After paying for climate-controlled storage unit for 2 years, couple finds belongings covered in mold

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- For the past few weeks, Cory and Megan Abbott have been going through most of their belongings and tossing most of them in the trash.

It's a heart-breaking experience for the young Bonner Springs couple, but they say they have no choice. Nearly everything they own is now covered in mold.

The Abbotts blame the Kansas City, Kansas storage facility. They had almost an entire household of items stored at Delaware Storage in KCK for nearly two years.

The couple had sold their old house in Shawnee and were staying with family while Cory was serving with the Army Reserves.

In early August, they bought another home and were finally ready to move in. That's when they discovered a big problem.

"I was excited to see [everything] again and show my kids," Megan said. "But It was disgusting."

They took photos of some of the worst items, including leather furniture sets now covered in mold. The mold was so pervasive it even got into the stuffing, Cory said.

"It was just full of mold," he said.

Cory said he became concerned as soon as he entered the building where his unit was located.

"My brother was with me and he said 'hey, it kind of smells like Grandma and Grandpa's old basement in here.' Yeah it kind of does," Cory recalled.

But it wasn't until he opened the door to his unit that he saw what had happened.

"All my stuff is full of mold. What's the deal?" he recalled saying. Cory said he immediately asked the manager of Delaware Storage to inspect his unit. He said she appeared equally surprised, but seemed more worried about her own items than his.

"'Oh wow,' she kept saying. 'I have stuff in storage. I have stuff in storage,'"Cory recalled.

Cory took pictures of everything and even took video of the storage unit's air conditioner, which he says was clearly not working. The fan wasn't moving and there was no condensation near the unit.

Another unit connected to a different part of the building was working. The fan was running in that unit and condensation was escaping.

Cory said the manager told him to report any losses to his insurance company. But the claim was denied because his policy only covered major events like flooding, earthquakes, or tornadoes.

The Abbotts are frustrated. They paid more than $3,000 to have their items stored in what was advertised as a climate-controlled facility.

"My parents have a barn; I could have just stored it in that and it would have been better," Megan said.

After the Abbotts called FOX 4 Problem Solvers, we paid a visit to Delaware Storage, which is managed by a Florida company called Simply
Self.

The man running the office wouldn't speak to us on camera, but off camera he denied that the air conditioner hadn't been working in the Abbott's unit. He suggested that the Abbotts may have stored items in their unit that were already moldy.

Problem Solvers then asked attorney Scott Shachtman to review the Abbott's contract with Delaware Storage. The news wasn't encouraging.

"When you put your things in this property, you are writing away all of your rights should any liability occur," Shachtman said.

In fact, even if the Abbotts were to sue Delaware Storage and win, the contract limits them to only $2,000 in damages.

That's just a fraction of what they believe their actual losses were. They estimate their losses to be as high as $15,000.

That's why, despite the odds, they are determined to take this battle to court. They believe Delaware Storage misrepresented its building as a safe place to store their goods.