Chinese Drywall Forces Florida Family to Flee $1.2 Million Dream HomeMay 7, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
A Florida family says their doctor told them to leave their million-dollar dream home because it is infested with toxic Chinese drywall. According to a CNN report, the family blames a year's worth of upper respiratory infections, bloody noses and other problems on the defective Chinese drywall.
Chinese drywall reportedly emits sulfur fumes that produce a “rotten eggs” odor and cause metals, such as air conditioning coils, to corrode. The fumes have also been associated with respiratory and sinus problems in some residents. In some homes, the drywall problems have been so severe that families have had to move, and some builders have begun gutting and replacing drywall in the buildings.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the U.S. imported roughly 309 million square feet of drywall from China during the housing boom from 2004 to 2007. In Florida alone, the state health department has received more than 300 complaints about the material.
While the first Chinese drywall complaints came from homeowners in Florida, it has become clear that the problem is a national one. Reports of defective Chinese drywall have now been recorded in Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. It seems the warm, humid climate in the south encourages the drywall to emit sulfur fumes. Some experts fear that in cooler, dryer areas of the country, it could be years before Chinese drywall problems finally surface.
According to CNN, the Massachi family was just told by their doctor to abandon their $1.2 million estate in Parkland, Florida, northwest of Fort Lauderdale. The home was built only 18 months ago.
"I said, 'you can't stay there anymore, because you're sick every minute,'" Dr. Ross Nochimson, told CNN. "They're sick on a weekly basis. Earaches, sore throat. I give them something, and they're sick again." According to Dr. Nochimson, the family rarely suffered such health problems before moving into their home.
According to CNN, the Massachi home is filled with the putrid, rotten eggs odor associated with Chinese drywall. Electrical outlets, copper wiring and other metals in the home are black with corrosion.
In addition to their health problems, the Massachi's are suffering financially because of the Chinese drywall, CNN said. Moving out means taking on a monthly rent payment, in addition to their mortgage. Their lender has so far refused to suspend mortgage payments until the house can be made livable again.
Homeowner Amy Massachi is also concerned that the drywall has decimated the value of her home. "It's worth nothing," she told CNN. "It's exclusive. It's pricey, and now it's worth nothing."