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From Florida to Louisiana, Chinese Drywall Has No Borders

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New Orleans, LAAlthough Florida appears to be the epicenter of Chinese drywall complaints, homeowners in other states, particularly Louisiana, are also reporting Chinese drywall problems. Two class action lawsuits—one in Florida and the other in Louisiana—have been filed naming Knauf Gips, KPT and a Chinese drywall manufacturer not connected to Knauf, Taishan Gypsum Co. as defendants.

Drywall SmellIn March, 2009 CNN reported that the Louisiana suit claims defective Chinese drywall was installed in a home in Pearl River. As well, an Alabama-based homebuilder claims 40 houses built in 2005 and 2006 caused corrosion or odor problems.

One homeowner tells LawyersandSettlements that his Florida home has to be completely gutted and redone. Just two days ago, Lennar Homes arranged to have the entire contents of the home put in storage. " Fortunately, this property is our second home so we didn't have to relocate like many others have to," says Clem, whose house was built by Lennar in 2006, "at the time of the construction and acquisition frenzy."

Clem says he was alerted to the Chinese drywall problem from a neighbor. "Then I went online and realized that some of the homes mentioned and effected were in our community," says Clem. "I called the Lennar folks and they spent a long time on the phone with us explaining the process: Lennar had to do an air quality check through a private company and if it showed any indications of Chinese drywall, they would do core samples of the drywall. Depending upon the results, they would guide you through the entire reconstruction of your home and relocate if needed---they are finding people comparable homes.

We had our belongings sent to an air conditioned storage facility, all coordinated by Lennar. We didn't have to touch a thing. I had issues with Lennar when we first moved in but I have to say they surprised me with their professional handling of this whole situation.

Over the next 4-6 months Lennar will gut the house and redo it. All the appliances, everything electrical and anything that can be corroded will have to be replaced due to sulfur from the drywall.

Lennar now has the ability to pursue legal action against their suppliers. But the homeowner still has recourse if they believe there are any further costs associated with the Chinese drywall. Lennar is allowed to recover xx amount based on the Florida building code but the owner still has the opportunity to pursue legal action: For example, if you a bought a big screen TV that is defective because of this problem, you can still file a separate lawsuit. Lennar has nothing to do with personal property: the appliances are covered by Lennar because they installed them.

Even with Lennar's help, I am obviously frustrated. The market is down and now Chinese drywall has impacted the value of our home. Fortunately for us, this is our second home. If it was our primary residence, I would be raging."



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