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Latest Chinese Drywall Remediation Does Not Preclude Lawsuits

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Fort Myers, FLRecent developments in the Chinese drywall saga will serve to give homeowners grappling with defective drywall problems some comfort in the midst of their frustration. To that end, a new remediation process demonstrated in recent days could provide an alternative to contractors who until now have been removing all Chinese drywall and stripping a home down to its studs. It was also announced that defective drywall homeowners could be in line for a tax break.

As summarized October 2nd in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Internal Revenue Service has announced that the owners of homes built with defective Chinese drywall between 2001 and 2009 have the opportunity to use a new "casualty loss" tax deduction to help cover the cost of repairing damage to homes and appliances caused by defective drywall.

It is not known if claiming the deduction precludes homeowners from taking legal action against the contractor who built their homes or those suppliers responsible for procuring the China drywall.

The potential for litigation has, indeed, entered into a so-called defective drywall "fix" proposed by the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors, an organization based in Abita Springs, Louisiana that demonstrated a new remediation procedure in Fort Myers on October 7th.

The News-Press of Fort Myers reported on October 8th that as many as 1,400 homeowners in Lee County have reported Chinese drywall problems to the local property appraisers office in the Sunshine State. The Consumer Products Safety Commission says 2,083 China drywall complaints have come in from the State of Florida, of a total 3,628 in the US, American Samoa and Puerto Rico.

Chinese Drywall Remediators Told to Preserve Defective Drywall Evidence

The proposed remediation procedure involves the spraying of a biocide specially formulated to penetrate walls and kill bacteria suspected of causing the problem. Then, any bad drywall is removed and potentially contaminated dust is vacuumed up before a second treatment with the biocide.

The remediation procedure is said to come with a guarantee of 10 years, provided annual inspections are conducted by the remediator. A monitor is used to record temperature and humidity levels.

The proposed remediation procedure is said to come with a price tag of $86 to $96 per square foot and does not preclude a homeowner from pursuing litigation against a contractor or supplier down the road. To that end, state licensed mold remediators were cautioned during the October 7th demonstration to preserve enough of the drywall as legal evidence should the homeowner want or need to sue over Chinese drywall.


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