South Florida Homeowners Sue Chinese Drywall Makers and Distributors for Personal Injury, Other Damages
In recent years, a number of homeowners in South Florida have filed suit against the manufacturers of allegedly contaminated drywall containing toxins that destroy infrastructure, emit foul odors and cause breathing problems. Now, they're setting their sights on the company's Florida-based distributor.
Earlier this month, Samia Aziz, a Miami resident, filed an action in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against local company Banner Supply Co., alleging that the company continued to distribute toxic drywall despite knowing that the product was defective and even conspired with the manufacturer to keep the information under wraps.
Shortly after moving into her home in south Miami-Dade County, Aziz discovered that the drywall inside emitted odors, corroded the plumbing and electrical wiring and damaged electronic equipment in the home. As a result, she and her mother were forced to find another place to live.
The Aziz suit follows after several South Florida homeowners filed actions in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against German-based drywall manufacturing company Knauf and its Chinese outpost Knauf Plasterboard (Tianjin) Co. In addition to physical damage to their homes, many plaintiffs say that the drywall emits toxic sulfur gases causing a variety of respiratory problems. For its part, Knauf claims that it has acted in good faith and is working to "remediate" damaged homes.
Banner bought more than a million sheets of Chinese drywall from Knauf. According to The Miami Herald's Toluse Olorunnipa, the lawsuit is one of thousands filed against Banner and alleges that company directors had known that the drywall was defective since 2006. The Herald describes that the suit further alleges that the directors conspired with the manufacturer to conceal the problem from homeowners.