The first North Carolina defective Chinese drywall lawsuit has been filed. The plaintiffs are from Holly Springs and the complaint is against builder Stafford Custom Homes. Their lawsuit blames the corroding metals and putrid smell in their home on the toxic material in the walls of their residence that they say made them sick.
The plaintiffs, Mary and Daniel Flannigan, also contend that Stafford Custom Homes, in Southern Pines, should have known that the drywall could become dangerous and cause damage. The couple say they first noticed the “rotten eggs” odor before buying their residence in 2004. They said Stafford employees said that the smell was coming from the water heater.
The water heater coils were replaced and the couple later paid to have the water heater removed from under the house. Home inspectors became suspicious that mold might be growing, so Stafford Homes installed a layer of plastic in the basement to act as a vapor barrier. Despite all these changes, the smell wouldn’t go away and a number of family members began to experience chronic health issues. Also, guitar strings and jewelry are among the metals in their home that turned black.
In 2007, the evaporator coils connected to the gas furnace corroded and needed to be replaced. Last year, the Flannigans found out that their air and heating system was failing. The couple said that they were experiencing serious headaches and didn’t consider that the drywall in their home might be defective until they saw a tv news report about the Chinese-made product.
They are seeking North Carolina personal injury compensation for medical costs and to replace damaged property, including compensation for new drywall and the reconstruction of their home. They also want punitive damages.
Other North Carolina defective Chinese drywall lawsuits are expected. Just this February, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission started investigating complaints about Chinese drywall. They’ve been asking electrical engineers and toxicologists to collect samples so they could figure out the associated safety and health hazards.
In the last 10 years, millions of pounds of Chinese drywalls were installed in apartments and homes because they were costly and abundant and to meet the demands of the US housing boom. In the meantime, Congressional lawmakers have filed legislation to recall and ban drywall made in China until new safety standards for drywall are established.
Some 100,000 thousands homes in the US may be covered with Chinese drywall. The defective material has been linked to sinus and respiratory issues in some people.
North Carolina Sees First Chinese Drywall Lawsuit, NewsInferno.com, April 22, 2009
Holly Springs couple sues over Chinese drywall, The News and Observer, April 22, 2009
Related Web Resources:
CPSC: Chinese drywall poses potential risks to southeastern homes, WSLS, April 24, 2009
U.S. Lawmakers Seek Ban on Tainted Chinese Drywall, Insurance Journal, April 10, 2009