In April Judge Fallon found in favor of seven Virginia families who claimed that defective Chinese drywall in their homes emitted noxious fumes, turned air conditioning coils black and made some residents ill. Judge Fallon ordered Taishan Gypsum Company to pay more than $2.6 million in damages.
The victory is particularly compelling for the Hernandez family, since they used the Chinese drywall to rebuild their home following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. For them, it was one disaster after another.
According to the 5/15/10 issue of Real Estate & Investment Business, Judge Fallon was blunt in his decision, which ran 47 pages: "No reputable contractor would accept the risk of keeping copper and / or silver metal in the home after these materials existed in a corrosive environment and demonstrate significant corrosion, and neither would a reputable environmental consultant approve a remediation of the Hernandez home if the potential of continuation for such a corrosion risk remains."
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It could not have been a better outcome for the Hernandez family. While the family initially estimated damages and repair costs at $58,000 the court came up with a much higher number following review of the full extent of the damage and clean-up costs in order to restore the building to optimum move-in condition. To that end Judge Fallon referred to "the Court's remediation protocol" to which the Hernandez family was entitled.
The total award of $164,049.64 included $137,000 to restore the family's home, with an additional $5,000 to replace personal property damaged by the noxious fumes emitted from defective Chinese drywall.