TV is a very powerful medium. Reporters and journalists are powerful individuals, telling stories and giving a voice to those who have none, those who have been wronged, or those who have stories that need to be told. Today I was fortunate to have Jim Strickland of WSBTV, Channel 2 Action News be my champion. After six months of trying to negotiate with the sellers Richard Porter and Leslie Mathis, who sold me a house full of toxic mold, it was time to be taken seriously. And so I contact Jim. And he thought the story was worth telling.
I bought my first home in March of 2014. The honeymoon didn’t last long as one week into the purchase, the roof was leaking – and it never stopped leaking.
The there was the faulty malfunctioning HVAC system that barely cooled, left the house with 65-73% humidity and left me with $600 electric bills each month. Five, yes, 5 HVAC professionals later, and it was determined that the entire system needed to be replaced – even though the sellers said in writing that they had replaced the unit.Richard Porter and Lesle Mathis denied any responsibility, stating there was no materiel misrepresentation during the sale of the house and they had done everything they were legally responsible to do.
And then there was the mold – black, toxic, ugly and literally – sickening. And I was sick while I lived there – sore through, headaches, asthma-like symptoms, skin rashes, fatigue – all symptoms of toxic mold exposure. Not to mention my pets and the vet bills, or my elderly father who was there recovering from chemo for liver cancer.
Once I found out it was toxic mold, I moved out immediately. I stayed with my sister and with friends while “homeless”, trying to figure out what to do since i had been displaced. Finally, after moving all my possessions out of the moldy house and into storage, I found a house to rent.
Three mold inspections, one mold analysis, and one assessment by and engineering and air quality form later – here I am. And hopefully, with the filing of one lawsuit, the sellers will be forced to buy the house back and I can move on as well.