Subj: CALIFORNIA - MENIFEE - RIVERSIDE COUNTY - HOMES BUILT ON SLUDGED LAND ?
RESIDENTS CLAIM ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS - CONSTRUCTION DEFECT LAWSUIT
FILED - ENDOTOXINS IN SOIL   
Date: 6/26/2005 10:53:17 AM Central Daylight Time
From: hshields@worldpath.net
To:
Sent from the Internet (Details)





"Based on the alleged contaminated soil, residents from three homes in the more than
200-home tract who filed the lawsuit say they and their families have suffered health problems
including weight loss, hair loss, fevers, sinus problems, nose bleeds, fatigue and a host of other
ailments."

"Vernon Alumbaugh, a toxic soils consultant out of Reno, Nev., said Thursday that he tested the
soil at the Iniguez home about two years ago and found high levels of endotoxins, which leads
him to believe the family's home was built on sludge.

"Endotoxins, which are released when bacteria is destroyed, have been known to cause severe
inflammation in any tissue exposed to them, including lung tissue, according to the national
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."


http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/06/26/news/californian/22_10_106_25_05.txt
June 25, 2005
Construction defects lawsuit filed


By: LAURA MITCHELL - Staff Writer

MENIFEE ---- A construction defect lawsuit has been filed in Riverside Superior Court against
the builder of the Menifee Woodside housing tract by some of its residents who contend their
homes were poorly made.

The complaint, filed Friday, alleges multiple defects but only specifically states that the homes
are built on contaminated soil, and that Folsom-based developer Woodside Homes of California
knew of the alleged problems but sold the homes anyway.

Attorney John Chapman of the Alameda-based law firm of Chapman and Intrieri said more tests
need to be done to find out what exactly is contaminating the soil, but one resident who filed the
complaint said she believes the contaminant is sewage sludge. Sludge, which is the residue
from wastewater treatment, has been used in Riverside County as a fertilizer on non-food crop
fields.


Based on the alleged contaminated soil, residents from three homes in the more than
200-home tract who filed the lawsuit say they and their families have suffered health problems
including weight loss, hair loss, fevers, sinus problems, nose bleeds, fatigue and a host of other
ailments.

The lawsuit lists numerous causes of action: liability, negligence, breach of expressed and
implied warranties, misrepresentation, breach of contract by third parties, negligence due to the
violation of public duty and failure to disclose problems.

The lawsuit, filed by Chapman and Intrieri and the office of Lawrence J. Lennemann of Redondo
Beach, seeks compensation for the cost of decontaminating the soil, medical expenses and
further damages as the court sees fit.

Representatives for Woodside Homes of California did not return calls Friday.

Jeanie Ferguson, one of the residents who file the complaint, said earlier this week that her
12-year-old daughter, Adrianne, has had a constant cold since the family moved to Menifee
Woodside three years ago.

"I keep giving her medicine and she'll be OK for awhile but it's just not like her," Ferguson said.

She said the master bedroom sometimes smells like raw sewage but she can never find the
source of the odor. The inside of the windows also have mold around them, Ferguson said.
Although she has tried to clean it, she says it is not easily removed.

Stacy Iniguez, another resident who filed the complaint, said this week that within three weeks of
moving into their new home in 2001, her son, Noah, got sick. Noah, who is now almost 6 years
old, weighs less than 50 pounds and is often sick, Iniguez said.

"We thought it was an immune system problem, but those tests came back normal," she said.

She said she had to have her spleen removed after living in her home for only three months
and now has hair loss, fevers and constant sinus infections. Before moving to the home in
Menifee Woodside, Iniguez said, she was hardly ever sick.

After more doctor visits and tests, Iniguez said she thought the health problems she and her
son faced were due to mold and asked Woodside to do a test, but the builder refused.

"We did the mold test and when the tester walked into our home he said 'You have something
more than mold,'" she said.

Iniguez said that's when she began learning about sludge, also known as biosolids. She
believes sludge is the cause of her family's health problems.

Vernon Alumbaugh, a toxic soils consultant out of Reno, Nev., said Thursday that he tested the
soil at the Iniguez home about two years ago and found high levels of endotoxins, which leads
him to believe the family's home was built on sludge.

Endotoxins, which are released when bacteria is destroyed, have been known to cause severe
inflammation in any tissue exposed to them, including lung tissue, according to the national
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We just tested a surface sample," Alumbaugh said. "To fully determine if she has sludge we
need to take additional tests."

Iniguez's attorney, John Chapman, says the complaint opens the door to doing more tests as
part of the lawsuit's investigation.

Contact staff writer Laura Mitchell at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2621, or lmitchell@californian.com.