Drywall imported from China continues to make headlines nationwide, and a growing number of lawsuits have been filed in Florida. In response to the problem, FAR’s Business Forms Forum Task Force is considering a new form that addresses Chinese drywall problems. Task force members are slated to discuss the issue again on April 6.
Attorneys with Higer Lichter Givner, The Blumstein Law Firm and Podhurst Orseck have filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of Florida homeowners Janet Morris-Chin and Dajan Green. They’ve targeted Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co. Ltd., and the foreign company that distributed that company’s drywall within the United States, Rothchilt International Ltd.
Drywall manufactured in China was used in U.S. homes between 2004 and 2007. According to the lawsuit, toxic chemicals that emanate from the drywall have damaged houses, fixtures and personal property. Members of the class action are also seeking medical monitoring for any adverse effects of prolonged exposure to the toxic chemicals.
“We have filed a national class action because more than 60,000 homes in 13 states are believed to have defective Chinese drywall,” says Victor M. Diaz with Podhurst Orseck. “We anticipate that when the Consumer Products Safety Commission completes its investigation, this product will be recalled across the country. This could be potentially one of the largest product liability cases related to home construction in U.S. history.”
Gov. Charlie Crist has called in the feds to help with problems related to the use of Chinese drywall that could affect up to 30,000 Florida homes. On Friday, Crist sent a request for help in developing testing strategies to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control.
Some Louisiana homeowners who rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina are discovering that they share a problem with some Florida homeowners – Chinese drywall. The sulfur-emitting wallboard burns out electrical wires, eats away at metal and possibly sickens families. The U.S. Product Consumer Safety Commission and a number of states, including Florida, are investigating.