Homeowners ignore call to battle whisky fungus

Diageo's Leven site.
Diageo's Leven site.

LAWYERS looking to build a £ multi-million action against Diageo have been given short shrift by Levenmouth residents.

A mail-out was sent to homes within a mile of the drinks giant’s Leven warehousing site, inviting homeowners to a meeting about compensation for damage caused by ‘whisky fungus’ but this has now been cancelled through lack of interest.

Instead, owners who want to know more about a proposed compensation claim can attend one of two meetings being held in Alloa for residents in Menstrie and Tullibody, where, the lawyer heading the legal team said, the response had been overwhelming.

It is claimed that an unsightly black mould found on properties near where whisky is stored for fermentation is caused by ethanol being released through evaporation during the process, hence the name whisky fungus.

American lawyer Bill McMurray, who is already involved in action against bourbon distillers in Kentucky, wants to help householders around whisky warehouses in Scotland claim for compensation, estimating potential payouts of between £500 and £1000 for property damage.

A meeting was planned to be held next week at Kirkland High School but it was announced last week that it had been cancelled.

Mr McMurray, who is working in conjunction with an Edinburgh law firm, said the decision was because the legal team coming over from the USA for the week of November 5 would only have time for two meetings and, given the response to the same letter to houseowners in Tullibody and Menstrie, both meetings would be held there.

“We are working directly with the residents of Leven who have responded to our initial letter by personally meeting with them and answering their questions and concerns,” he said.

He declined to say how many households had been included in the Levenmouth mail-out or how many homeowners had responded.

However, he said the “minimal” response in Levenmouth was because the homes most affected in Leven appeared to be rental property and they had no way to target the owners other than to send a mail-out to the residence.