Graduate student settles with agency that sold meth-contaminated home to his family

Michael Newey, News Contributor

After purchasing a house for him and his family, Travis Tubbs was notified that the property was contaminated with methamphetamines. Sixteen months later, with money and expenses rising daily, Travis Tubbs has finally reached the end of a long legal battle. 

Major Travis Tubbs, an Oregon State University PhD student, recently settled on a court case that lasted over 16 months and requested over $600,000 to cover the expenses that they had racked up after discovering his house was contaminated with methamphetamine. Now, he’s looking toward the future.

“If we can get into the house by Christmas, that would be the best Christmas ever,” Tubbs said, standing in a garage which has been made into a makeshift home for him, his wife and their seven kids to live in.

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Tubbs and the defendants, Keller Williams Realty, Jody Draper, Bradley Dumilieu and Westgate Group LLC, settled through a process called mediation. Mediation is where a neutral third party helps both sides resolve an issue, circumventing the court process. Tubbs explained that he couldn’t disclose the amount that had been settled upon, but did say it got his family out of the debt that the meth contamination had put them in and coverad a small amount of the restoration. 

“We got to a settlement that neither party was happy with. But it was acceptable to both.” Tubbs said. 

Struggling through 16 months of an expensive court case with no settlement took a toll on the family. 

“We tapped into every resource we could think of,” Tubbs said. 

Tubbs says he withdrew money set aside for life insurance, borrowed from family and set up a Gofundme. 

According to Tubbs, the greatest help came from his community. 

“Family close by, people in the community reached out to us. It’s one of those things where you have a tough scenario you pull through it the best you can.” 

Volunteers ranging from paint companies to the Boy Scouts have helped in various ways, from working around the property to making the Tubbs’ shed into a haunted house for Halloween. 

Tubbs explained that his real estate broker, Ric Vega, was the first person the methamphetamine contamination was disclosed to after the closure of the property, and he immediately informed the family.

“This was the first time ever I’ve had someone disclose a significant material defect after closing in 16 years,” Vega said. 

The Tubbs greatly appreciate Vega’s support throughout the whole process.

“He was by far the best broker we’ve ever had. There was no question that Ric’s been with us this entire way,” Tubbs said. 

Tubbs says he hopes a change is made to legislation to help protect other homeowners from similar situations. 

“When you have mediation, nothing is actually judicated. All parties agree to drop the case,” Tubbs said. 

With the case officially dropped, were a situation like this to happen again, there would be no case precedent to rely on.

The final cleaning of his house is expected to take a month, with restoration of the walls and kitchen taking even longer. 

“When we have a house we plan to invite Ric over for dinner,” said Tubbs. 

Perhaps they will even be able to have dinner together before Christmas.