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Woman Buys Home For $3,200, Gets $115K Settlement

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KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) - A woman who bought a 110-year-old home from Kalamazoo for $3,200 has agreed to a $115,000 settlement with the city after she said officials failed to disclose the possibility it contained lead-based paint and blamed the home for her child’s elevated lead levels.

Brandi Crawford last year bought the two-story, 1,800-square-foot home, which had gone through tax foreclosure, MLive.com reported. In March, she filed a claim that city officials didn’t provide her with an Environmental Protection Agency-approved form warning her of the potential of lead-based paint in the home.

Crawford said the city knew the home contained lead-based paint. Under federal law, the city should have provided a disclosure since the home was built before 1978.

City officials acknowledged that they failed to provide documents but denied knowing that lead-based paint was inside. Kalamazoo City Attorney Clyde Robinson said the city wasn’t required to test the property for lead, but it had an obligation to disclose the possibility of lead.

“We did no testing,” Robinson said.

The city had acquired the home from the state in 2007 after it went into tax foreclosure. The home was considered eligible for the city’s rehabilitation and resale program, but city officials decided to sell it “as is” due to high estimated renovation costs, Mlive.com reported.

Crawford told Mlive.com that about $80,000 of the $115,000 settlement will pay for lead remediation, and another $15,000 will pay for her attorneys’ fees. She said $5,000 will go toward her son’s future, with the remainder going toward fixing up the house and paying for the hotel room her family has called home for a month.

The Kalamazoo City Commission unanimously voted for the settlement Monday.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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