Transition is often times a confusing issue for condominium associations run by Boards populated with unitowners who are not attorneys and who have no prior experience going through the process. Upon transition of control of the condo association board of directors from the sponsor-developer to the unitowners, a key responsibility of the Board is to engage the services of an engineer or architect to conduct an inspection of the common elements and building design to determine if there are any deficiencies.
Continue Reading Transition by Condominium Associations – Focus of Engineering Investigation

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.
Continue Reading Miami Judge Certifies Chinese Drywall Class Action

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.
Continue Reading Judge Rules in Favor of Homeowners in Chinese Drywall Case

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.
Continue Reading Louisiana Judge States Policy Exclusions Used to Deny Chinese Drywall Insurance Clams Don’t Apply

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 Corporation
Continue Reading Update on Chinese drywall Remediation Trial in New Orleans

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.
Continue Reading Federal Agencies Set Criteria for Chinese Drywall Diagnosis

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.
Continue Reading Chinese Drywall Manufacturer Offers to Streamline Lawsuits in Federal Court

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 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.
Continue Reading Chinese Drywall Update: Tenebaum Brings Little Relief To US After Trip to China

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.
Continue Reading Insurance Companies Deny Claims, Drop Policies