attorney representing the students believes the mold issue is still ongoing. Friday afternoon, a paralegal sent WIS a series of photos. She said they show mold in half-a-dozen places on campus within the past several weeks.

Additionally, a Morris College student showed WIS another picture that appears to show mold in a dorm laundry room. She told WIS she took the photo on Thursday evening.

Friday, Morris College said it's unable to comment at this time and directed WIS' questions to its attorney, who said he's still reviewing the lawsuit.

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