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Lawyer Wins Landmark Drywall Case in Florida

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Miami, FL"This is an important case for consumers," says attorney Ervin Gonzalez. "And this is what I do: sue bad companies who do bad things." Gonzalez has recently landed a $2.4 million verdict for a Florida family whose dream home was ruined by toxic Chinese drywall. The trial, says Gonzalez, sent a powerful message. It's the first jury trial in the avalanche of litigation hurled at distributors, manufacturers and contractors involved the toxic drywall catastrophe.

"It's a bellwether case," says Gonzalez from his office in Miami. "It serves to show parties what the percentages of responsibility are and the amount of the award is indicative of what jurors can do with this case."

"The Seifarts purchased a nice home they thought they could be safe in, but what they got was a home with cancerous walls"
Gonzalez's vigorous pursuit of the drywall distributor in this case revealed a tell-tale e-mail that showed the company made a disastrous choice—a choice that Gonzalez calls "the saddest part of all".

Drywall Distributor Failed to Warn, Disclose or Recall

"The distributor knew about the problems in 2006," says Gonzalez. "The company (Banner Supply Co.) protected its own skin and returned the defective drywall to the manufacturer. But it kept everything secret. It did not tell consumers, it did not tell the media, and it did not tell its customers."

Gonzalez's clients, the Seifart family, are currently renting while their home in Coconut Grove is remediated. Toxic drywall literally ate their house alive – destroying wiring, appliances, plumbing and wiring. "The Seifarts purchased a nice home they thought they could be safe in, but what they got was a home with cancerous walls."

The money recouped will go along way to helping the Seifarts repair their $1.6 million home. The remainder of the settlement is relief for loss of enjoyment of their property and damage to the home's resale value.

Seifart v Banner Supply Co. yielded the plaintiffs $111 per square foot in compensation. That's number that Gonzalez says is a "good indication that jurors are willing to put toxic drywall homeowners back to 100 percent of where they should be."

Gonzalez expects that Banner will appeal the decision.

There are some 2000 other cases pending against Banner Supply Co. and hundreds of other toxic drywall cases in litigation mostly across the southern US.

Ervin Gonzalez is a veteran trial attorney with more than two decades of experience in civil and business litigation. He has won more than 26 verdicts in excess of a $1 million, including a $61 million medical malpractice suit. Gonzalez has been recognized as one of Florida's top attorneys.


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