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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Drywall’

Chinese Drywall Supplier to Reimburse Builders

November 16th, 2011 Comments off

NOLA reports from Louisiana that Knauf, the German supplier of faulty Chinese drywall, is set to settle litigation with homebuilders to reimburse them for remediating homes built with the sometimes toxic building product. During the housing boom, and following the hurricanes of 2004-2005 (including Katrina), the U.S. had to import drywall. In many instances the drywall caused metal fittings and wires to corrode, and caused respiratory and skin problems for homeowners. Although the terms are currently under seal, the agreement calls for Knauf to reimburse builders for any and all renovations and repairs where Chinese drywall was used. According to court documents, 945 homes are slated for reimbursement, but the total number of residents and builders in Louisiana is not yet known. 6,300 homeowners in 38 states filed complaints with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Louisiana had the second largest number of complaints after Florida. Numerous lawsuits were filed in Dade County, FL.

(Photo credit: J.Pat Carter/AP)

Toxic Chinese Drywall Suit Plasters Miami Court

October 27th, 2011 2 comments

Following up on a story we initially published March 17, 2011, MiamiHerald reports a multitude of homeowners in South Florida have filed separate legal claims against a German producer of Chinese drywall and the local distributor, alleging the drywall contains toxins that can cause breathing problems, emit foul odors, and cause corrosion of pipes and electrical wires. In Miami-Dade County Court, lawyers are asking for punitive damages from the Germany-based Knauf and its partner, Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co., saying they knew it was defective but continued selling millions of sheets of Chinese drywall during the housing boom and following Hurricane Katrina. “They engaged in conduct that endangered every American consumer that had defective drywall,” said Miami Beach attorney Victor Diaz, comparing the drywall to a “ticking time bomb.” “They concealed it from the American consuming public in order to protect their financial interests.” Circuit Judge Joseph Farina said all plaintiffs may be entitled to punitive damages, but each case will have to be heard on its own burden of proof. Knauf’s attorney said the company “has always acted honestly and in good faith with respect to drywall it sold in the United States.” In addition, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Banner Supply Company, the local distributor, alleging they knew the drywall was defective but sold it anyhow. “While it may be easiest to pursue a small, Florida-based company rather than focus on the German conglomerate that manufactured the defective drywall, the fact remains that Banner Supply didn’t create the problem drywall,” said Banner attorney Michael Peterson. Banner has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Knauf, and has also agreed to a $54.5 million settlement with over 3,000 homeowners. Some homeowners have chosen to pursue Banner on their own.

(Photo credit: ForthePeople)

 

Domestic Drywall Possibly Problematic

April 22nd, 2011 Comments off

HousingWire reports there may be a problem with American-made drywall, not just drywall from China.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), partnering with Environmental Health & Engineering (EH&H), tested 11 homes and found five of them had hydrogen sulfide emissions, as well as sulfur and copper sulfide buildup, which are all indicative of problem drywall.  Nine of the dwellings showed evidence of blackened copper wire, and corrosion of air conditioning evaporator coils.  The homeowners said the drywall was domestically produced, a fact CPSC and EH&H could not confirm.  According to the CPSC, as of Jan. 7 there were 3,770 reports of defective drywall.

Defective Chinese Drywall May Require Extensive Cleansing

March 17th, 2011 Comments off

As a follow-up to our article March 10, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) details instructions for dealing with defective Chinese Drywall in single family homes.  The drywall was used following Hurricane Katrina, because new construction demand outstripped U.S. supply.  The process involves testing for the amount of corrosive substances that may contribute to health problems.  If the problem is extensive, the house must be stripped of all belongings, including cabinetry.  All low-voltage signal and data wiring as well as receptacles and light switches must be removed and replaced, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  In addition, all duct work and sheet metal would need to be replaced.  The final stage, after the defective drywall is removed, is thorough vacuuming and compressed air guns to ‘blow out” the house, and then airing out the house for two weeks.  A final measurement is then taken to ensure the premises are safe.

Risks and Remedies for Chinese Drywall

March 10th, 2011 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has scheduled a media teleconference March 16 concerning technical guidance in dealing with possible problems from new Chinese drywall.  The event will be hosted by Barry Rutenberg, First Chairman, NAHB, Katherine Cahill, Global Product Risk Practice Leader, with Marsh Risk Consulting, and Dr. Barbara Manis, Chief Medical Officer, Building Health Sciences, Inc.  Following extensive analysis by the Marsh firm, the teleconference will provide tools to determine if problematic Chinese drywall is present, and guidelines for dealing with it.  The media will be invited to ask questions at the conclusion.