Bonnybridge residents to sue Diageo over black whisky fungus

Balfour+Manson Solicitors have been instructed by residents of Bonnybridge to pursue a group action against drinks giant, Diageo for compensation relating to damage to their homes caused by the black fungus commonly known as ‘whisky fungus’. The black fungus, which derives its colloquial name from its link to the distillery business, is thought to have been caused by release of ethanol into the atmosphere from the Diageo warehouses located in Bonnybridge.

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Residents have complained that the black fungus has stained gutters, drain pipes, paint work, cars, patio furniture, and anything left outdoors.  Pressure washing has proven to only be a temporary, partial solution; there is nothing the residents can do to stop the black fungus returning and staining their property. There is also concern that the black staining will result in a loss of property value.

Mr Thomas Chalmers, is a resident of Woodlea Estates in Bonnybridge, whose property has been blighted by the black fungus. Mr Chalmers was the first resident in the area to seek legal advice about the staining caused by the black fungus. He told us:

“I live on the Woodlea Estate, Bonnybridge. It is a beautiful place and a great community but since moving here I feel as though I’ve been in battle with the whisky fungus. The fungus is unpleasant, unsightly and has blackened properties in the area. In fact, it can blacken anything left outdoors. It is difficult to clean and cleaning provides no permanent solution because as soon as it’s removed, it begins to re appear. I have tried to get rid of it for good but nothing has worked. I have even resorted to painting the fencing and decking in my garden black to disguise the fungus.

I feel frustrated and angry. I am also very concerned that the blackening may begin to drive down property prices in the area. I have nothing against Diageo, but I have really had enough of this and want the company to take responsibility and for something to be done about it. I would not take legal action lightly but it has been dreadful and I have had to live with it since I moved to the Estate.

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I hope that my neighbours will come forward to support this claim to make sure that Diageo take this problem seriously”.

David Short of Balfour+Manson said: “We now have the hard scientific evidence to prove the link between the emissions from the warehouses and the black fungus growth in the area which will allow us to properly advise the residents of Bonnybridge.”

The legal team will be holding a meeting at the Bonnybridge Primary School, Wellpark Terrace, Bonnybridge, Falkirk, FK4 1LR on Tuesday, September 18th, 6:30pm for any residents who would like further details about the claim.