The Gypsum Files

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Posts Tagged ‘corrosive drywall

Chinese drywall manufacturer skips court hearing

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As many as 20,000 property owners in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia installed the toxic drywall during frenzied building after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and a nation-wide housing boom.

Homeowners complained of foul odors, damage to appliances, health issues such as skin irritation and breathing problems and blackening of copper and silver they say is connected to the product.

Knauf Plasterboard Tianjin settled with 4,500 property owners, mostly from the Gulf Coast, for damages reaching $1 billion, including an estimated $280 million to $350 million for Louisiana residents.

Taishan Gypsum has resisted the authority of U.S. courts, arguing the judicial system has no authority over the foreign company. Last month, the firm refused to show up for a hearing in U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon’s New Orleans courtroom after a judgment against the company was made final.

via Maker of defective Chinese drywall Taishan skips out on court hearing, leaving homeowners waiting | NOLA.com.

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CDC confirms health issues connected to Chinese drywall

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SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — For the first time, the federal government confirms that tainted drywall can cause home and health problems, according to a long-awaited report by the Centers for Disease Control….

It’s an issue some are still living with. Many might not even know it. The report also indicates that “not all of the homes contain drywall manufactured in China. Some problem homes contain drywall manufactured in North America and some have drywall with no indication of origin.”

“This isn’t Chinese. This is United States Gypsum.” North Port resident Charles Hummer has turned his home into a laboratory of tainted drywall, researching the effects and how it all came to be. He says his health and home problems are caused by drywall which doesn’t have a foreign label.

He says you have to follow the money. “Knauf brought in all the Chinese drywall. Knauf also owns part of United States Gypsum. Knauf also owns part of National Gypsum. United States Gypsum also owns L&W Supply, which is doing business as Seacoast Supply.”

CDC confirms health issues connected to Chinese drywall – Sarasota News | Mysuncoast.com and ABC 7: Local News.

“Some problem homes contain drywall manufactured in North America” is a little misleading. Designated “problem homes” are based on occupant reports and observation of symptoms and effects such as corroded metal fixtures and “recurrent headaches, irritated and itchy eyes and skin, difficulty breathing, persistent cough, runny nose, sinus infections and congestion, sore throats, frequent nosebleeds, and asthma attacks.” It has not been proven that North American drywall causes any of these symptoms.

In fact, the report goes on to advise, “Based on the limited number of drywall samples tested, exposures to the estimated contaminant levels from drywall samples manufactured in North America in 2009 were below levels of public health concern. These samples were not identified by CPSC as problem drywall.” (My emphasis.) However, some homeowners assert that domestic wallboard causes these problems as well.

As for following the money, Knauf does own part of USG Corporation. National Gypsum is a privately owned company.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

May 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

Families seek $2.6M for Chinese drywall damage | PilotOnline.com

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Update on the corrosive drywall saga:

Thousands of Americans are waiting in the wings for recompense after the toxic wallboard turned their lives upside down. But one big hurdle stands in their way. A panel of judges in the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Wednesday that will set them up to decide in the coming weeks whether Chinese drywall manufacturer Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. can be held accountable in American courts for its tainted products. It’s one of the biggest questions yet in the five-year legal saga, and Hampton Roads families – four from Williamsburg, two from Newport News and one from Virginia Beach – are blazing the trail for the rest of the country. They are representing at least 300 families in a class-action lawsuit, Germano v. Taishan, which was filed in 2009. “It’s a light-switch outcome,” said Richard Serpe, a Norfolk attorney representing the seven local plaintiffs. “If they win it,” he said of Taishan, “we have no jurisdiction in the United States.”

via Families seek $2.6M for Chinese drywall damage | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

October 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

American-Made Drywall Emerges as Potential Danger – ProPublica

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Ninety-seven homeowners in four states have joined lawsuits against U.S. drywall manufacturers in the past year, claiming that their drywall is releasing enough sulfur gas to corrode wiring and appliances and cause headaches, nosebleeds, labored breathing and irritated eyes—complaints that until now have been mostly associated with Chinese drywall. Many families have abandoned their homes, fearing long-term health problems. Some are facing foreclosure, or even bankruptcy.

via American-Made Drywall Emerges as Potential Danger – ProPublica.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

December 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Lowe’s Amends Settlement to Get Drywall Victims More Money – ProPublica

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Lowe’s Companies Inc. has dramatically increased the amount of money [1] it is prepared to offer customers whose health or homes were harmed by defective drywall they bought from its stores. Those customers are now eligible for up to $100,000 in cash, instead of the maximum $4,500 in cash and gift cards that was previously agreed upon in a class action lawsuit that is being negotiated in a Georgia state court.

via Lowe’s Amends Settlement to Get Drywall Victims More Money – ProPublica.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

October 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Judge awards families $2.6M over Chinese drywall

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Written by Elizabeth McCullough

April 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Federal guidelines issued for identifying corrosive drywall

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From the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

HUD and CPSC’s two-step guidance requires a visual inspection that must show blackening of copper electrical wiring and/or air conditioning evaporator coils; and the installation of new drywall (for new construction or renovations) between 2001 and 2008. To view the full text of this guidance, visit HUD’s website or CPSC’s website (both documents PDF).

The guidance also describes obtaining additional corroborating evidence of problem drywall, since it is possible that corrosion of metal in homes can occur for other reasons. For example, homes with new drywall installed between 2005 and 2008 … must meet at least two additional criteria related to: the chemical analysis of metal corrosion in the home; elemental markers in the drywall; markings on the drywall; or specific chemical emissions from the drywall. Homes with new drywall installed between 2001 and 2004 must meet a total of at least four of those criteria. Collecting evidence of these corroborating conditions may require professional assistance and analysis.

Be sure to check the timeline on the right side of this site for more gypsum-related events and news.

Written by Elizabeth McCullough

January 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm

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