As a Hialeah defective products attorney I have followed news reports about problems with defective Chinese drywall with great interest. In short, regulators have seen a flood of complaints in the past year about defective drywall installed in their brand-new homes, generally those built between 2004 and 2008 and especially homes in South Florida. Residents say the foul-smelling drywall corrodes metal in their homes, forcing them to replace components of systems like air conditioners much more frequently than they should. More importantly, the defective drywall makes residents chronically ill, they said, giving them allergies, sinus infections, asthma attacks, chronic coughs and other cold symptoms that won’t go away.
The health problems are so bad for some families that they are forced to move out of their own homes and pay rent on another home. That was the story for the family featured in a May 6 article on CNN.com. Until recently, homeowner Amy Massachi lived in an 18-month-old, $1.2 million home in Parkland with her children and other family members, including a pregnant niece. But after more than a year of chronic visits from the family for sore throats, respiratory infections and bloody noses, their doctor advised them to simply move out. Despite the health risk, Massachi’s mortgage lender refuses to suspend her payments, leaving her obligated to pay off a home she now believes is worthless, along with rent payments.
According to CNN, authorities believe the problem is drywall imported from China during the housing boom. A test for the Florida Department of Health found volatile strontium sulfide in the drywall, which created the smell and the corrosive vapors when exposed to heat and humidity — very common conditions in South Florida. Authorities don’t yet know how the compound is related to the corrosion and health problems, but multiple state and federal agencies are investigating, including the EPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has received more than 180 complaints about the drywall. The Florida Department of Health told CNN it had received more than 330 complaints.
The defective Chinese drywall has already spurred multiple product liability lawsuits, and as a Boca Raton defective products lawyer, I predict many more. CNN reported that as many as 30,000 homes across the U.S. may contain the drywall, and that adds up to hundreds of thousands of affected homeowners. Florida state law allows people who have been harmed by defective products like the drywall to sue manufacturers for deaths, serious injuries and any financial costs the flawed product required. In Massachi’s case and in many others, those financial costs could be as much as the cost of the defective home. Home builders and others who used the defective drywall might also be liable in a Miami defective product lawsuit.
If your family is experiencing serious physical and financial problems because of defective Chinese drywall, or any other dangerous product, Cohn, Smith & Cohn can help. We have more than 25 years of experience helping seriously injured Floridians get justice after they were seriously hurt by someone else’s negligence. We can help you win the money you need to pay the costs of chronic illness and multiple doctor visits, missed work and the cost of setting up an entire new home. And we offer free consultations, so you can learn more about your options without any further obligation. To set one up, please contact Cohn, Smith & Cohn online or call us at (954) 431-8100 as soon as possible.