Chinese Drywall Meeting Answers Homeowners' QuestionsJul 29, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
Anxious homeowners had a chance to have their Chinese drywall questions answered during a town hall meeting in Bonita Springs, Florida last Thursday. The meeting was sponsored by Parker Waichman LLP and Morgan & Morgan, P.A., which together filed the first federal lawsuit on behalf of Chinese drywall victims.
About 100 homeowners attended the event, which was held at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs. Jordan L. Chaikin of Parker Waichman LLP and Michael Goetz of Morgan & Morgan, P.A. hosted the event. According to Chaikin, the meeting covered a variety of issues relating to Chinese drywall, including the progress of the Chinese Drywall Multidistrict Litigation currently underway in federal court in New Orleans. Mortgage and lender issues, as well remediation efforts were also discussed. Homeowners were given the opportunity to ask any and all questions they had regarding Chinese drywall during an open forum discussion.
During his talk, Chaikin offered advice to homeowners on how they could determine if their homes had been built with Chinese drywall. Chaikin referred homeowners to the Florida Health Department's Case Definition for determining if Chinese drywall is in a home. That definition is available here.
Many homeowners were particularly concerned about the possible health consequences from exposure to drywall fumes. Some expressed concerns that they or a loved one had experienced symptoms such as eye irritation, sore throats, and respiratory and sinus problems while in their homes. Chaikin told attendees that the possible health affects from such exposure have yet to be determined. However, the Florida Health Department is expected to release test results that could provide more answers on that question next in September, Chaikin said. Other government agencies are also conducting health testing, and those results should be available soon.
A featured speaker at the meeting was Spiderman Mulholland, Senior Forensic investigator and national consultant with US Building Consultants, Inc. and US Building Laboratories, Inc. A Certified Indoor Environmentalist Consultant and leading forensic expert on building envelope, water intrusion, and toxic mold, Spiderman Mulholland has logged over 1000 hours in the past several months working on the defective Chinese drywall crisis.
Mulholland, who addressed the remediation of homes with Chinese drywall, warned attendees not to rush into repairs. According to Mulholland, no one has yet devised a successful remediation protocol. Mulholland said that if it is not done correctly, remediation could actually make a home worse, and actually create more out-gassing of drywall fumes.
Overall, Chaikin said last week's Chinese drywall meeting was a success. In fact, plans are currently in the works to hold more such meetings throughout South Florida. Chaikin said the next one is tentatively scheduled for August 13 in the Tampa area. A location for the meeting will be announced once plans are solidified.