Our Chinese drywall lawyers continue to investigate problems with this defective wallboard. If you have been plagued by air conditioning and other appliances that break repeatedly, or your home’s copper wiring, plumbing or metal fixtures are becoming black or corroded, your home might contain the toxic Chinese drywall. If so, your home, as well as your family’s health, could be at risk.
Chinese Drywall Demonstration Remediation Program
In October 2010, the federal court that is overseeing thousands of Chinese drywall lawsuits from around the country announced that an agreement to set up a demonstration remediation program had been reached with Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co, a major manufacturer of the wallboard, and other responsible parties. Part of the pilot program’s goal will be to determine just how much implementing the remediation protocol would cost when applied to several hundred actual homes. The demonstration program could pave the way for a global settlement of all Chinese drywall claims.
In light of this agreement, it is more important than ever that you contact us at once if you suspect your home contains Chinese drywall. Our Chinese drywall lawyers continue to offer free consultations to homeowners dealing with this problem. If you think Chinese drywall is ruining your home, it is vital that you contact one of our Chinese drywall lawyers today.
Problems Caused by Chinese Drywall
Drywall is the board used to make interior walls. Usually, it is manufactured domestically, but a shortage of the material between 2004 and 2006 prompted many builders to buy drywall from China. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, some 500 million pounds of Chinese drywall was imported to the US during that time. That means as many as 100,000 homes throughout the country could have been built with the material.
Since late 2008, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received more than 3,600 reports from residents in 39 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico regarding defective Chinese drywall. Gases emitted from Chinese drywall are being blamed for damage to HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, metal plumbing components, and other household appliances. Homeowners have also reported that the drywall emits a foul smell, akin to rotten eggs. In some case, people living in Chinese drywall homes have also suffered eye irritation, respiratory problems, headaches and sinus problems that may be linked to the gases.
Tests released in November 2009 by the CPSC of 51 homes confirmed that the presence of hydrogen sulfide in Chinese wallboard was the essential component that caused the copper and silver sulfide corrosion found in Chinese drywall homes. In April 2010, the CPSC and the Department of Housing and Urban Development advised Chinese drywall homeowners to not only remove the defective Chinese drywall from their homes, but to replace electrical components and wiring, gas service piping, fire suppression sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms as well. It is estimated that properly remediating a home with Chinese drywall could cost as much as $100,000.
Chinese Drywall Settlement and Demonstration Remediation Program
The settlement agreement announced in October 2010 is a major milestone in the massive Chinese drywall litigation. If the pilot program is successful, it could pave the way for a global settlement of Chinese drywall claims. It is estimated that as many as 10,000 homes could be eligible for such a settlement.
Under terms of the agreement, Knauf and other responsible parties agreed to pay for the remediation of 300 homes in four states. The agreement calls for Knauf and other defendants to see that the defective drywall is removed, and replacements made for electrical wiring, appliances including air conditioning, and fixtures damaged by drywall fumes, in accordance with CPSC guidelines. The protocol also requires that other fixtures be removed and replaced as needed, including: Hot water heaters, cabinets, countertops, doors, moldings and trim (as required to remove drywall), sinks, toilets, bathtubs and shower enclosures, mirrors, ceiling fans, plumbing fixtures, exhaust grills and diffusers, marble pieces, doors and attached door handles.
Knauf will hire the contractors to perform the work, and repairs will be inspected by an environmental engineer. Homeowners participating in the demonstration remediation program will also receive $8.50 per square foot to cover any additional expenses such as moving costs and temporary housing.
Legal Help for Victims of Chinese Drywall
If your home is constantly plagued by a rotten egg odor, or if you are experiencing frequent problems with air conditioning and other appliances that break down constantly, or if the copper wiring or other metals in your home have corroded, Chinese drywall could be to blame. It is still not too late to take steps to protect your legal rights. To find out how our Chinese drywall lawyers can help you and your family, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800 YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.
Chinese Drywall Victims Awarded $2.6 Million, Judge Says Homes Must be Gutted
Date: April 8th, 2010 – The owners of seven Virginia homes contaminated with toxic Chinese drywall have been awarded $2.6 million by the federal judge overseeing the Chinese drywall multidistrict litigation (MDL) currently underway in New Orleans. The trial was considered a “bellwether” or test case, and the decision could affect how lawsuits by thousands of other homeowners are settled.
To review full Chinese Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation – Findings of Fact and Conclusions Of Law —Click Here.
Parker Waichman LLP, A Leading National Firm Dedicated to Protecting Homeowners Rights, Is Investigating Allegations That Builders Are Using Coercive Tactics and One-Sided Remediation Agreements to Limit Chinese Drywall Liability.
Parker Waichman LLP has been contacted by several homeowners with Chinese drywall who have been coerced by their builders into signing unfair, one-sided remediation agreements. Parker Waichman LLP filed the first Chinese drywall lawsuit in federal court, and continues to aggressively prosecute these claims.
Builders in Florida implicated in using Chinese drywall have been accused of preying on desperate homeowners with the goal of inducing them into forfeiting all of their legal rights in return for an inadequate remediation of their homes. These unethical builders are continually contacting, and in many cases harassing, their customers, whether they are represented by counsel or not. Some builders are misleading the homeowners into believing that their sole remedy is to permit the builder to do the remediation. Naive homeowners, anxious to have their homes made livable, are relying on empty promises and other oral representations made by builders that are not contained in written agreements. As a result, many homeowners have entered into written agreements without understanding the full implications of this action. In all cases builders are refusing to perform any remediation unless the homeowner signs one of these unconscionable, one-sided agreements.
These agreements release the builder from all current and future claims of liability. They also assign all of the homeowner’s rights to the builder enabling the builder to go after any other party(s) responsible for any claims or damages the homeowner could have asserted. The agreements do not provide for compensation for many of the homeowner’s losses including damage to personal property, reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, diminution in market value, inability to refinance, detriment to credit resulting from default and/or foreclosure, and loss of enjoyment. These agreements do not require builders to cover any mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, insurance and/or Home Owners Association fees, or other expenses during the period of remediation, during which time the owner cannot use the property. Almost all of the agreements provide only a 1 year Limited Warranty that is not transferable or assignable to subsequent purchasers and will leave the homeowner without a remedy after the expiration of the 1 year period.
People who have had their homes remediated under these agreements have expressed dissatisfaction with both materials and workmanship. Unfortunately, the “Scope of Work” in these agreements, if it exists at all, is vague and ambiguous and does not provide for an adequate remediation. In many cases, builders are reinstalling the same cabinetry, plumbing components and electrical fixtures that were already subjected to the toxic fumes emitted from Chinese drywall. When builders do bother to replace materials and appliances, they are often cheaper, and of inferior quality. Many builders are taking an unreasonable amount of time to begin and complete the remediation.
Parker Waichman LLP is currently offering free consultations to any homeowner who was coerced by a builder to enter into such a one-sided, unfair agreement. Consultations are available through our website at www.yourlawyer.com, by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529), or through our Florida office directly at (239) 390-1000. If you or someone you know has been victimized by a builder in this way, we urge you to contact us immediately to protect your legal rights.
About Parker Waichman LLP
Parker Waichman LLP is a leading products liability and personal injury law firm that represents plaintiffs nationwide. The firm has offices in Florida, New York and New Jersey. Parker Waichman LLP has assisted thousands of clients in receiving fair compensation for injuries resulting from defective products, drugs and medical devices. We represent plaintiffs in both class action and individual lawsuits.
For more information on Parker Waichman LLP, please visit: www.yourlawyer.com or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
CONTACT:Parker Waichman LLP 27300 Riverview Center Boulevard, Florida 34134-4316 (800) YOURLAWYER (800) 968-7529 email@example.com www.yourlawyer.net/drywall
The lawyers / attorneys at our firm are offering free consultations to residents of Florida and other states whose homes have been ruined by defective Chinese drywall. Owners of new homes – mostly in South Florida, but some in Virginia as well – have been complaining of drywall that smells like rotten eggs. Reports indicate that the drywall emits a sulfur compound that corrodes wiring, air conditioning coils and other metals, and may cause health problems from chronic exposure. It has been determined that the drywall responsible for these problems was imported from China.
Our Chinese drywall lawyers are actively investigating these complaints, and we have seen how devastating the problems caused by defective Chinese drywall can be. Many people have been driven from their homes by the putrid smell. First and foremost, there are concerns that the fumes being emitted by the Chinese drywall could cause respiratory and other health problems.
Many Chinese drywall victims have spent thousands to repair or replace wiring, air conditioning units and other systems destroyed by the fumes. Many are also concerned that the drywall issues will affect the value of their houses, as well as their ability to sell. This is especially true in Florida, where home values have already been decimated by the recent real estate collapse.
Our firm will work hard to make sure the builders, suppliers and manufacturers responsible for this defective Chinese drywall are held accountable. If you have experienced foul odors in your home, corroding air conditioning coils and wiring, or any other problem related to Chinese drywall, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call our Chinese drywall lawyers right away to protect your legal rights.
8/10/09 CPSC Press Statement Regarding Drywall and Phosphoypsum — Click Here
8/10/09 Testing of Chinese Drywall for Radiation — Click Here
8/10/09 Reports of Drywall “Cases” to DOH County Health Departments (Florida Only) — Click Here
7/30/09 Reports of Drywall “Cases” meeting FL-DOH’s Case Definition (Across USA) — Click Here
6/3/09 Imported Drywall and Health – A Guide for Healthcare Providers 6/3/09– Click Here
7/21/09 CNBC — Leading National Law Firm Dedicated to Protecting Homeowners Rights, Launches Chinese-Drywall-Answers.com to Provide the Most Complete and Timely Information on Defective Chinese Drywall — Click Here
7/15/09 United States District Court/Eastern District of Louisiana-Eastern District of Louisiana’s ongoing court docket concerning Chinese drywall Multidistrict Litigation — Click Here
7/20/09 CNBC — National Law Firm Investigating Allegations That Builders Are Using Coercive Tactics and One-Sided Remediation Agreements to Limit Chinese Drywall Liability — Click Here
7/09/09 PRNewswire — Investigation of Hundreds of Chinese Drywall Claims on Behalf of Homeowners — Click Here
4/2/09 Congressman Robert Wexler’s letter to Governor Charlie Crist PDF– Click Here
4/3/09 Florida House of Representative Martin Kiar’s letter to Governor Charlie Crist PDF– Click Here
4/3/09 Governor Charlie Crist’s letter to EPA and CDC PDF– Click Here
4/3/09 Governor Charlie Crist’s response to Congressman Robert Wexler PDF– Click Here
Chinese Drywall Problems
Drywall is the board used to make interior walls. Usually, it is manufactured in the United States, but a shortage between 2004 and 2006 prompted many builders to buy drywall from China. Our firm’s investigation has confirmed that most of the reported problems stem from drywall imported from China during Florida’s construction boom years of 2004-2005. One official with a large building supply company recently told a Florida newspaper that more than 10-million square feet of the Chinese drywall was imported to southwest Florida during that time.
In some Florida developments, the drywall issue emerged after months of failures in heating and cooling systems. Air-conditioning evaporator coils, which are supposed to last a decade or more, are corroding and failing in homes only a couple of years old. Pipes and wiring may also be deteriorating because of the Chinese drywall fumes.
Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd. of China, a subsidiary of German-based manufacturer Knauf, is the company at the center of Florida’s drywall problems. Reports have indicated that some of the drywall may have been kept on barges at sea for months awaiting permission for importation to the United States. There is speculation that the humidity the material was exposed to while at sea may have something to do with the drywall’s fume problems.
Knauf has issued a statement insisting that the sulfur-like smell coming out of its drywall poses no dangers. The company maintains that the damage done to air conditioning and electrical wiring is the result of drywall made by some other company – though it has been unable to name which one. Knauf has also insisted that the drywall problems are confined to Florida, but our firm has become aware of similar reports coming out of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Many of the Florida homes that are the subject of Chinese drywall complaints were built by Lennar Corp., the nation’s second-largest builder by volume. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Lennar is testing, and continues to test, a dozen of its Florida developments and has shared results with the state health department. The company has relocated several families in order to rip out and replace the drywall in their homes.
Our firm is actively working to uncover what other companies, builders and suppliers might share responsibility for the Chinese drywall problem. If you are experiencing similar problems with you home, or have other information about other parties that may have had a hand in this disaster, our Chinese drywall lawyers want to hear from you.
Chinese Drywall Health Problems
There are concerns that the horrible smell coming from Chinese drywall is an indication that the material is emitting toxins that could be dangerous to the health of residents. According to a report on Environmental Expert.com, the drywall is made from gypsum, a natural material. The problems appear to be related to the presence of iron disulfide (FeS2 pyrite). Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbonyl sulfide, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon isulfide (CS2) are also suspected as culprits, the Web site said.
Health officials are still trying to determine what health problems these fumes might cause. A toxicologist for the state of Florida recently told one newspaper that the odor causes people to experience mild and moderate respiratory irritation that clears up when they leave the homes. Other residents have reported that they are experiencing headaches that also go away when they leave their houses. Other symptoms being reported included irritated eyes, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and symptoms similar to bronchitis and asthma.
Especially worrisome is the possibility that the Chinese drywall is emitting hydrogen sulfide fumes. Exposure to 50 parts per million of hydrogen sulfide for more than ten minutes can cause extreme irritation. Inhalation of 500 to 1,000 parts per million can cause unconsciousness and death through respiratory paralysis and asphyxiation, according to environmental experts.
Health officials are most concerned that the Chinese drywall fumes could be especially dangerous for sensitive populations. These include the very young and the elderly. People with asthma and chemical sensitivities would be at greatest risk. These worries have caused many people to flee their homes in an effort to preserve their health.
Chinese Drywall In Canada
Canadian homeowners in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland have also complained of problems with Chinese drywall. In May 2009, various Canadian media outlets reported that about a dozen homeowners in Metro Vancouver had experienced health problems caused by the drywall. The complaints were reportedly coming from Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and West Vancouver.
Published estimates said as much as 929,000 square meters of Chinese drywall arrived in Canada through Vancouver between 2001 and 2007. In addition to lower British Columbia, some Chinese drywall may have been shipped to Canada’s Prairie Provinces and as far east as Toronto.
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