Chinese Drywall Lawsuits

Fifteen thousand Florida residents have filed a lawsuit, claiming that their home or residence contains the Chinese drywall that is currently blamed for causing a variety of concerns ranging from electrical wiring going bad to health-related issues. To date, there are currently more than 150 lawsuits in Florida alone concerning Chinese drywall in one way or another.

The largest lawsuit targets Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin Co., Ltd. The deadline for filing a class action case against Knauf within this major case was December 2, 2009. Those who missed the deadline but still wish to seek compensation will fall underneath the Hague Convention for the Service of Process Abroad rulings, which calls for plaintiffs to pay $15,000 per lawsuit.

Besides the structural integrity concerns associated with Chinese drywall, there are many suspected health-related issues prompting the filing of lawsuits.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the most frequently reported symptoms associated with Chinese drywall include irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, bloody nose, runny nose, recurrent headaches, sinus infection, and asthma attacks.

Issues Prompting Lawsuits

Nancy Nelson, a Palmetto, Florida home-owner expressed her complaints to local Tampa, Florida television station, WPLG-TV, noting that her washing machine, dryer, microwave, and refrigerator, all brand-new appliances, are breaking down.

Country-wide, the estimated cost to repair U.S. homes affected by Chinese drywall could cost approximately 8 billion dollars.

The health issues related to the tainted drywall are a bit more elusive for the lawsuits in question. There has not been a confirmed health problem case linked directly to the drywall. If the CDC discovers a real, scientific cause link between the drywall and the reported health problems, lawsuits could sky-rocket.

The sheer economic component involved, the now worthlessness of the homes in question, the health concern, the litigation and insurance costs all contribute to lawsuits related to Chinese drywall.

Sources:

  1. Boles, Rachel and Ronald Kozlowski. “Economic Losses from Chinese Drywall Could Reach $25 Billion, Insurers Warned: Insured portion unclear, as policy exclusions might lower p&c industry’s price tag,” P&C National Underwriter at http://blog.njeifs.com/Chinese%20Drywall%20-%209.15.09.pdf, July 27, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009.
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Drywall Information Center at http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/index.html. Accessed December 27, 2009.
  3. "CPSC Releases 2nd Chinese Drywall Report; Corrosion Link Cited,” The PopTort.com at www.thepoptort.com/chinese-drywall/, November 24, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009
  4. Moran, Kate. “Chinese drywall lawsuits to be consolidated in federal court in New Orleans,” The Times-Picayune. Nola.com: New Orleans Metro Real-Time News: Breaking Local News from New Orleans, Louisiana at http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/chinese_drywall_lawsuits_to_b... ml, June 15, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009.
  5. “Chinese Drywall Victims Face Knauf Plasterboard Lawsuit Deadline Next Week,” Newsinferno.com at http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/14036, November 25, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009.
  6. “Florida Chinese Drywall Lawsuits Number 150,” Helpchinesedrywall.com at http://helpchinesedrywall.com/2009/05/11/florida-chinese-drywall-lawsuits- number-150/, Monday, May 11, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009
  7. Gillespie, Pat. “Lee County drywall victims unite,” News-press.com at http://www.news- press.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009912060373, December 6, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009.
  8. Wozniak, Mary. “Chinese drywall prompts lawsuit,” News-press.com at http://www.news- press.com/article/20090203/NEWS0102/902030363/1002/NEWS01, February 3, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009.
  9. Boles, Rachel and Ronald Kozlowski. “Economic Losses from Chinese Drywall Could Reach $25 Billion, Insurers Warned: Insured portion unclear, as policy exclusions might lower p&c industry’s price tag,” P&C National Underwriter at http://blog.njeifs.com/Chinese%20Drywall%20-%209.15.09.pdf, July 27, 2009. Accessed December 27, 2009.
  10. Hanna, Jason. “Chinese-made drywall ruining homes, owners say,” CNN.com/US at http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/18/chinese.drywall/index.html?TB_iframe=true &height=500&width=750. Accessed December 27, 2009