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Lennar Homes Moving Families Out of Chinese Drywall Homes

Apr 29, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Lennar Homes is moving Florida families out of homes built with tainted Chinese drywall. According to a report on abcactionnews.com the builder is planning to gut the homes and replace the defective material.

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.  Lennar was one of the first builders in the state to acknowledge using the material. Other builders in Florida that have reportedly used Chinese drywall include Beazer, Centerline,  WCI, Taylor Morrison, Aubuchon, Engle, Meritage, Ryland and Sunrise.

According to abcactionews.com, Lennar is not saying how many Florida families it is relocating due to the Chinese drywall issue. Homeowners will be relocated for six months while the company strips the homes down to the frame and rebuilds. In January, the company issued a statement in which it promised to absorb all costs related to the drywall replacement, including relocation expenses for people living in the houses.

According to one family interviewed by abcactionnews.com, Lennar is requiring that homeowners give up their right to sue Lennar before the builder will pay for relocations and repairs.  Under the agreement, homeowners may only sue the builder if  they develop any health conditions tied to the Chinese drywall in the future.  Lennar has already been named in at least one Chinese drywall class action lawsuit filed in Florida.

In February, Lennar itself  filed suit against the manufacturers and suppliers of Chinese drywall, including the Chinese firms Knauf Plasterboard and Tianjin Co., Taishan Gypsum, as well as Banner Supply of Florida. The lawsuit claims the defendants sold “defective gypsum” drywall that was installed in homes built by Lennar, which “caused substantial damage” to the company. The Lennar lawsuit also charged 12 installers with breach of contract and breach of express and implied warranty. Lennar claimed that independent subcontractors installed the defective Chinese drywall in some homes, and it was unaware it was being used.


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