OREM, Utah – A Utah County couple said they have suffered headaches, diarrhea, rashes and other problems after unknowingly purchasing a house that was used to make methamphetamine.
"It's a nightmare. It's just unbelievable," said Paul Halliday, a student at Brigham Young University.
He and wife Cynthia were forced to leave the house in July, five months after buying it for $129,400, when tests showed high levels of chemicals used to make the street drug.
The Hallidays are suing Osmond Real Estate, agent Fay Jones and the previous owners, claiming they concealed the contamination.
Cynthia is worried about possible effects on her first child, due in April. The Hallidays said they had to get rid of almost all possessions, including furniture, clothes, a piano and other instruments.
"Paul and I got an afghan from his mother before she passed away. It really hurts when you think about the sentimental things," Cynthia said.
Osmond Real Estate is operated by James Osmond, brother of famous singer-siblings Donny and Marie Osmond.
"Obviously we're going to review this and investigate and defend [against] the allegations," said Mark Williams, attorney for Osmond Real Estate and Jones.
"I'd assume this agent had no knowledge that this was a meth house, as alleged," he said.
Meth commonly involves the cooking of dangerous chemicals in bathrooms, garages or bedrooms.
The Hallidays are asking a judge to throw out the purchase agreement and order the defendants to pay at least $200,000. The lawsuit is pending in 4th District Court.
The Utah County Health Department receives a few calls a day about suspected meth use in homes.
"The public is much more aware of the problem out there," said Boyd Stringham, who specializes in hazardous materials at the department.
Kyle Adams, owner of Low Cost Cleanup and Restoration in Bluffdale, said he has done about 50 decontaminations in Utah this year.