Articles Posted in Chinese Drywall

Last week, a Miami judge ruled that a lawsuit filed on behalf of homeowners in the wake of the Chinese drywall disaster can proceed as a class action. The case, currently involving 152 homes in Miami-Dade County, Florida, marks the first state class action approved in the country. Under the judge’s ruling, homeowners in Miami-Dade County can choose whether or not they want to be a part of the lawsuit.

In the suit, homeowners in three subdivisions, which were built in 2005 and 2006, are suing the builder, developer, installer and supplier of the defective Chinese drywall. The trial is expected to begin later this year, unless a settlement is reached before then.

To date, there have been roughly 6,000 similar cases filed in a number of states throughout the country, some of which are individual settlements which have already been approved.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon in the first “bellwether” trial in the Multidistrict Litigation proceedings for homes containing Chinese drywall ruled that the defective drywall attacks and severely damages copper and silver components of homes where the drywall is installed. The ruling also states that in order to correct the problem, the drywall, wiring, plumbing, air conditioning equipment (including ductwork), and interior finish components such as trim, flooring, cabinetry, and carpeting must be removed and replaced. In homes where Chinese drywall is mixed with non-corrosive U.S.-made drywall, the judge ruled, all drywall from whatever source must be stripped, and all wiring, plumbing, and air conditioning systems throughout the house must be replaced.

The ruling came from the case, Germano, et al. v. Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd., et al., which pits seven Virginia homeowners against the Chinese government-owned manufacturer Taishan Gypsum. In the published ruling, the judge walks through a point-by-point description of the damage the drywall has caused and explains why the only appropriate remedy is to completely remove and replace the affected building materials. The court rejected all suggestions by drywall manufacturer Knauf Tianjin, appearing on behalf of the absent Taishan Gypsum, that the problem might be solved by removing only certain pieces of drywall or by cleaning copper components rather than replacing them.

You can read the judge’s filing online here.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

Lloyd Medley, chief judge of Orleans Parish Civil District Court, stated that the policy exclusions that insurers have commonly been using to deny claims for drywall damage don’t apply. Medley told Audubon Insurance Co. that the three items in its policy that the company had used to deny the homeowners insurance claim that New Orleans residents Simon and Rebecca Finger had made did not apply. The ruling is good news for any Louisiana homeowner whose house was constructed with defective Chinese drywall.

You can read more on this story online here.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon is expected to issue a detailed ruling shortly, laying out the scope of remediation he thinks is necessary. However, during the trial, two key points were brought to everyone’s attention which presents a problem for the region’s largest affected builder, Lennar:

– the damage to insulated electrical wiring, and
– the apparent ineffectiveness of vacuuming alone to remove residual drywall particles
Lennar started remediating homes last year, stating that it knew what needed to be fixed and how they will go about fixing the problem. Initially, Lennar stated that insulated wiring within the walls of the homes were not affected, and therefore, it could snip off the exposed ends of copper wires and could use the rest. However, recent findings conclude that its not that simple.

During the trial, scientists presented several cases in which insulated wiring had been damaged in homes. Lennar appears to have reached the same conclusion sometime last year, as its protocol has changed, and they now remove all affected wiring in homes.

Though the change to the remediation process has been made for the future, but what about the early homes where the remaining wiring was left behind? That is something we will have to keep an eye out for in the future.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

Federal agencies recently released a new set of criteria to help members and inspectors determine whether recent renovations or construction definitively has defective Chinese drywall. Calling it a “preliminary” protocol, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) outlined standards for homes built from 2001-2008, for the first time acknowledging a wider range of possible homes may be affected than the earlier estimates of 2004-2007.

The guidance takes into account visual signs of metal corrosion, evidence of drywall installation in the relevant time period, and the identification of other corroborating evidence or characteristics.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

A recent article on CBS reports that the federal government has found a “strong association” between defective Chinese drywall and corrosion of pipes and wires in homes where the drywall has been found. This confirmation supports complaints made by thousands of homeowners throughout the United States over the last year.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, along with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continues to study the potential health effects, and the long-term implications of the corrosion.

You can read more on this article and the CPSC’s next steps online here.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

An article online this week states that Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd., one of the leading defendants in a consolidated federal court lawsuit against drywall manufacturers in China, offered homeowners who sign up for he omnibus class action by December 2, 2009 and show proof that their homes were built with KPT drywall won’t have to pay $15,000 to serve the company in China through the Hague Convention, according to an order issued Monday by United States District Court Judge Eldon Fallon. This offer will speed up the proceedings, reduce costs and aid in the consolidation of the disputes in federal court.

You can read more on this story online here.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

A recent report in the Wall Street Journal details the ongoing frustrations of US homeowners who have been affected by the defective Chinese drywall epidemic. Homeowners were hopeful that Inez Tenebaum, Chair of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, would bring relief back to the US after a recent visit to China.

Prior to the trip, Tenenbaum said she would speak to Chinese officials in an effort to gauge their willingness to help pay for the estimated $15-$25 billion dollars in damages. Though US homeowners were hopeful prior to the meeting, Tenebaum’s response to questions at a press conference in Beijing on Monday were not as hopeful, stating that she will only ask the suppliers of Chinese drywall to “do what is fair and just.”

You can read the full article online here.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

I found an article on line this week which reports that in the wake of the defective Chinese drywall epidemic, insurance Companies have started to deny claims, and even worse, refusing to renew entire policies. Thousands of homeowners nationwide have been affected by the defective building materials are now finding little assistance. Experts warn that cases in which insurers drop policies or send notices of non-renewal based on the presence of the Chinese drywall, will become rampant as insurance companies process the hundreds of claims currently in the pipeline.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

Though the final number has yet to be determined, recent reports state that the total cost of damages from Chinese drywall could reach $25 billion. Most reports place the final number somewhere between $15 and $25 billion, while others state that after repairs and litigation costs, the $25 billion mark could be surpassed.

What’s also unclear is the percentage of this final number that will be covered from property and casualty insurance. This means builders, suppliers and manufacturers of the defective drywall should prepare for numerous lawsuits in the near future from homeowners facing thousands of dollars in damages and repair costs.

I found an article online recently which details the estimated costs associated with the Chinese drywall problem, and those who are most likely to be affected by the current litigation. You can read the full article here.

If you suspect your home may be built with defective Chinese drywall, contact us here for a free no obligation case review.

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