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Chinese Drywall Lawsuit Claims Material Used in Las Vegas Homes

Aug 25, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
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A Chinese drywall class action lawsuit has been filed in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the lawsuit alleges that Chinese drywall is causing health problems for occupants of homes in two Las Vegas neighborhoods

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four homeowners, the Sun said.  Three of the homes are located in a neighborhood near Jones Boulevard and Grand Teton Drive; and the fourth is near Hollywood Boulevard and Desert Inn Road. The lawsuit, which seeks class action status for all residents of the state suffering health problems because of Chinese drywall, names subsidiaries of Miami-based homebuilder Lennar Corp. and drywall manufacturer Georgia-Pacific Corp. of Atlanta as defendants.

Defendants named in the suit claim that they did not  use Chinese drywall in Las Vegas  homes, and the Sun notes that domestic wallboard is made in the Las Vegas area.  However,  Georgia Pacific has been named in a Florida lawsuit that alleges its American-made synthetic drywall products are also causing corrosion in home components and health problems.  The suit alleges that those products emit sulfur, methane and other volatile organic chemical compounds, the Sun said.

As we've reported previously, Lennar has acknowledged that Chinese drywall was used in about 400 of its Florida homes.   The company has filed its own lawsuit against  the makers and distributors of Chinese drywall.

Consumers in 24 states have filed a total of 1046 Chinese drywall complaints with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Gases emitted from the drywall are being blamed for significant property damage, including damage to HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, metal plumbing components, and other household appliances. These gases also produce a sulfurous odor, similar to fireworks or rotten eggs, that permeates homes, and cause metals, including air conditioning coils and even jewelry, to corrode.

Earlier this summer, tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that Chinese-manufactured drywall contained elevated levels of strontium sulfide, as well as the presence of several organic compounds associated with the production of acrylic paint that were not present in samples of U.S.-made drywall. The Florida health department is expected to release further test results that could shed more light on potential health hazards posed by the drywall in September. The EPA and other government agencies are also conducting additional health testing, and those results should also be available soon.

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