Consumer Watch: Apartment allegedly making senior citizen sick


by Andy Treinen

Posted on August 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 17 at 6:22 PM

(WHAS11)  This week’s Consumer Watch tonight takes us to southern Indiana, where roaches appear to be taking over a senior citizen’s apartment and now, that 80-year-old resident is concerned his apartment is making him sick, so he wrote a letter to WHAS11’s Andy Treinen.

Addison Hornung has been bugged for some time now about a creepy crawling problem that has now gotten under his skin.  “That makes me pissed off, but what can I do?” asked Hornung.  Roaches have now overrun his apartment and they’re dead on his countertop, crawling on his coffee, crushed on his kitchen floor and scurrying through his hallway.

“Oh, they’re disgusting; especially when you wake up in the morning knocking them off your leg and you have to see a doctor about your leg because it’s all inflamed or red and everything.  That’s real disgusting,” said Hornung.

Hornung has lived in the same place since 1996.  He said he called us because eventually he just got fed up.  He’s fed up with roaches on and under his dishes, in his drawers and even in his bed. He says he wanted to treat the bug problem himself so he went and got bug spray, but was told by management that he couldn’t use it.  “I’m not allowed to,” said Hornung.

He claims the complex management didn’t want his treatment to interfere with extermination efforts.  We called Claysburg II Towers to find out why.  The person who answered said a manager would call me back; they didn’t, so we called again and again no one has called back.  “I don’t like living in this filth,” said Hornung.

Oxygen tanks line Hornung’s rear wall; he takes multiple breathing treatments every day and he believes his apartment, specifically the carpet, is making him sick.  He says despite having his carpets cleaned several times, black mold keeps resurfacing after a sewer backup in 1997.  A lot of people watching are going to ask why Hornung hasn’t just moved.  “Well, I started to once, like I told you on the phone, but then I took sick,” explained Hornung.

Other residents tell us Hornung isn’t the only one battling bugs.  “We got a bug problem; bed bugs, roaches…” said 8-year resident Samuel Gambles.

WHAS11 was told that the manager at Claiborne II Towers is on vacation, and the acting manager still hasn’t called back; but in a letter from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the complex reported several Orkin treatments and “no signs of roaches in the apartment.”

“This is what I bathe my feet in, look at the roaches in there now,” said Hornung, while showing us his bug filled footbath.

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