Chinese-made drywall ruining homes; Class action lawsuit filed
According to homeowners who have retained my friend Ervin Gonzalez, Chinese-made drywall is ruining their homes. Gonzalez has filed a class action lawsuit on their behalf.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) officials are looking into claims that Chinese-made drywall installed in some Florida homes is emitting smelly, corrosive gases and ruining household systems such as air conditioners. Furthermore, gas emitted from defective drywall corrodes copper wiring, turning it black, according to some Florida homeowners.
The Florida Health Department, which is investigating whether the drywall poses any health risks, said it has received more than 140 homeowner complaints. And class-action lawsuits allege defective drywall has caused problems in at least three states — Florida, Louisiana and Alabama — while some attorneys involved claim such drywall may have been used in tens of thousands of U.S. homes. Homeowners’ lawsuits contend the drywall has caused them to suffer health problems such as headaches and sore throats and face huge repair expenses according to CNN news reports.
The drywall is alleged to have high levels of sulfur and, according to homeowners’ complaints, the sulfur-based gases smell of rotten eggs and corrode piping and wiring, causing electronics and appliances to fail. “It’s economically devastating, and it’s emotionally devastating,” said Florida attorney Ervin Gonzalez, who filed one of the lawsuits. It would cost a third of an affected home’s value to fix the dwelling, Gonzalez said. “The interior has to be gutted, the homeowners have to continue paying mortgages, and they have to pay for a [temporary] place to live,” Gonzalez said.
The Florida complaints generally involve homes built or renovated in 2005 and 2006, when a building boom and post-hurricane reconstruction caused a U.S. drywall shortage that spurred builders to turn to imports. The allegations come after a number of recent safety problems with other Chinese exports, ranging from toys to pet food.