Judge Approves Global Settlement in Chinese Drywall Cases
March 12, 2013
Chinese Drywall cases have been on the rise in recent years, and Berman & Wright Architecture, Engineering & Planning, LLC (“Berman & Wright”) has been at the forefront of this issue, investigating conditions of the affected homes throughout the United States.
During the housing boom in the early 2000’s, and the subsequent years when a significant number of Hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast states, construction materials were in high demand. Drywall companies in the United States were not able to keep up with the demand for material production, and various companies turned to China to manufacture and ship materials to the United States. This included drywall used in new home construction and existing homes being renovated due to damages from Hurricanes and other storms. This defective drywall was mainly used in the regions of the East and Gulf Coasts; however, Chinese drywall was found to be used in at least 42 states across the United States.
Chinese drywall contains elevated levels of sulfur that is emitted into the environment, creating gases that can not only cause foul odors, but can also cause corrosion that affects wiring, electronics, piping, HVAC units, and appliances; and may lead to electronic failures and risks of fire.
Rigorous testing and investigations were performed in the field and in laboratories, verifying the relationship between the use of Chinese Drywall and the extent of the associated damages within homes where the drywall was used.
Federal Court rulings recommended that contaminated homes be completely gutted for remediation and recently approved a number of pending settlements for parties included in the distribution and sale of the Chinese Drywall. These settlements are intended to provide proper funding for homeowners to perform remediation to their impacted homes.
Berman & Wright provided services for many cases involved with the recent settlement. These services included investigations and documentation of conditions within homes, analyses of scientific results from testing of building components taken from homes, and development of the remediation scope of work necessary to address the conditions within the homes.
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