The Miami Herald reported November 24 that not only has Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin agreed to repair the homes, a Miami-based supplier of drywall offered a settlement days before a class-action lawsuit was slated to go to trial.
The lead plaintiffs in the China drywall case were Jason and Melissa Harrell of Homestead. Shortly after moving into their two-story home, they encountered the now all-too-familiar odor of the defective drywall. What's more, their appliances were breaking down.
Theirs' became the first class-action case filed in the country over the problematic drywall, imported from China by many suppliers in the midst of the recent building boom when drywall from traditional US-based sources became scarce. In total, some 3,700 complaints from 40 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico have been filed with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most have originated from the Sunshine State.
It has been anything but sunshine for the affected homeowners, many of whom found their homes totally unlivable given the noxious fumes originating with the defective Chinese drywall.
There have been settlements. South Kendall Construction and an affiliate, Palm Isles Holdings, agreed to a $4 million settlement, according to the Miami Herald. Keys Gate Realty settled for $2.6 million and Atco, the contractor that installed the drywall, paid $375,000.
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Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin has offered to remediate hundreds of homes in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. In addition to the repairs, it was reported that Knauf will pay each homeowner $8.50 per square foot of his or her home in lieu of expenses.
Homeowners affected by drywall problems were forced to deal with a strong, sulfur-like odor emanating from the walls and ceilings of their homes. Copper coils associated with refrigerators and air conditioning units would turn black. Many families had to abandon their homes altogether.