Feds Report On Chinese Drywall Brings Both Vindication And Deep Frustration To Florida Homeowners.
A report from the CDC confirms what thousands of Floridans suffering financial distress and medical problems have known for years – that Chinese drywall has caused significant health problems.
While it may be at lease some consolation for Florida families that have had their financial life and their health severely damaged by Chinese drywall, to hear confirmation from the CDC that the product was harmful to their health, the report does little else.
The report officially states what everyone already new, but offers no solutions, compensation or path to recovery. Only the civil justice system can achieve this.
Some good may yet come from the official recognition of the health problems in the form of bolstering law suits. One problem facing those seeking compensation for the damage done by Chinese drywall has been that the federal governments previous response to the reports of health problems have been that there was no solid evidence that the defective drywall was to blame. Now – years after the affected homeowner were forced to move from their homes, the CDC has finally (and officially) stated the obvious.
The path forward however will continue to be challenging. The scale of the problem is immense. During the building boom that took place from 2001 to roughly 2005, Florida builders were un able to purchase enough drywall from US sources and many turned to using the Chinese drywall. More than 550 million pounds were imported - enough build as many as 100,000 homes. As a center of the building and real estate bubble Florida in particular was targeted by companies selling the defective product. Areas of new growth such as Ft. Myers, North Port, Venice and Sarasota all had hundreds of homes with Chinese drywall installed. The damage to the home owners became apparent first with health problems and later with damage to the electrical and other systems in the home.
Many people suffered longterm health problems that include serious issues and ill-effects for children, sense of vision, touch and smell, cardiovascular systems, eyes, kidneys, liver, skin. Additionally occupants of homes with Chinese drywall also suffered from nosebleeds, headaches, difficulty breathing and asthma attacks.
To make their homes safe top live in again requires a monumental renovation that most homeowners simply cannot afford. The process requires the home will have to be completely gutted, all wiring and electrical equipment replaced, all HVAC equipment replaced, all copper piping must be replaced, even the Floors tile and wood must be replaced. As a result many homeowners with now viable means to make their new home safe were forced to walk away from their homes – and into bankruptcy.
As a practicing Injury Attorney In Sarasota Florida I feel that the Federal Agency has finally acknowledged what the Civil Justice system determined long ago; that Chinese Drywall has caused significant health and financial problems. The victims have been suffering and will continue to suffer from a host of long term conditions, and the Center for Disease control cannot offer compensation. That is the function of our Civil Justice System.
Attorney M. David Shapiro