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Beazer Homes Investigating Chinese Drywall in its Florida Homes

Apr 27, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Another Florida builder, Beazer Homes, says houses it built "may have" Chinese drywall.  According to news-press.com, Beazer is getting ready to test homes in its Magnolia Lakes at Gateway community in Fort Meyers.

Georgia-based Beazer builds in more than 40 markets in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, West and Central United States, news-press.com said.

Chinese drywall has been causing problems in newer homes across the country. The material reportedly emits sulfur fumes that fill homes with a “rotten eggs” odor. The fumes from the drywall have also been linked to corroding metals in many of the homes, and people living with the material have reported sinus and respiratory problems. Many residents have had to leave their homes because the Chinese drywall has made them unlivable, and some builders are scrambling to gut homes and replace the drywall.

Florida was the first state to report such problems with Chinese drywall, and the health department there has received more than 200 complaints.  Other builders in Florida that are known to have used Chinese drywall include Lennar, WCI, Taylor Morrison, Aubuchon, Engle, Meritage, Ryland and Sunrise.

According to news-press.com, Beazer has sent a letter to  about 120 homeowners in Magnolia Lakes informing them that it was conducting an investigation to determine if "problematic" drywall was used in homes  there.  "We pledge to take the steps necessary to properly investigate and if the matter is determined to be Beazer's responsibility, to resolve the problem," the letter said. "At this point, we cannot say with certainty what that resolution will be."

According to news-press.com, Beazer's investigation was prompted by complaints from some Magnolia Lakes homeowners.  The letter said once the complaints were made, Beazer began working with experts hired by the company, and with state agencies to determine what is the problem.

While Florida was ground zero in the Chinese drywall debacle, homeowners in other states, including Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina, have reported the odor, corrosion and health problems related to the material. According to the Associated Press, the U.S. imported roughly 5 million square feet of drywall from China during the housing boom from 2004 to 2008. Estimates indicate the drywall may be in more than 100,000 homes.


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