No end to Chinese drywall woes
Property owners have no choice but wait until lawsuits wend their way through court system
SOURCE: Florida Department of Health
The Chinese drywall problemFlorida has had the largest number of reports of defective Chinese drywall in the United States. The map shows the number of complaints received by the Florida Department of Health from each county, through Jan. 18. A recent investigation by ProPublica indicates that the number of complaints to various agencies may seriously underrepresent the scope of the problem.
Published: February 17, 2011
For the time being, Albanis says, plaintiffs who suspect they may have toxic board may still be added to the suit.
"At some point in time, though, I would suspect that the door is going to close," he says. "At this time we don't know when, but I would definitely recommend that if someone thinks they have defective board that they contact a lawyer as soon as possible because they might be pushing up against statutes of limitation."
Which worries some people because new complaints about problem drywall seem to be cropping up all the time. Many people, says Allison Grant, another attorney representing plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, live with the problems for a long time before they realize they could have Chinese drywall issues.
"I have Chinese drywall [in my home], so I can attest to this," she says. "You don't think about it: But first the AC goes, then the TV goes, and you think it's just dumb luck. People should be on notice now - if you find something funky is happening in your home, something should tell you it's not a coincidence."
And many people who find out they have Chinese drywall, she points out, discover it in the course of investigating other problems.
Like the Henrys, who invested thousands in a building they don't know when they will be able to occupy again. "When they put everything together inside, all the murals and everything," Tim Henry says of Pinya's decor, "it was beautiful. You'd think you were in the Philippines. Dad and I drive past it every day on the way to work. You just have to put your blinders on. We just have to let it sit and see what happens."
To read ProPublica and the Sarasota Tribune-Herald's detailed investigation of the Chinese drywall debacle, visit www.propublica.org.
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