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Business Goes Under Because Of Chinese Drywall

Aug 4, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

In another unfortunate turn of events regarding defective Chinese drywall, one business is going under because of the toxic product. just reported that a Virginia business that sold Chinese drywall was forced to recently hold an auction to cover debts resulting from the defective drywall.

Sam Porter, who owns Venture Supply in Norfolk, told he bought the Chinese drywall to help with the rising demand for sheet rock. Now that lawsuits are emerging over problems homeowners are experiencing with the Chinese drywall, Porter had to toss 65,000 sheets, said Porter said the defective Chinese drywall debacle is forcing him out of business.

During America’s building boom that was followed by hurricane damage that decimated homes and business, building was frenzied. And, while the U.S, had the desire and manpower to meet the need, it lacked sufficient product.

A layer of gypsum pressed between two sheets of paper used in ceiling and wall construction for homes and businesses, drywall—or wallboard—is a necessary component in the building industry. U.S. manufacturers could not produce enough to meet the overwhelming demand so millions of square feet of goods was purchased from abroad. It’s estimated that more than 500 million pounds of possibly deficient Chinese drywall entered America between 2004 and 2008. An earlier Associated Press statement revealed that this is enough material to build about 100,000 homes. And the price was extremely persuasive … cheaper than the unavailable American version.

According to Porter’s sister, Andrea Culligan-Porter, "Sam looked for drywall…. He got it from China. He had no idea at any time that there was ever anything wrong," quoted According to Culligan-Porter, reported, "He's a victim just like anyone else, he had no idea. Actually, all of his 68 employees are victims as well, because they are all out of work now.", which has also been following the toxic Chinese drywall scandal, reported that the auction will help Porter pay creditors saying that the problem has cost him thousands of dollars and the business in which he has invested for decades.

Meanwhile, yesterday we wrote that homes known to contain the toxic drywall are being put up for sale. According to an earlier WINK News report, a never occupied home in Northwest Cape Coral—four bedrooms and two baths—is up for sale for just $19,800. Despite that the home has been contaminated with toxic Chinese drywall, consumers are expressing interest. According to WINK News, an investor from out-of-town is in contract on the house.

Earlier this year, tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that Chinese-manufactured drywall contained elevated levels of strontium sulfide, as well as several organic compounds associated with the production of acrylic paint, which were not present in samples of U.S.-made drywall.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said it has received over 800 Chinese drywall complaints since last December. Common features of the reports submitted to the CPSC from homes believed to contain problem Chinese drywall have been: A “rotten egg” smell in homes; health concerns, such as irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty in breathing, persistent cough, bloody noses, runny noses, recurrent headaches, sinus infections, and asthma attacks; and blackened and corroded metal components in homes and the frequent replacement of components in air conditioning units.

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