Numerous homeowners living in Florida who have suffered from contaminated Chinese drywall will split $55 million. The case has been settled with the funds being set aside by the Banner Supply Company, its partners, and insurers. According to a spokesperson for the plaintiff’s attorney, somewhere in the vicinity of 500 to 800 houses were provided Chinese drywall by the Banner Supply Company (Hals).
Drywall is used in construction primarily to build ceilings and walls. The tainted product has been blamed for damaging wiring and air conditioning units due to toxic fumes. This contaminated drywall was imported to help with rebuilding efforts after a string of destructive hurricanes, starting with Katrina in 2005. According to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, up to 100,000 houses have been impacted by this toxic drywall.
Banner denied liability, claiming that they were merely distributors of the drywall manufactured by the Knauf Group. This German company is one of the biggest manufacturers of building materials in the world.
In 2006, homeowners began noticing problems and complaining to Banner about their drywall. So Banner informed the Knauf Group. After some testing, Knauf declared the drywall to be safe and contaminant free. Upon receipt of this news, the Banner Supply Company signed an agreement freeing the Knauf Group of any liability related to the drywall.
According to court documents, the Knauf Group was aware that their drywall was contaminated and had the potential to cause immense property damage.
Russ Herman of Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar and counsel for the plaintiffs, anticipates additional settlements in the upcoming months with other liable parties.