Jan 11, 2009
FOX 5 Reporter
The Meng family spent nearly a million dollars to build what they thought would be their dream home. But, less than two months after moving in, 35 year-old Wendy Meng started to have such severe migraines and dizziness, she ended up in the hospital.
“They thought I had a brain tumor or adrenal gland cancer,” she says. “There were many things they tested. They could see I was so sick, but they couldn’t figure it out.
The family dog suddenly died. Her younger daughter started having uncontrollable nose bleeds while the rest of the family developed asthma.
Doctors finally diagnosed Wendy with neurotoxicity. The Mengs say her body was full of poison, caused by a potentially-lethal combination of microscopic mold growing behind the walls of their home.
Wendy’s husband Paul says, “The challenge is that it was a new home. It’s the last thing you’re thinking about. You look at the walls, the walls are white. You don’t see any obvious water stains.”
The Meng’s lawyer, David Wise, says The Drees Company didn’t wait for wet timbers in the frame of the house to dry after it rained.
“You want to make sure the wood isn’t still wet,” Wise says. “They put in the drywall and insulation over wet wood and all the experts agree, if you cover up the wet wood, its going to allow the mold to grow.”
The Mengs says the result was worse than a fire because everything they owned became contaminated and had to be destroyed. They sued The Drees Company, which did not respond for a request for comment on this story.
In late December, a judge ordered The Drees Company to pay the Mengs $4.75 million. Wise says he expects the company to appeal the case.
The family hopes to use the money to buy a new home and pay off their medical bills.
“You know, it’s a huge amount of money,” Wendy says. “We basically want to restart our lives, we lost our home, we lost our health, I’ll never be well again and neither will my daughter.”
VIDEO: Family’s Mold Nightmare – myfoxdc.com video