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More Chinese Drywall Lawsuits Set for Trial

Mar 8, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Another lawsuit regarding the ongoing Chinese drywall debacle is set to begin sometime next week. The lawsuit involves four Manatee County, Florida homes, said

Taylor Woodrow Homes and Taylor Morrison Homes filed suit against Scottsdale Insurance Company on February 23 claiming Scottsdale should pay for replacing defective drywall in homes that were built in the subdivisions of Aberdeen, Crystal Lakes, Greenbrook, and Oakley Place, said This lawsuit is just one of many hundred that have been consolidated with a federal drywall proceeding in New Orleans.

The Taylor suit alleges that the builders hired Nu Way Drywall LLC to supply and install drywall in the four Manatee homes, said In one of the cases, a homeowner sued Taylor Morrison, which then agreed to remove and replace the drywall and pay damages; remediation is about 50-percent complete, added Meanwhile, Taylor Morrison said that Scottsdale provided liability coverage to Nu Way but did not defend it in the lawsuit, despite that it was mandated to do so and was also required to cover replacement costs for drywall, said

At least 3,000 people from across the country have filed suit over defective Chinese drywall. All of the Chinese drywall lawsuits filed in federal courts have been consolidated in the US District Court in New Orleans under Judge Eldon E. Fallon as part of a multidistrict litigation. The first trial is scheduled for March 15 and involves a Louisiana family, said

We recently wrote that nine people living in homes with Chinese drywall have died from various ailments and, now, several lawmakers are demanding answers. According to a report in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said death reports were among the Chinese drywall complaints it has received; however, it has not found direct scientific evidence to support a link between the deaths and the drywall. The death reports were first uncovered by the Scripps Howard News Service, which filed a freedom of information request to receive copies of 2,700 drywall complaints filed with the agency, the Times-Picayune said.

Now, said, a number of federal agencies are probing the deaths and the agencies and the federal judge are expected to issues protocols for the removal and replacement of defective Chinese drywall, said

Since late 2008, the CPSC has received about 3,000 reports from residents in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico regarding defective Chinese drywall. Gases emitted from Chinese 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 that permeates homes, and cause metals, including air conditioning coils and even jewelry, to corrode. People living with Chinese drywall have also suffered eye, respiratory, and sinus problems that may be linked to the gases.

Meanwhile, some Virginia homeowners, plaintiffs in the first federal Chinese drywall trial, recently gave testimony about the toll the disaster has taken on their lives. In that case, the plaintiffs are arguing that the only way to truly fix their homes is to gut them down to the studs. The costs calculated for remediation itself, based on bids solicited independently from two Virginia builders, averaged about $86 per square foot, or roughly $172,000 for a typical 2,000- square-foot home. Those plaintiffs are seeking $2.5 million, with about $1.2 million covering remediation, and at least another $1.3 million for damages beyond remediation.

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