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Homes Constructed With Chinese Drywall Are Worthless, Homeowners Allege

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Many homeowners are experiencing similar dismay after moving into their “dream homes” just a few years ago. For example, a recent NYT article featured Bill Morgan, a retired policeman, who moved his wife and daughter into a newly built home in Virginia. However, within short order, Morgan’s family was forced to move after suffering constant nosebleeds and headaches. Moreover, the house had a persistent and lingering stench of rotten eggs and all of the metal appliances and door frames in the home turned black.

Lawsuits are cropping up from American homebuyers, who allege that their homes were constructed with imported Chinese drywall. Specifically, the lawsuits claim that the drywall, imported during the housing boom a few years ago, is contaminated with sulfuric compounds. So far, 300 people have filed lawsuits in Louisiana alone, with another 500 in Florida. In response, the Consumer Product Safety Commission will release the results of a study this month that will hopefully indicate whether or not the Chinese drywall is causing the alleged problems.

Nevertheless, investigators for the CPSC are finding it difficult to trace the source of the drywall. Many imported drywall sheets are simply marked with “made in China”, with no further information on the manufacturers. Unfortunately, many homeowners were forced to file lawsuits to attempt to recoup some of their losses. Specifically, many insurance companies have refused to pay claims file by homeowners, arguing that their policies do not cover issues caused by pollutants.

Mr. Morgan bought his house back in 2006 after living with his family in a FEMA provided trailer for three years. His first home was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. He still drops by his dream home to cut the grass, but there is no equity left in the house because of the apparent destruction from the Chinese drywall.