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‘Up’ House Remodel Sparks Lead Suit

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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A remodeling project to turn a Victorian home into a real-life replica of the house in the animated movie "Up" has resulted in a lawsuit.

Although some neighbors have grumbled about the unusually bright color scheme of the house in Santa Clara, CA, the lawsuit involves lead-paint hazards reportedly caused by the project.

Sarah Doty, who lives next door to the "Up" lookalike in the city’s Old Quad neighborhood, filed suit Friday (May 2) against homeowners Hasam Haggog and Fatima Rahman, alleging that the remodeling under way has contaminated her yard with lead, according to various reports.

NBC Bay Area coverage
NBC Bay Area

A resident next door to a home painted to look like the house in Disney Pixar's movie "Up" has filed a lawsuit alleging that the remodeling work contaminated her yard with lead, NBC reports.

Before filing the lawsuit, Dota asked a Santa Clara County judge to stop the work on the project, but that request was denied, reports relate.

Lead Paint at Issue

“The federal government came to my house and did testing that showed high levels of lead,” Doty told a local NBC News affiliate.

“I had additional testing done by the California Department of Health, which tested lead in the tens of thousands of times above the legal limit.”

Doty says she wants the couple to pay for lead abatement on her property. A court date for the lawsuit is set for August.

The homeowners of the "Up"-inspired house have denied the allegations, reports say.

Disney Pixar

"Up," released in 2009, has inspired paint jobs of at least two homes in the U.S.

Their attorney, Tom Gelini, told a local ABC News affiliate that tests for lead paint in yards would likely turn up positive in the historic neighborhood, because many of the homes are more than 110 years old.

Details regarding the project and its lead-safe procedures were not immediately available Monday (May 5).

Color Controversy

The house caught the attention of national media outlets a few weeks ago when neighbors spoke out in opposition of the multi-colored facade.

"I don't think it fits in,” neighbor Lou Faria, a member of the Old Quad Residential Association, told NBC News. “It really, in my opinion, is atrocious that this Victorian is a gracious old lady and it's being painted up to look like a clown."

Additional reports have questioned whether the homeowners followed proper procedure in obtaining city permits for the project, which involved significant structural changes.

Paint Job for the Children

Haggog and Rahman purchased the run-down home more than two years ago and embarked on an extensive remodeling project.

The paint job was actually a design decision made by the couple’s two small children, who loved the Disney Pixar flick, the owners told members of the media.

Up House
Bangerter Homes

In 2011, Bangerter Homes (Herriman, UT) constructed a real-life version of the home in "Up," complete with weather vane and garden hose.

"They love the movie 'Up,' and we just thought we'd give them something fun to be proud of, and all the kids in the neighborhood really love the colors,” Haggog told NBC News.

Rahman added: "We're not trying to create controversy. We're trying to build a home for our daughters and our family."

The California house is not the first "Up"-inspired home. In 2011, Bangerter Homes of Herriman, UT, built a replica of Carl and Ellie’s abode there, complete with the weather vane and garden hose.

Bangerter Homes was required to seek permission from Disney before building the four-bedroom, 2,800-square-foot home, according to the company.


Tagged categories: Color; Health and safety; Lead; Lead paint abatement; Maintenance + Renovation; Remodeling; Renovation

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