A neighbor's sandblasting leaves a Tulsa home covered with lead dust


Tuesday, December 21st 2004, 12:50 pm
By: News On 6


Lots of folks will head home for the holidays. A Tulsa family had hoped to celebrate in their dream home this year, but say they can't because their house was poisoned.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood says Alan and Michelle Kirk had lived in their midtown Tulsa home for three and a half years. They say it had everything they wanted, a big backyard, a swimming pool, and even a hot tub.

The Kirks say all that changed when their neighbors hired a sandblaster to take the paint off the house next door. The Kirks say the lead dust from their neighbors' sandblasting job blew through their home's ventilation system and made their home unlivable. They say the dust covered their cars, pool, even their Christmas ornaments stashed away in the attic.

An environmental quality report shows high lead levels were found inside the Kirk's home and their lawyer tells us the family has been experiencing medical problems consistent with toxic lead poisoning. What the Kirks know for sure is that this has turned their lives upside-down.

Michelle Kirk: "It's the worst thing that could ever possibly happen to a woman. My grandchildren can't even come to my home. When they came here for Thanksgiving, they had to stay in Muskogee, because I have no place to put them."

The Kirks have hired attorneys to sue their neighbors. They moved into a rental home and eventually lost their home to foreclosure. They now hope to recoup some of their losses. However a judge dismissed the lawsuit just last week.

The Kirks' lawyers say they will regroup and plan to re-file.